Healthcare is a hot topic every year, and being able to understand both the financial and consumer trends in the industry better prepares healthcare professionals for the future ahead. Healthcare spending is expected to increase across the world, from 4.9% in North America and up to 8.7% in the Middle East and Africa. The increase in spending throughout the Global South is sure to work towards raising the global life expectancy even further. With increased international cooperation in the healthcare industry and advances in Electronic Medical Reports and blockchain technology, new innovations are likely to occur on the grand stage.
For now, however, the trends that will dictate and direct healthcare professionals in 2020 are as follows:
1. Patient-Centered Approach
The patients will receive greater focus. With such a patient-centered approach, it is imperative that healthcare professionals stay on top of the healthcare trends that their patients are excited to try. For example, stem cell therapy, though still in the early stages, has attracted the attention of a lot of patients and being familiar with the procedure, as well as its uses and benefits, is essential for providing quality care that encourages open dialogue between the healthcare professional and the patient. More alternative medicine will, therefore, become mainstream, allowing healthcare professionals to care not just for the body but also for the wellbeing of their patients.
2. Digitized Medicine
The internet and the new technologies available right at home mean that digitized medicine is going to become the new norm. No longer will patients have to go to the clinic; instead, web-based portals can be used, as well as telemonitoring. 3D printing of organs, robotically enhanced surgery – all of this is becoming a reality. Digitized medicine places the patient more closely in line with their health and allows healthcare professionals on all stages to provide better, more cost-effective care to everyone in their charge.
Wearable technology that captures health data has become more common. Many people today have fitness trackers to keep them up to date with their progress, and this has made the technology in question much more streamlined and affordable. Doctors and healthcare professionals may even prescribe these wearables as a part of a patient’s recovery, as it will allow them to monitor their health from afar. Examples of wearables beyond just watches include smart pills that monitor medication, a heart rate monitor patch and an insole sensor that monitors weight, balance and even your temperature. There are so many ways that wearables can revolutionize the healthcare industry.
4. Big Data
Finally, Big Data. Characterized as non-personal data in massive volumes, Big Data is key to understanding health trends, uncovering new diseases and even determining the effectiveness of certain recovery methods. Big Data can even refer to all the data from a single patient’s wearables, which are transferred remotely to their healthcare provider. The previous constraints to Big Data were privacy issues and public opinion. Both seem to have been tackled, with huge investments in IT making headway in creating secure systems and the public recognizing the benefits of a personalized health data approach to their care.