While the COVID-19 pandemic caused a rapid increase in technology integration in healthcare in a short period of time, a static landscape for digital health funding and a decreased demand for virtual care suggested that technology adoption was slowing down at the end of 2022. Despite the addition of cyber attacks and privacy concerns to the mix, experts still predict that technology is going to play a significant role in improving U.S. healthcare in 2023.
Telehealth focuses on “more high-value” care
The peak of telehealth came in the spring of 2020 as demand for urgent care rose at the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the world adjusts to the new normal of the post-pandemic world, telehealth is predicted to shift from urgent care visits to virtual care for chronic needs. Many clinicians today utilize telehealth to check on patients on recovery after surgeries or chemotherapy as well as to check up on patients with chronic illnesses who need follow ups. This increase in “more high-value” care generates enough volume to make up for the decrease of telehealth utilization demand for urgent care cases caused by the pandemic. Experts predict that telehealth will re-define how clinicians’ approach different kinds of patient care in 2023.
Artificial Intelligence Technology (AI)
Use of artificial intelligence in healthcare has been a hot topic with immense potential in the most recent years. “The Food and Drug Administration has been accelerating approvals of medical artificial intelligence tools, authorizing more than 520 devices as of November.” The approval of more devices will encourage more healthcare organizations to implement AI technology into their operations such as revenue cycle management, clinical decision support and patient engagement in support of their staff.
The increasing use of AI in healthcare can bring numerous benefits to the industry. One of the major advantages is the improvement in efficiency and accuracy of medical processes. With AI tools, healthcare organizations can streamline their operations, reducing errors and saving time. For example, AI can be used to analyze large amounts of patient data to support clinical decision-making, identify potential health risks, and develop personalized treatment plans. Additionally, AI can also be used to enhance patient engagement, such as through chatbots that can answer frequently asked questions and provide health education. The increased adoption of AI in healthcare has the potential to transform the industry and improve patient outcomes.
Moreover, the integration of AI in healthcare can also lead to cost savings. By automating certain tasks and reducing the need for manual labor, healthcare organizations can reduce their operational costs. Additionally, the use of AI can also help to improve patient outcomes and reduce readmissions, which can result in lower overall healthcare costs. For example, AI can be used to monitor patients remotely, detecting potential health issues early on and preventing more serious and costly conditions from developing. This not only benefits the patients, but it also benefits the healthcare system as a whole by reducing the burden on hospitals and reducing healthcare spending. The potential of AI in healthcare is enormous and it has the ability to make a significant impact on the industry and improve patient care.
Technology: Cybersecurity And Privacy Becomes A Priority
As the healthcare industry’s use of technology grows, so do the risks of cyber attacks and privacy breaches. According to a December 2022 research, “ransomware attacks on hospitals more than doubled between 2016 and 2021” and approximately 42 million patients’ data was exposed in the five year time frame. Experts predict that healthcare organizations will have to re-evaluate their budgets to accommodate the need for increased cybersecurity and improve processes to prioritize protecting patients’ privacy. In addition to organizational changes, experts expect lawmakers to prioritize policies targeting cyber security regulations and privacy protection in the healthcare world.
Technology continues to branch out to new aspects of healthcare each day, and experts believe it will be a valuable asset to healthcare organizations in redefining healthcare in the U.S. in 2023.