#FierceMadness: And the winner is...

UPDATED at 6 p.m. on April 9

The results are in, and the term you've deemed the most overused in healthcare likely isn't much of a surprise.

The winner of the #FierceMadness buzzwords competition
Click here to download a bracket. (Graphic by Matt Poor)

Generative AI took a stranglehold on the competition from the get-go, and it easily dispatched its opponents round-by-round to reach the championship. In our final matchup, it earned 75% of your votes to secure an easy crown, taking down another strong contender in the corporate lingo "breaking down silos."

The potential of generative AI's deployment in healthcare, as well as the risks, has been a dominating topic of conversation in the industry of late, so its comfortable run to the title in our bracket competition makes sense.

However, generative AI talk has made the shift from mere hype to actual strategy, as Senior Editor Heather Landi reported from HIMSS earlier this year.

Healthcare organizations across the ecosystem are partnering with technology companies to identify tangible use cases for these AI tools, and there's already plenty of progress.

Patients see the potential too, with a survey late last year finding that they view gen AI as a possible tool to reduce wait times and address affordability.

With the 2024 competition wrapped, we want to hear from you one last time. Did we miss any buzzwords that you're hearing way too often? What's the buzziest topic on your radar? Let us know in a tweet at @FierceHealth.

UPDATED at 6 p.m. ET on April 4

The #FierceMadness buzzwords competition has finally reached its championship.

#FierceMadness Buzzwords championship
Click here to download a bracket. (Graphic by Matt Poor)

Generative AI cruised to victory yet again our Final Four matchup, easily dispatching value-based care by earning 68% of the vote. The term is one of the new additions in this updated version of the buzzwords bracket, and has blazed the easiest path to victory over the past several weeks.

But, generative AI will face stiff competition from our other finalist, the champ of the corporate speak segment, "breaking down silos."

That term has also proven to be a strong competitor, and took down an internal favorite in "purpose-driven" within the corporate speak bracket to reach to the Final Four.

In the latest round, "breaking down silos" defeated care delivery category winner patient engagement with 58% of the vote.

In our 2019 competition, "breaking down silos" reached the Elite Eight round before falling in competition against "disruption." Maybe the time is now for a major comeback.

The polls are open now for our championship round, so get your votes in before 6 p.m. ET on Tuesday, April 9 when we crown a winner.

UPDATED at 6 p.m. ET on April 2

The Final Four has been decided, and in this round, the divisional champion of each of our categories has been crowned.

#FierceMadness Buzzwords Final Four
Click here to download a bracket. (Graphic by Matt Poor)

Perhaps it comes as no surprise to see that generative AI advances to the semifinal round, and it yet again stormed its way through. Generative AI had our highest margin of victory in this round, earning 81% of the votes to move on to the Final Four and win the health technology segment of the bracket.

Generative AI will meet the champ of the corporate speak bracket, "breaking down silos." That term took down a favorite to win within our team, "purpose-driven," by securing 63% of the vote.

Our second matchup of the Final Four features patient engagement, which defeated an expected heavy-hitter in GLP-1s to win in the care delivery category. Patient enagement earned 56% of the vote in the Elite 8 round.

Patient engagement will meet value-based care, which emerged victorious in the policy bracket, in the Final Four.

Polls are open now, get your votes in before 6 p.m. ET on Thursday to help us whittle things down to a final faceoff.

UPDATED at 6 p.m. ET on March 28

The Elite 8 round in our #FierceMadness competition is officially underway.

#FierceMadness Buzzwords Elite 8
Click here to download a bracket. (Graphic by Matt Poor)

In this round, we'll determine which of overused buzzword reigns supreme in each of our four categories: health technology, corporate speak, policy and care delivery. The winners will then meet in the Final Four for the first cross-category matchup of the competition.

Similar trends as our past rounds continue here in the voting from the Sweet 16. I don't want to crown a victor too soon, but as the competition reaches its final rounds, generative AI is truly proving to be the one to beat.

Gen AI easily advanced to the Elite 8 by downing machine learning by securing 79% of your votes. It was the only matchup that wasn't at least somewhat competitive in the Sweet 16 round.

