A look at some of the innovation and changes expected to impact the industry
While 2018 saw a rise in telemedicine, the introduction of many new pharmaceuticals, advanced cybersecurity for electronic health records, and technological advances that put robotics in the operating room, the new year promises to be even more active. Here are seven trends experts expect will impact the healthcare industry in 2019.
#1: Mining the Value from Value-based Models
Forbes reports that by the end of the year, up to 15 percent of global spending in healthcare will be on value-based or outcome-based care. This is a shift from the existing economic model and reflects the ongoing effort to focus on the results from specific medical treatments.
#2: Enhanced Patient Experiences
As the industry moves to an outcome-based approach, ensuring patients have the best experience possible will be a priority. HealthTech reports that patients have new demands that are prompting “health systems to continue developing digital health tools that can be enable and engage patients in their own care journey.” These tools include electronic health records and streamlined facility websites that easily enable patients to book appointments online or pay a bill.
#3: Increased Information and Data sharing
Sharing data among providers leads to efficiencies, economies of scale, and the potential to better deliver patient care. In 2019, HealthTech reports we can expect to see more programs and applications come to market that will enable data sharing (including electronic health records) among disparate providers.
#4: The Reality of Artificial Intelligence
Providers have ramped up their use of artificial intelligence (AI) to assist with surgeries and procedures and to help identify certain conditions. Forbes reports that in 2019, AI will be a $1.9 billion market and be used for imaging diagnostics, risk analytics, and drug discovery.
Experts interviewed for Becker’s Hospital Review said that AI-enhanced virtual care will also ramp up to help provide personalized advice and care. One expert said that while AI won’t replace humans, it will help to automate tasks to streamline diagnoses and decision making.
#5: Voice-Assisted Healthcare
A growing number of consumers are purchasing voice assistant devices from tech giants like Amazon, Apple, and Google to handle tasks like information seeking or retail purchases. In 2019, voice technologies are also expected to play an important role in healthcare, according to Forbes, particularly with clinical use for chronic condition management and elderly care.
#6: Lifestyle Leads Insurance Coverage
Forbes reports that some insurance companies are attempting to personalize benefits to policyholders and reduce their claims costs by providing data-driven healthcare services. As such, Forbes predicts up to 10 percent of health insurance plans will be linked to the customer’s lifestyle. With this customized approach, insurance agencies can personalize premiums and discounts.
#7: Remote Patient Monitoring
Mobile-enabled remote patient monitoring will continue to gain traction this year, according to Becker’s Hospital Review. This comes as little surprise since smart phone device ownership continues to quickly climb from year to year.