Updated on December 3, 2020
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These days, the ‘healthcare industry’ has become a hot topic. Whether it is investing in upsurging pharmaceutical shares or choosing a career – the healthcare sector is on everyone’s list. After all, the skyrocketing growth in this industry is second to none. The healthcare world is consistently evolving to keep up with the increasing demand. 

Epidemiologists are initiating thorough researches to understand the underlying disease patterns. It helps in devising new cures and treatments to overcome unpopular diseases. Since illnesses become more common, the healthcare system will be adapting to new roles and regulations. Nurses will be filling up for clinicians, while practitioners will leverage informatics to improve patient care. 

Similarly, technological innovations will also continue to grow in the coming years. From virtual patient registration, self-care tools to data monitoring – one can expect incredible healthcare industry changes. Smartphones and tablets will be replacing conventional healthcare practices because now, people can undergo a consultation while sitting at home. 

If you want to prepare for these changes, get an idea of what is coming ahead. Here are six changes we should expect in the healthcare system. 

  1. More Specialized Health Education 

Previously, the healthcare systems were run by doctors and nurses but not anymore. Today, the demand for healthcare managers is rapidly increasing. These professionals look after all the administrative tasks – billings, recording patient data, and payroll. They are also familiar with current and potential uses of technology in healthcare, improving patient outcomes. Likewise, the healthcare sector needs finance managers, data analysts, and engineers to keep operations running. 

Moreover, the versatile healthcare degrees are changing the roles of healthcare workers. Nurses can upgrade their position by becoming nurse practitioners to enjoy more responsibilities. Soon, patients will see nurses performing diagnostic procedures and devising treatment plans. With increasing mental health concerns, we will have more psychology and social work degrees to study human minds and behavior. 

  1. Telehealth & Telemedicine 

Even in the 21st century, people living in rural areas and small towns don’t have access to healthcare services. There are hospitals and clinics everywhere but do not have access to the same resources as metropolitan areas. Since the goal is to make healthcare accessible for everyone, healthcare professionals are switching from conventional models. Telehealth is replacing in-person visits with virtual appointments where doctors can treat patients at any time, anywhere. 

It will eliminate the need to travel from one place to another while ensuring everyone gets optimal care. Simultaneously, it improves clinical workflows since the automated tools capture, store, and use patient-data automatically. In addition to streamlining communication, practitioners can devise treatment plans after considering the patient’s medical history. 

Moreover, we would be seeing more mobile health applications in the coming years. It leverages artificial intelligence that recovers data from patients. It also records blood test results, personal health records, illness conditions, and schedules appointments by clicking on the screen.  

  1. New Payment Methods 

With evolving health delivery models, healthcare payment plans are also changing. Instead of traditional payment plans, the healthcare system is introducing concierge models. Here, the physicians charge fees on an annual or monthly basis. It is more like personalized medicine where appointments last longer than they did in the past. Simultaneously, telehealth models are facilitating online payments. Patients can use PayPal or their credit card to foot medical bills. 

These clearly defined payment terms will help in tracking balances across each treatment stage. Thus, easing the paper chase and removing the hassle of storing prescription and billing statements. In addition to flexible payment schedules, we would also be seeing self-funded models. Employers will provide healthcare benefits to employees with the company’s funds while deducting a small social security allowance. 

  1. Use of Data for Patient Care

In this modern era, everyone is reaping the benefits of digitalization, creating an influx of data. The healthcare industry is also using this data to get insights about their patients. Here are a few ways of how data is going to change the healthcare sector

  • Implements Prevention Techniques: Analytical tools aggregate data from direct observations, patient outcomes, and complaints. It identifies the underlying illness patterns that can create chronic conditions. Since data recognizes the chances of illnesses, practitioners can start implementing prevention techniques. 
  • Risk and Disease Management: Undoubtedly, data would facilitate clinical researches, which means researchers can develop new treatment procedures. If we take the example of the global pandemic, epidemiologists are leveraging patient data to prepare vaccines. 
  • New Therapies and Innovations:  Big data is assisting healthcare in making innovative drug discoveries. It utilizes a mix of historical, predictive metrics, and real-time data to devise visualization techniques. Likewise, it unfolds the patient’s struggles and mental health issues to design forward-thinking therapies. 
  1. The rise in Ambulatory Settings 

Surprisingly, the healthcare delivery model will move from inpatient to outpatient facilities. All the surgical procedures happening in hospitals will take place more efficiently in ambulances. This change will occur because of clinical innovations in the healthcare sector. The remote monitoring tools will detect weakening health conditions automatically. Instead of waiting to reach the hospitals, the paramedic will begin the treatment procedure in an ambulance. 

Health authorities are forecasting costs and reimbursement implications in outpatient facilities. Likewise, they analyze changing patient demographics and preferences to see if people will be comfortable with this change. Although it doesn’t seem like an easy transition, it aims is to reduce mortality rates and improve lifespan. 

  1. 3D Printing Devices 

Have you heard of organ failure? At times, human organs stop working. It could be your liver, heart, or lungs, and in such situations, people opt for transplants. They look for a donor who is willing to donate an organ and continue with the transplant procedure. However, the unavailability of donors is becoming a growing reason for deaths. Fortunately, the emerging 3D printing devices are helping the healthcare industry to overcome this problem. 

It would print artificial organs that practitioners can use for transplants. Thus, patients won’t have to wait or be at the risk of losing their lives. Moreover, it can create prosthetics for disabled people, helping them overcome mobility problems. It gives the freedom to choose different shapes, colors, and sizes of their prostheses. However, there is still a long way to go in this particular domain. 

To Conclude, 

Believe it or not, but every industry has to evolve with changing times, and the healthcare sector is no different. In addition to experiencing high demand, this industry has incredible growth prospects. Therefore, we should expect the changing role of health workers, more career opportunities in this sector, and profound technological innovations. All these changes will help the healthcare industry thrive while ensuring optimal healthcare delivery. 

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The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.