As the world braced for a pandemic, the like of which most of us have never or will never witness again, we have come upon the great realization of the meaning of social distancing, quarantines, and remote healthcare. The tide has turned, and technology must get in line. Here are our predictions on the future of healthcare and the trends that will define its landscape instead of the COVID19 experience.
- Rise in Predictive Analytics Systems with AI/ML: As we have realized the real danger of a health crisis, Machine Learning has now gained impetus in the predictive analysis of multiple dimensions of healthcare, such as early identification of disease, tailor-made care management, optimizing electronic health records, etc.
- Need for Redefining Population Health Management: For future prevention of an outbreak of this nature, the key lies in improving care and adherence is by enhancing population health management through intuitive workflows, increased involvement, physician engagement, user-friendly IT solutions, and seamless communication tactics.
- Reliance on Telehealth as a Lifeline: Healthcare needs to adapt to virtual and social distancing strategies that can be enabled through electronic health records, chatbots, video conferencing, etc. Peripheral medical devices can be used and controlled remotely to enhance telehealth opportunities.
- Care Coordination for Quick Access and Treatment: The advantages of increased accessibility and timely action cannot be ignored. Through care coordination, an accurate and common health record is of paramount importance, along with structured governance for clinical exchange, and the maintenance of electronic health records.
- Reduction in Hospital Readmission and Better Bed Management: Predictive analysis of population health can go a long way in reducing cases of readmission and relapses by leveraging data of at-risk patients. Bed management strategies, during pandemics, can be improved through enhance AI-enabled automation solutions.
- Universal Patient Education Portals and Framework: With the onset of virtual healthcare, the need for online engagement between providers and patients can be enhanced through quantitative surveys and enhance the marketing of virtual portals with a structured framework that minimizes hindrances for the patient as well as the physician.
- Well-integrated Lab Management System for Quick Testing: The recent crisis has made us realize the urgency of accurate and efficient testing modules to face the challenges associated with the evolving nature of healthcare. Automated smart infrastructure reduced manual intervention to offer faster results.
- Wearables for Real-time RPM: With social distancing norms in place, Remote Patient Management (RPM) is evolving at a rapid pace. Patient monitoring that takes place outside of a typical clinical setting is the need of the hour. Wearable devices that can enable real-time tracking are poised for disruption, such as mobile telemetry and continual monitoring software.
- Initiation of Urgent Care Programs Versus Retail Healthcare: With the outbreak of Covid19, there is no denying the critical requirement of Urgent Care Centers (UCCs) are taking precedence over retail clinics as the former lower cost, and increases convenience and accessibility, while the latter involves cumbersome processes and distant locations.
- Robots to Work as Staff to Help Providers Avoid Infections: Digital and robotic technology have already proved its worth in the current crisis by allowing professionals to maintain a distance and avoid direct contact with patients to curb the spread of infection. Effective isolation treatment is crucial for infectious and contagious diseases.
- Wellness Apps Will Get a Boost with Home Fitness Programs: The rise in mobile technology has revolutionized the manner in which we maintain our fitness levels within the confines of our personal spaces. With increased accessibility and convenience, ease of use, and affordability, home fitness programs are the way forward.
- Increased Care Collaboration on Multiple Layers: As the world moves toward distance caregiving approaches, care collaboration, across multiple layers is gaining an impetus like never before. Technological advances and health consumerism have allowed for more effective care coordination through advanced information exchanging.
- Automation in Billing, Payment, and RCM: Systematic processing and policy adherence are established through automated technologies for billing and payment, which in turn provide a stable financial environment for revenue cycle management. All this can be enabled while adhering to quarantines and other safety requirements.
- Mental Health and Behavioural Apps on the Rise: As mental health across the globe deteriorates, this branch of healthcare will need to evolve and emerge as a cost-effective and accessible alternative to the traditional therapy model and should be embraced by mental health professionals to offer innovative solutions that allow patients to manage their own mental health disorders.
- In-home Healthcare as a Major Subindustry: Exactly as the term states, this trend will offer healthcare at home for patients by skilled medical professionals, ranging from nursing care to multiple therapies. With lower costs, more convenience, and equal effectiveness, this form of care-giving is slowly but surely catching up. It is considered a boon during contagions.
- Genomics Data Mapping and Analytics: Through this technological innovation, customized strategic decision is applied through specific patient’s genomic information. Big data analytics identifies relative patterns and complex correlations through the efficient examination of multiple data sets to predict and prevent outbreaks.
- Hospital Capacity Management and Post-acute Planning: As hospitals struggle to manage the rapid inflow of patients during a health crisis, capacity management and efficient post-acute planning can play a vital role in reducing costs and managing expenses. Beyond that, it also enhances patient experience through robust automation and analytic tools.
- Healthcare Employee Portals for Education Programs: Streamlined communication, increased focus on key initiatives, efficient updating and maintenance of information, enhanced inter-department connections, and process automation are among the many benefits of employee portals that have evolved as a necessity during trying times.
- AI-enabled Drug Development: Through Machine Learning (ML) and other innovative technologies, pharmaceuticals are being developed at a pace that has never been witnessed before. Drug development is set to make massive advances through AI-enabled technologies. During pandemics, time is of the essence.
- Growth of Pharmacogenetics for Community Health: The manner in which a patient’s genetics will affect their reaction of a certain drug has grown exponentially and is proving to be a valuable resource in the analysis and administration of caregiving towards community health. During a contagion, this study can be beneficial in relative treatments.
- Patient Centricity & Specimen Logistics: This is a healthcare approach that keeps the patient at the core of the focus when devising innovative solutions that are designed to offer comprehensive outcomes. Furthermore, specimen logistics technologies work toward efficient recommendation, storage, and transportation for rapid and efficient testing.
- Patient-Directed Home Care Providers: As we realize the necessity of empowering patients to take charge of their health, this approach enables patients to access and utilize healthcare technology to allow them to monitor, report, and record vital information.When physician capacity and availability is limited, this approach serves as a boon.
- Rise in Need of Cybersecurity Due to Increased Digitization: As the world moves into virtual reality, healthcare is no exception. With increased patient records on the internet, multiple innovative apps that record and maintain demographic information, healthcare organizations need to carefully invest in cybersecurity measures.
- Healthcare Supply Chain Management with Robots and Drones: Drones and robots are increasing in popularity with relation to inventory management and delivery in the healthcare sector. They are also vital resources in containing contagions from spreading. The benefits of this technology in the accessibility of pharmaceutical delivery to distant locations is undeniable.
- Impetus on Initiatives Addressing Social Determinants of Health: Environmental factors that affect the health of the population are increasingly coming under the microscope as significant factors that need to be studied and analyzed. Governments, across the globe, are addressing the issue. Toward this end, innovative technologies are being developed.
With hopes set on our emergence from this contagion with optimism and a stronger healthcare mechanism, organizations need to direct their immediate attention toward ensuring that the above-mentioned factors are considered as carefully as possible. The adoption of innovative technologies that cater to the needs of changing times is imperative. OSP strives to bring automation and innovation to the healthcare industry. We are working to solve major healthcare challenges faced by clinical caregivers, health plans, and medical billing companies with modern-day technology.
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Originally published May 8, 2020 7:31 am