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The healthcare sector radically transformed to adopt new technology, but it was the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis that truly compelled both the public and private sectors to move ahead with digitalization. With ease like online appointments, remote medical scribes, doorstep delivery of medicines, and online checkups, the telehealth industry is reaping benefits like never before.
The development of the telehealth sector is opening up new opportunities in the market, so much so that according to the National Health Interview Survey, 37% of adults used telemedicine whereas it is estimated that the use of telehealth has increased 38 times since the COVID-19 pandemic. This rise shows how patients are more comfortable getting telehealth services.
In 2023, far-reaching changes are expected that will drastically improve the telehealth sector. Besides, e-health investments are seen to be on an unprecedented increase. However, there will be new challenges, especially with the impact of the global economic situation.
Whether we talk about recommended health exams for aging people or online health check-ups for normal colds, telehealth is becoming a game changer in providing convenience to patients and medical professionals. Here are the latest trends when it comes to Telehealth:
1. Telehealth Expansion:
During the COVID-19 crisis, we experienced a major boom in telehealth. Similarly, in 2023, it is expected that telehealth services will further develop and extend to other specialties such as monitoring patients’ post-surgery recovery, monitoring serious illness, monitoring chronic diseases, or monitoring mental health.
Also, with better coordination of care paths through innovative technology, we can expect the development of a hybrid healthcare system involving both remote healthcare and face-to-face healthcare services. Therefore, we can say that telehealth services are here to stay.
2. Better Care with Artificial Intelligence:
The healthcare sector has been using artificial intelligence for a long time. But, the implementation of AI has significantly accelerated in recent years. This trend will continue in 2023 with some major updates in AI systems.
AI and machine learning techniques help healthcare providers to collect, analyze, and exploit data that can automate systems. This automation allows medical professionals to focus on significant tasks whereas AI systems perform recurring tasks. Hence, it is predicted that AI solutions will continue to support telehealth care services.
The future trends will likely be more inclined towards diagnostics through virtual assistants, orientation of patients, computer-assisted surgery, improved drug development, and better treatments.
3. Improving Patient Care with loT:
The Internet of Things has proved to be one of the most beneficial technological advancements as it allows several medical devices to be connected to the Internet. These connected devices help patients to become more involved in their treatment process, making them more informed at every step. This is achieved by using devices that can check patients’ heart rate, blood pressure, or temperature. The results are directly communicated to doctors, who can remotely monitor them.
With loT involvement, future trends are looking very promising. Such devices will allow chronic patients to manage their conditions in a better way. Additionally, doctors will be able to prepare patients for any emergency.
4. Increase in Interoperability of Healthcare Solutions and Systems:
A major challenge that the telehealth sector is currently facing is interoperability between various software and digital solutions. We know that digital healthcare solutions require multiple software applications working together. These solutions require extensive training to master. However, smooth operations are dependent on the interoperability of the solutions.
The goal of digital solutions is to allow healthcare professionals to access patients’ health records quickly and securely. For future trends, healthcare providers need to improve the interoperability of solutions.
5. Health Data Security:
Patients have always been concerned about strengthening the security and confidentiality of their healthcare data. After the COVID-19 pandemic, people showed more acceptance of digital healthcare. Beyond quality treatment and efficiency, now patients also ask for the security and confidentiality of their personal information.
The future outlook of the telehealth sector is challenging in terms of security. To reduce cybersecurity threats, solution providers will have to invest in security infrastructure not only to meet requirements but ensure a high level of data protection for patients. This can only be achieved by implementing best practices. More robust authentication processes, health data compliance certification, and the use of other third-party cybersecurity solutions will help in securing data.
The trends developed during COVID-19 had a significant impact on global healthcare and these trends are expected to continue in 2023 as well. The pace of digitalization is accelerating exceptionally, as a result, patients are receiving quality care.