According to research submitted by various experts, the covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the use of digital and virtual technologies in the healthcare industry. Many aspects of the healthcare industry have been enhanced, such as covid testing and tracing, to telehealth and analytics. 2020 gave us an introduction into what the modern world of healthcare tech will start to look like, and 2021 will only bring us more solidified developments. Let’s take a look at different predictions for the changes in healthcare tech for 2021, as featured in an article on Fierce Healthcare.
Firstly, consumers will be leading the way in 2021. Consumers are experiencing varying expectation levels pertaining to digital and virtual healthcare, and businesses have started to take note and adjust their services accordingly. Healthcare organizations will be encouraged to take advantage of technology when supporting patients in their daily lives and social determinants of health. Along with this, virtual care services are expected to expand, but there will undoubtedly be risks involved. 2020 brought in one-ff check-ins, virtual mental health coaching, and more, but the rapid healthcare change came with downsides as well. One negative aspect that is being foreshadowed in 2021 is the rise of covid-19 related medical malpractice lawsuits.
However, 2021 will be a pivotal moment for artificial intelligence and machine learning. According to the National Institutes of Health, they are funding new technology that can detect and repair various issues within medical administration while also assisting in increasing hospital revenues by millions annually. Technology can also help nurses work on the front line and enhance smart speakers and smart cameras to more adequately monitor patients. In addition to this, cloud-based systems will promote more organized access to patient data from anywhere. This will enable better healthcare coordination among facilities and integrate telehealth into daily practice.
Lastly, many predict that large companies such as Amazon, Walmart, and Alphabet will help redesign healthcare. Walmart will begin to become a healthcare provider as well as a healthcare plan using their low-cost-no-frills environment. About 85% of Americans live within a 15 minute driving to Walmart, so it is a very accessible resource for Medicaid recipients in rural environments.