As a new year begins, there’s often a lot of excitement, wondering what’s to come. It’s no different with the healthcare industry, a field that is ever-evolving and integral to the well-being of everyone. In this blog, we’ll explore some trends that we’re expecting to see in 2024 so that you can prepare to stay current.
What is the current state of the healthcare industry?
Before looking at what’s ahead, it’s a good idea to understand the environment that is the healthcare industry as it stands today. First, healthcare in the United States is more expensive than most other countries. In 2019, the US spent almost 16.8% of its GDP on healthcare, according to the Commonwealth Fund. Comparatively, the country with the second highest costs, Germany, spent 11.7% of their GDP on healthcare. And healthcare spending continues to rise. Additionally, many Americans are uninsured or underinsured, making care access unaffordable for a large number of patients.
We’ve seen a great deal of adoption of technological advancements in the healthcare field recently. It’s important to note that this can increase costs in some circumstances, but many providers are offsetting the cost by harnessing that technology to help patients take a more proactive approach to their health. This allows for early detection and treatment which ultimately lowers care costs overall.
Convenient care has been an area of focus in recent years, with telehealth and remote patient monitoring continuing to see increased adoption even after the initial uptick during the pandemic. This is important for a couple of reasons, both to increase convenience for patients and also to extend the care capabilities of providers. Currently, the United States is facing a physician shortage, as well as many physicians experiencing burnout, so however care can be made more efficient is helpful to both patients and providers.
So this is how we enter 2024, with an industry that is grappling with high costs and a low supply of physicians, figuring out how to make care accessible and affordable for the patients who need it. The following expected trends are largely focused on addressing the current state of the industry.
5 Expected Healthcare Trends for 2024
While there are many possible trends to come in 2024, the following five are definitely ones to keep an eye on.
- Personalized medicine: Many know personalized medicine by another term, precision medicine. This involves creating individualized treatment plans based on genetic and lifestyle factors, and it seems this is set to become more commonplace in 2024, likely leading to improved health outcomes.
- Virtual assistants: We all have virtual assistants on our phones and in our homes, helping us make our grocery list or set a timer when our hands still have ingredients on them. In healthcare, as automation of many kinds continues to increase in 2024, virtual assistants can be used to help clinicians in formulating diagnoses and treatment plans, to help patients by answering care questions, and even to schedule appointments.
- The next stage of telemedicine: Telemedicine has been on the rise for many years, with a large uptick coinciding with the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, using the vast Internet of Things, more detailed patient care can be administered remotely. This can take many forms, but one to look out for is the virtual hospital ward, which allows patients to receive in-depth care while staying in the comfort of their own home.
- Preventative healthcare: Up until recently, healthcare has often been a very reactive industry. In 2024, we can expect to see a more proactive approach to care, with a focus on wellness, exercise, and even immunizations to try to keep patients from getting sick in the first place.
- More focus on mental healthcare across the industry: Traditionally, mental healthcare and physical care were kept fairly separate. In 2024, it’s expected that more physicians in traditionally physically focused specialties, such as primary care, will step up their mental health screenings and refer for specialized care as needed.
Of course, we can’t predict the future with complete certainty, but these trends appear likely to come to pass in 2024 based on the state of our industry now and the goals we want to accomplish.
While changes to the industry and new technologies and care modalities can feel intimidating, it’s important to stay as up to date as possible in order to provide the best possible patient care. At Henry Schein MicroMD, our goal is to provide clinicians with the tools they need to stay current and focus on patient care. From our simple, customizable, and connected MicroMD EMR and our robust MicroMD Practice Management, to amazing telemedicine solutions like Medpod, we are dedicated to equipping you for positive patient outcomes.
To learn more or get started with one of our solutions, visit micromd.com or call 1-800-624-8832.
About the author,
Crystal is a Digital Marketing Specialist at Henry Schein MicroMD. Content creation, social media management, and SEO optimization are just a few of her areas of concentration as she seeks to educate clients and prospects alike about the simple, customizable, and connected solutions we offer at MicroMD.
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