By Cassandra Cousineau Manager, Strategic Content and Engagement, GoMo Health
The healthcare industry is constantly evolving. As we dive into the mix of leading-edge technologies and witness the evolution of service delivery and patient-centered care, it’s crucial for us, the professionals and stakeholders, to stay on our toes. It’s not just about keeping up; it’s about staying competitive in this dynamic landscape. These significant changes are propelling innovation and setting new healthcare industry trends in 2024.
Five key trends likely to shape the healthcare industry in 2024
Artificial Intelligence (AI) in healthcare
Virtual technologies to improve patient health outcomes
Population health management to increase patient engagement
Digital initiatives aimed at reducing care delivery costs
AI-powered Insights Revolutionizing Healthcare:
There isn’t a conversation happening around 2024 healthcare trends (or anywhere, for that matter!) that doesn’t include AI. AI is emerging as the linchpin of healthcare innovation, streamlining processes and elevating diagnostic capabilities.
Why is there so much emphasis on AI-powered insights in 2024? Bob Gold, Chief Behavioral Technologist and Founder, GoMo Health maintains, “Patients want more flexibility when it comes to engaging with their providers.” By analyzing large data sets, machine learning enables monitoring of patient health outside of traditional brick and mortar clinical settings. Remote patient monitoring (RPM) can detect anomalies and personalize treatment plans to meet the specific needs of individual patients.
As it relates to the revenue side of healthcare, AI aids proactive healthcare by identifying high-risk individuals for preventive interventions and better chronic condition management. This can reduce healthcare costs and improve long-term revenue by preventing costly complications.
Virtual Technologies in Patient Care
Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are making their mark on healthcare as indispensable tools. Patients will benefit from virtual health experiences, such as consultations and remote monitoring, improving accessibility to healthcare services. Recently, VR has shown advancements in reducing pain perception, anxiety, and the need for traditional pain medications, offering a non-pharmacological and patient-centered solution beyond pain management in healthcare settings.
The immersive nature of virtual technologies promises better patient outcomes and an enhanced overall healthcare experience. Virtual technologies are set to revolutionize healthcare delivery.
VR is being used to train healthcare professionals through realistic simulations. Surgeons, for example, can practice complex procedures in a virtual environment before performing them on actual patients. This enhances skill development and reduces the risk of errors during real surgeries.
Here’s how it works: AR helps remind patients to take medicine at the right time. It’s a friendly mobile reminder that helps keep health routines on track.
Further, AR applications can assist in managing chronic diseases by providing patients with real-time information about their health status. This can include medication reminders, vital sign monitoring, and personalized health insights, contributing to better disease management and prevention of complications.
VR and AR integrated with wearable devices can remotely monitor and manage chronic diseases, providing real-time health data for healthcare providers to proactively intervene. No more feeling overwhelmed by medical jargon—AR and VR tools can explain conditions using virtual worlds to show cause and effect in a truly patient-centered way. It’s more like having a health coach right in your pocket, guiding the patient through the ups and downs of managing a chronic condition, improving patient outcomes, and reducing healthcare costs.
Telemedicine on the Rise
As we look ahead to healthcare trends in 2024, telemedicine stands as a beacon of transformation, building on the momentum gained in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. The increasing preference for virtual consultations, borne out of convenience and accessibility, is shaping a new era for healthcare delivery.
Notably, telehealth platforms are seamlessly intertwining with electronic health records (EHRs), creating a more comprehensive approach to patient care. Everyday practices like RPM, digital prescriptions, and virtual follow-ups are becoming second nature, bridging the divide between healthcare providers and patients. This intricate integration is more than a shift; telemedicine is a personalized evolution that promises to redefine the very essence of how we receive and experience healthcare services.
Patient Engagement at the Forefront
In the world of healthcare, patient engagement is stepping into the spotlight as a game-changer for health outcomes. Brace yourself for the era of personalized health plans, real-time health tracking, and proactive communication, where the patient is a key decision-maker in their well-being, paving the way to address health disparities and for better patient health outcomes as a whole.
There is already a strong commitment to nurturing genuine interactions between patients and providers. Technology is an ally in this journey – mobile health apps, wearable devices, and patient portals are all set to empower the patient to actively participate in their healthcare experience.
Improving the quality of healthcare and making it more affordable depends on giving people the experiences they need at every step of their health journey. Industry leaders can guide consumer health choices and influence loyalty by providing digital tools that help them through their healthcare journeys.
Progression of the Digital Revolution in Healthcare
The broader digital revolution will continue transforming healthcare delivery models. From digitizing health records to integrating smart healthcare devices, the entire industry is undergoing a digital metamorphosis.
In the context of healthcare, interoperability is crucial for the effective sharing and utilization of health information across various platforms and systems. It enables different health IT systems and software applications to communicate, exchange data, and use the exchanged information.
This can involve sharing patient records, test results, treatment plans, and other relevant health information among healthcare providers, hospitals, laboratories, pharmacies, and other entities involved in patient care. As a 2024 healthcare trend, interconnected ecosystems will enhance collaboration among healthcare professionals, improve diagnostic accuracy, and facilitate data-driven decision-making.
The evolution of healthcare puts our industry beyond reacting to issues to being more proactive and delivering personalized care experiences. By fully embracing these trends, we’re enhancing the efficiency of healthcare delivery by putting the power back into the hands of individuals to take charge of their health and well-being.
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