As the healthcare industry continues to evolve, healthcare practices must stay up-to-date with the latest trends and innovations to provide the best possible care for their patients. As new technological advancements emerge every year, 2023 has several key healthcare trends that practices should be aware of and adopt.
Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare
The healthcare sector will see increased demand for artificial intelligence or AI solutions, particularly machine learning tools. According to experts, the value of AI applications in healthcare will exceed $20 million by this year. High-level AI-aligned technologies, including computer vision, natural language processing, and pattern recognition algorithms, are already prevalent in the healthcare ecosystem and will continue to be adopted as more evidence of their usefulness emerges.
The successful application of AI in drug discovery has improved clinical trial success rates by predicting clinical trial outcomes and potential side effects of new drugs. Furthermore, AI can assist in the early detection of disease by analyzing medical imagery with its computer vision algorithms. It is also helpful in neurology with breakthroughs in treating Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.
AI is also expected to revolutionize clerical work outside of frontline clinical work, enhancing medical record processing to insurance management and claim processing. With the growth of remote healthcare technologies, AI will play a critical role in data analysis from patient wearables and home sensors, providing early warning and predictive diagnoses of various conditions.
AI and machine learning will be prominent in healthcare over the coming years, transforming how the medical sector will deliver its services.
Healthcare services offered by major retailers such as Walmart, Amazon, and CVS will double by this year . The trend of customers receiving medical tests, vaccinations, and check-ups from retailers is growing as these services become more accessible and affordable. Retail healthcare is at odds with traditional healthcare practices, which are facing challenges such as limited budgets and staffing shortages.
Compared to traditional frontline primary care facilities, retail healthcare providers offer a more convenient and cost-effective solution for patients requiring primary care than traditional frontline primary care facilities. By streamlining customer experience and offering more choices, patients are increasingly turning to retail healthcare. According to Forrester’s research, patients are expected to prioritize retail healthcare for their primary care needs, given the capacity limitations of its traditional counterpart.
One of the main advantages of retail healthcare is accessibility, as providers generally do not need to book appointments weeks in advance. In addition, its providers encounter fewer shortages of trained clinical staff, unlike traditional healthcare providers.
Retail healthcare is disrupting the traditional primary care delivery model and will continue to do so as more patients seek out streamlined and cost-effective medical solutions.
Wearable Medical Devices
Wearable technology might be relatively new, but it will continue to achieve widespread adoption in 2023 as individuals increasingly rely on them to monitor health and exercise activity. Clinicians, too, will harness this technology to track patients remotely. The development of the “Internet of Medical Things”  has allowed for rapid growth from simple devices that track basic vital signs to smart wearables capable of sophisticated scans such as ECGs, smart textiles that detect blood pressure and predict the risk of heart attacks, and smart gloves that can reduce tremors in patients with Parkinson’s disease.
Apart from medical conditions, wearable medical devices can also monitor and detect signs of mental illnesses. A recent study demonstrated how physical indicators, such as activity levels, sleep patterns, and heart rate, can alert doctors to patients at risk of depression.
Wearable medical devices will feature processors to utilize in-device analytics without requiring constant data exchange between the device and the cloud. This advancement provides two main benefits: privacy and time efficiency. Sensitive patient data does not leave the device; devices that detect and warn of potentially life-threatening conditions can work in real-time.
This year, the healthcare industry will make significant strides in personalized healthcare delivery, with precision medicine leading. Precision medicine is an innovative approach that customizes treatment plans based on a patient’s age, genetics, and risk factors rather than following a one-size-fits-all approach. This method is becoming increasingly popular in healthcare because it allows for more accurate treatment, higher patient satisfaction, and better patient outcomes.
AI and machine learning can assist in predicting how effective specific drugs will be. The use of both algorithms in healthcare has grown significantly over the years. Healthcare providers use these technologies to process large amounts of medical data to predict patient outcomes accurately. This has helped healthcare providers make better-informed decisions and provide better care to patients.
Personal healthcare also encompasses patient-centered care. Patients increasingly tend to make more decisions about their care, including creating a tailored treatment plan that considers their circumstances, preferences, and beliefs. This approach enhances patient satisfaction, compliance, and overall health outcomes.
Remote Healthcare, Telehealth, and Virtual Medical Assistants
In recent years, the virtual workspace and remote healthcare delivery have seen an increase in application. Though face-to-face appointments are now widely available, many patients and providers have realized that remote care can be more efficient and cost-effective for specific conditions.
Remote healthcare encompasses various models. Home-based care, for instance, is increasingly popular since studies suggest that being in familiar environments and near loved ones can benefit patient outcomes while costing much less than inpatient care. In addition, telemedicine is another widely used model which ranges from simple video calls with a doctor to a more advanced procedure such as remote surgery that utilizes robotic technology to perform operations on a patient in a distant location.
Following the widespread implementation of telehealth, there is also an increase in the demand for virtual medical assistants and the services they render. These remote professions help streamline administrative tasks such as scheduling appointments, updating patient records, and sending reminders.
By automating these tasks, virtual medical assistants allow medical professionals to focus on providing high-quality care to their patients while cutting overhead and infrastructure costs. Ultimately, these increase the efficiency and productivity of medical practices.
Healthcare is transitioning and will only continue to shift and evolve in the next few years. These trends can work alongside one another to further improve the quality of care that patients receive and reduce healthcare expenses. For these reasons, medical practice leaders should keep these trends in mind to understand where the industry is heading and make informed decisions on which technologies are useful and effective.
As highlighted in this article, virtual medical assistants are becoming an increasingly popular addition to healthcare practices. These professionals possess the necessary skills and knowledge to provide quality assistance to providers while effectively minimizing financial implications.
To learn more about virtual medical assistants and how they can benefit healthcare practices, book a 10-minute discovery call with My Mountain Mover today! Our team can provide valuable insights and guidance on integrating virtual medical assistants into practices and how to make the most out of them.