Take Note of These Latest Healthcare Trends

The industry has continued to evolve to embrace new technologies

Healthcare in America is in a very dynamic period.  We have already witnessed the introduction of value-based healthcare, population health management and telehealth. New specialty drugs are being developed and approved at a rapid pace. The industry has continued to evolve to embrace new technologies, new models of care and advanced technologies, all of which continue to impact the delivery and quality of healthcare in our nation. Let’s take a look at some of the key trends affecting healthcare in America today.

Value-Based Healthcare Gaining Momentum

The focus on the value-based healthcare model is building with an increased emphasis on payments based on patient outcomes versus the nature and volume of services provided. The intent of value-based healthcare is to curtail unnecessary spending. According to the Frost & Sullivan Report, U.S. Value-Based Care for Medical Technology Growth Opportunities, “Multiple stakeholders, including payers, healthcare providers, and medical technology (medtech) players, can share the revenue risk and incentive for providing better value. The United States is a pioneer in VBC adoption.”

Telehealth and Virtual Healthcare Services Growing

While the COVID-19 pandemic might have made more providers and consumers open to using telehealth primarily out of necessity, it is now commonly used even when options for in-person visits with doctors exist. The convenience, efficiency and cost-effectiveness telehealth offers, has been embraced by consumers of all ages and providers across diverse healthcare settings. Telehealth has also proven to support better patient outcomes. On it’s heals is virtual healthcare whereby patients can speak with Registered Nurses who can assist them with their initial inquiries and escalate the patient’s situation to another medical professional, when needed. The telemedicine market is expected to realize a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.5% and market size of $272.76 billion by 2027 (Frost & Sullivan).

Medical Wearables

Also growing is the use of medical wearables such as those used to monitor a patient’s vitals like heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen levels and physical activity. These devices are especially helpful for complex patients with chronic medical conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, heart disease and hypertension. These are not just being used for patients in home settings, but also for those in other healthcare settings including hospitals and nursing homes. Cardiac wearables are the fastest growing segment of this market due to cardiac patients’ need for continuous monitoring.

AI and Machine Learning in Healthcare on the Rise

Another notable trend in healthcare today is the increasing application of advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. There are now new clinical applications that apply AI that assist in conducting ultrasound scans to identify potential heart failure. Machine Learning is also being used to support better decision-making. By 2027, it is estimated that AI in the healthcare market will have grown at a CAGR of 35.9% to $119.8 billion (Global Industry Analysts).

Growing Recognition of the Need for Greater Cybersecurity

Another key trend in healthcare is the increased recognition for the healthcare industry to improve their cybersecurity. There have been many healthcare institutions having already experienced a data breach or another form of cyber-attack.  In fact, in 2020, healthcare cyber-attacks had increased by 42% (Healthcare Cybersecurity Market – Global Outlook & Forecast 2021-2026).  It is clear to providers that they must deploy the best technologies and practices to protect their proprietary data along with their patient’s sensitive information (i.e., both their health records and personal information such as address and financial information) from cyber criminals. In addition to their responsibilities under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), there are other federal and state laws which require their compliance.

Those in the healthcare industry, as well as those serving the healthcare industry, should take note of these trends and stay abreast of the latest developments in these areas.