Global healthcare systems, and their ability to respond in times of crisis, are being scrutinized and analyzed as never before, highlighting inbuilt stresses and strains, from stark shortages of human resources to vulnerable supply chains.
While we will continue to witness many changes across the healthcare industry, these are the most notable and important.
- Green health will gain momentum, delivering benefits for citizens and the planet
The global pandemic has understandably drawn our attention away from our other global health crisis – climate change, which is continuing to take its toll on physical and mental health, often reversing decades of progress in health outcomes.
- Deploying user experience skills will speed the delivery of human-centered healthcare
The idea of human-centered healthcare has been around for decades, and there are great examples of how technology has transformed aspects of patient care, for example, wearable devices for monitoring, diagnosis, and ongoing health management. But, overall, the delivery has been patchy.
This is because a vital skill set is still too often missing from the debates in the conference hall or the thought leadership session. In healthcare, as in all services consumed by the public, the quality of the user experience is vital in achieving universal use of new technologies and maximizing the value and benefits for all.
- Patients and clinicians will increasingly choose between digital and in-person contact
After the exponential growth in the deployment of digital solutions to meet the unique healthcare challenges of the first months of the coronavirus pandemic, in 2021 these were refined, and in many ways became the new normal.
Remote appointment setting and consultations, data sharing, analytics & modeling, and much more all enabled the mass delivery of healthcare services in a way that helped keep patients, clinicians, and wider society as safe as possible.
- Interoperability will become the global standard, enabling digital value to be maximized
COVID-19 demonstrated once again just how important reliable and accessible data and analytics are to make precise forecasts, draw the right conclusions, and make the right decisions.
While huge progress has been made, there is still some way to go to achieve the level of interoperability of both data and systems that will maximize the fast and secure sharing of electronic patient records, as individuals move in and out of the healthcare ecosystem. Only then will we unlock the next level of operational efficiencies and improved health outcomes.
Just a few decades ago, video-calling your physician was not possible. Now, a majority of doctors’ offices offer telehealth options for patients who would prefer to meet via video or phone call. It’s one of the fastest-growing integrations in the healthcare landscape and will not be disappearing on the heels of COVID.
- Integrated Medical Technologies
- Electronic health records
- Improved Workflows
- Medical Internet of Things (IoT)
- Artificial Intelligence
- Remote monitoring
- Digital personalization in healthcare.
- Physical health applications.
- Mental health applications.
- Quality data.
- Ultra-tailored preventative measures.
- Healthcare and Gamification.
- Wearable Devices Go Mainstream
Wearable devices are increasingly overlapping with the medical field.
- SDOH Comes into Focus
Social Determinants of Health, or SDOH, describe how non-medical factors influence people's health. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, "minorities often receive poorer quality of care and face more barriers in seeking care” compared to Caucasians.