What are some of the most impactful changes you’ve seen in digital healthcare?
Is it the expansion of telehealth services or remote monitoring that took center stage during the height of the pandemic? Perhaps it’s the digitalization of patient data, self-service portals, or even the onset of AI technology as a resource for more accurate diagnoses?
For me, it’s all of the above.
The collaborative drive among healthcare services organizations to provide trustworthy, patient-centered, and affordable care is the focus—and the challenge.
But here’s the good news. Seamless access to standardized data continues to accelerate options for patient care at any time and any place. Remote technology will enable healthcare delivery organizations to monitor real-time patient data better. The pivot from in-patient doctor visits to those conducted via telehealth services is on target to expand access to areas with the greatest need.
As we prepare for 2022, I believe the following four healthcare-centered innovations will remain on the pulse of digital healthcare. Here’s why:
Patient self-service portals
The new patient in 2022 wants to be in charge of their health, and they want a more significant role in patient care decisions, most notably how to receive care, how frequently, which provider, and at what cost.
Six out of 10 Americans had access to a patient portal in 2020, and almost half (40 percent) of us used it at least once. Now nearly half of Americans (43 percent) prefer scheduling appointments online, and most of us (60 percent) enjoy using email or text messaging to schedule appointments. As more healthcare providers and payers move to digital platforms, patients will enjoy more online interactive services.
Remote patient monitoring
Although much of the recent growth in remote patient monitoring was in response to the pandemic, the advantages of using RPM technology are evergreen: increased access to patient care, improved diagnoses through real-time data, and reduced healthcare costs.
A recent survey found that 43 percent of doctors predict that RPM adoption will stay on pace with in-patient monitoring within five years. Paired with EMR technology and in cooperation with more payers, RPM will make its mark with patients in 2022.
Better collaboration among healthcare delivery services
Rather than merely collecting and storing volumes of siloed data, healthcare organizations will make better use of what centralized patient data can tell us about patients’ overall health, what areas of our communities lack adequate patient care, which areas show vulnerabilities to certain areas chronic conditions, etc.
In 2022, and based on a complete medical history, providers and payers can reach out to customers with proactive services like scheduling upcoming appointments, following up on prescriptions, handling billing issues, etc.
Refined AI technology
Watch for more AI technologies applications to produce more accurate diagnoses, streamline the biopsy testing process, and help create a more comprehensive patient medical history. But perhaps the most significant contribution is AI’s role in developing new prescription medicines.
It costs pharmaceutical companies almost $3 billion to research, develop, and monitor new drugs. That also includes the thousands of man-hours necessary to initiate clinical trials, monitor long-term effects, interpret collected data, etc. Today’s AI technology tools can sort through vast volumes of data points housed in digital-based databases to pinpoint commonalities and predictors that help streamline research in finding new treatments with existing medicines and exploring the possibilities in developing new ones.
It’s time for the healthcare industry to lead the charge to innovation. And with a renewed focus on preventative, patient-centered care through automation, thoughtful data collection, interoperability among service providers, and flexibility in forms of care, the future of healthcare is positive.