Generative AI will now face predictive analytics to win the health technology category. Predictive analytics snuck by interoperability in the Sweet 16, earning 52% of the vote.

Two popular picks within the Fierce Healthcare team will meet to determine the winner of the corporate speak category, with "breaking down silos" and purpose-driven meeting in the Elite 8. Both won fairly close matchups, with "breaking down silos" earning 58% of your votes to beat streamlined and purpose-driven beating cost-effective with 52% of the vote.

Polls for the Elite 8 round are open now. Get your votes in by 6 p.m. ET on Tuesday, April 2.

UPDATED at 8 p.m. ET on March 26

#FierceMadness Buzzwords Sweet 16
Click here to download your bracket. (Graphic by Matt Poor)

We've reached the Sweet 16, and the biggest competitors are truly starting to make themselves known.

Generative AI continues to show its dominance in the second round, beating Big Data — which won the 2019 iteration of this bracket — by securing 78% of the vote. Gen AI will now take on machine learning in the battle of the algorithms. Machine learning also won by a convincing 69% margin.

Price transparency also surged to a win in our policy category, taking down the term pilot after earning 75% of the vote. Value-based care similarly dominated, securing 79% of votes for the largest margin of victory in round 2.

There were some tight wins, too, in the second round. Interoperability and remote monitoring were fully tied into mid-afternoon on Tuesday, until a few last votes put interoperability over the top with 52% of the responses.

Outcomes-based contracting also eked out a win with 52% of the vote, defeating accountable care organization.

In the care delivery category, all of the wins were fairly tight, with potential heavy hitter GLP-1s winning with 58% of the vote. Continuum of care, however, is setting itself up as the buzzword to beat in that category, though, securing 70% of the vote to beat out intervention.

Voting is now open for our Sweet 16 round, and polls close at 6 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 28.

UPDATED at 6 p.m. ET on March 21

Round one is officially in the books, with some clear heavy hitters establishing themselves early.

#FierceMadness 2024 buzzwords Round 2
Click here to download your bracket. (Graphic by Matt Poor)

In the biggest margin of victory, generative AI demolished FHIR by securing 94% of the vote. It's not much of a surprise that gen AI is dominating early, as it's clearly a hot, buzzy topic within the industry. Talk about the tech's potential opportunities — and potential pitfalls — was everywhere at both the ViVE and HIMSS conferences this past month.

Another strong victory went to the term "purpose-driven" in our corporate speak category. As we were developing this bracket, that idea came up immediately as one we've been hearing quite often of late on earnings calls, investor meetings and other corporate events.

Some early losses did surprise me, however, as we watched the opening round wind down. "Pay-vider," a concept I thought could potentially go all the way, bows out in our opener, falling to care navigation. 

I also did not expect to see "middlemen" lose this early, but it too was defeated in the opening round, with outcomes-based contracting garnering 60% of the vote in our policy category.

We'll see if these trends hold in our second round. The polls are now open, and we'll be taking votes through 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 26.

LAUNCHED: March 19 at 5 a.m. ET

The NCAA basketball tournament gets underway today, and the Fierce Healthcare team is gearing up yet again for our annual #FierceMadness competition.

#FierceMadness 2024 Round 1 bracket
Click here to download a bracket. (Graphic by Matt Poor)

For the past two years, your votes have helped us determine the biggest power players in the industry. This year, we're taking a trip down memory lane to our first bracket competition in 2019, where we aimed to find the most overused buzzword in healthcare.

We've compiled 64 buzzwords—some that have remained relevant from our previous bracket, others that are new hot topics in the industry—under four categories: health technology, corporate speak, health policy and care delivery.

Grab a bracket and play along with us as we crown a winner. In 2019, I was all in on blockchain, which proved a fatal mistake back then. Now, I'm placing my bets on generative AI, though I'm keeping an eye on how GLP-1s perform in the competition, too.

We'll be sharing our picks this week as our tournament gets underway.

So, which is buzzier to you? Genomics or remote monitoring? Patient engagement vs. patient experience? Let us know through the survey below for round one. The polls will close at 6 p.m. ET on Thursday.