The response to COVID-19 has led to a rapid transformation of healthcare that will continue and be further accelerated in 2022. Digital presents opportunities to transform services by making them more efficient, more secure, and more data-driven, whether in direct patient care or working to research better ways of providing care.
Here are some of the trends we will see in healthcare in 2022.
HEALTHCARE AND PATIENT EXPERIENCE
Application optimisation and modernisation – legacy systems will increasingly shift into modern, flexible, and integrated technology that will easily connect and exchange information with other systems.
Rising Cloud adoption will facilitate access to specific healthcare requirements while aligning with data protection standards and ensuring high availability and cost efficiency. We will, however, continue to see in-house servers or hybrid models for healthcare applications, blending Cloud and on-premises infrastructure – mainly due to concerns around sensitive patient data.
Improved hospital workflow management, from managing staff and patients to finances, legal issues, logistics, and inventory. Automated workflow processes using RPA (robotic process automation) will reduce the potential for errors, improve productivity, help to ensure compliance, and reduce overhead.
Repetitive tasks in the clinical pathway for the patient journey will get further automated, enabling more face-to-face time with patients and an improved quality of care.
Increased transparency, using multi-channel solutions to provide patients with the opportunity to regain visibility of the healthcare services, quality, and cost of healthcare.
Increased use of virtual technologies and new channels to drive deeper engagement in patient interaction, e.g. mHealth, telemedicine, collecting real world evidence.
Internet of Things technology (IoT) will revolutionise healthcare treatment through simplifying access to real-time patient data, allowing remote access to patients, but also encouraging self-monitoring. While focused primarily on fitness goals, wearables will be rapidly expanding into broader medical applications and be used for detection, diagnosis, and treatment. We will witness a much stronger back-end integration of healthcare providers with wearables throughout 2022.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) will further improve the patient experience, leading to an increased level of personalisation from healthcare providers, supporting a strategy of prevention and early detection and intervention.
More healthcare players will look to streamline the patient experience, from searching for a provider, online scheduling for follow-up appointments, and looking to provide more unified, omni-channel solutions to improving the healthcare consumer experience.
As we continue to witness an avalanche of digital solutions for hospitals and patient engagement, as well as a rise in the use of digital tools in healthcare, data privacy and patient safety will and must be at the forefront of every technology provider in 2022.
RESEARCH AND TREATMENT DEVELOPMENT
With regards to the life sciences, we will see an increased usage of AI in drug discovery, especially given the heavy reliance on text-based data – natural language processing (NLP) has long held its potential in this area.
The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) will create more personal health data to be monetised for medical device or drug research. Aggregated, de-identified data from medical devices will be used more and more as a source of revenue.
Accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, clinical trials will continue to be conducted more and more outside of the hospital, and patients will be able to enrol themselves directly from their home.
We will see an increasing number of drugs developed in conjunction with digital therapeutics (DTx) solutions. Patients are likely to get prescribed an app rather than drugs, or an app to supplement a treatment, enabling the physician to track relevant health changes.
Last, but not least, the healthcare industry with its many different players will further accelerate its rapid digital transformation. This development may be somewhat forced by external developments, but it will eventually lead to a more connected, patient-centric healthcare ecosystem. Find out more about how to support the digitally connected patient in our whitepaper.