The healthcare industry is constantly changing. As new technologies emerge and digital health accelerates at a rapid pace, it is important to keep abreast of trends and invest in strategic areas that can bring significant value and innovation to your organization.
Advancements in AI, wearables and telehealth systems are taking the industry by storm, making it more important than ever to deliver a personalized, empowering and easy to navigate healthcare journey. Furthermore, we have seen a huge shift of focus to addressing mental health, for employees, healthcare professionals and patients/consumers, as well as an emphasis on reducing healthcare inequities.
To kick-off the year, we highlighted seven key healthcare trends to keep an eye on in 2023.
1. Remote Healthcare in All Forms
The pandemic accelerated the adoption and advancement of remote healthcare delivery including at-home care and telehealth, and this trend does not appear to be slowing down. According to the American Medical Association, in 2016 just 14% of physicians were available to virtual visits, that number jumped to 80% in 2022.
We can likely anticipate that remote care delivery will continue to be a rapidly growing trend in 2023, especially as the cost of delivering in-person healthcare rises and worker shortages remain.
2. Healthcare Services within Retail
Big box retailers offering healthcare services in-store that have been traditionally delivered by providers, hospitals and clinics is a fast-growing outlet. According to researchers at Forrester, the amount of healthcare business conducted through retail outlets will double during 2023.
In a time when health systems and organizations have been struggling (and failing) to meet patient expectations and demand, retailers have been able to provide accessible, convenient and low-cost care for patients. Expect to see even more retail healthcare innovation and expansion this year as other retailers look to join CVS, Walgreens, Walmart and Amazon to provide these services.
3. Personalization of Care Plans
Personalization is a trend that can be seen in many markets, and healthcare is one of them. As patients and consumers become more savvy and proactive in their care, they are looking for a more personalized approach, uniquely tailored to them.
No two people are identical when viewed from a combined emotional, behavioral, physical, and metabolic perspective, which means that they cannot be treated the same. The need for healthcare systems and organizations to invest in technology that can provide custom care is not new but is necessary to improve patient experiences and, in turn, engagement.
4. Adoption of AI
Advancement of trends like AI and robotics can have a huge impact on healthcare. AI has the potential to improve patient care and streamline workflows, allowing providers across the continuum of care to focus on delivering care for their patients — if the technology considers the specific needs of the patients and personnel including diversity and social determinants of health.
While this is absolutely a trend to look out for and invest in, it is very important to implement AI technology properly to reduce machine bias and avoid complications.
5. Utilization of Wearable Tech
As individuals take healthcare into their own hands – oftentimes literally – there has been a steady increase in wearable tech. Continuous health monitoring through these devices has enabled data-driven, personalized care delivery, and we will continue to see a rise in organizations utilizing wearables as part of treatment plans.
According to the World Health Organization, the global prevalence of anxiety and depression increased by 25% during the COVID-19 pandemic, showcasing the growing need to enhance behavioral health services and incorporate these services across the board.
In 2023, health systems, employers, community organizations and others will continue building out their behavioral health services, with employers specifically focused on the health and wellbeing of their employees through enhanced benefits and mental health offerings. Given that depression interferes with a person’s ability to complete physical job tasks about 20% of the time and reduces cognitive performance about 35% of the time, employee wellbeing programs have the potential to create lasting, positive change within an organization, while dramatically reducing healthcare costs for employers and increasing productivity of employees.
7. Focus on Health Equity
As the focus on diversity, equity and inclusion continues to drive change, the healthcare sector will be taking steps to address access to care and social determinants of health. Organizations including the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will be implementing further requirements to collect data on social determinants of health for patient populations. In addition to just data collection, we will see the development of solutions to target these factors.
As more and more organizations begin to focus on health equity, it is more important than ever to activate, implement and scale programs that reduce gaps in care and diversity.
2023 is shaping up to be an exciting year ahead in healthcare. GoMo Health continues to be focused on bringing positive change to healthcare and patient engagement – or as we call it, Wellness Rising.