The world of healthcare has changed drastically in the last few years. While usage of digital technology in this sector is not a novelty anymore, the way we have been compelled to drastically digitize our efforts in healthcare delivery is unprecedented. The pandemic has accelerated the health tech industry in a way that would have otherwise taken several more years to accomplish. Apart from changing healthcare delivery, there is more emphasis on using technology as an enabler. This has also led to the emergence of certain trends that are expected to become major drivers of the industry in 2023 and beyond.
Rise of preventive care – One of the primary shortcomings of Indian healthcare system has been the lack of focus on preventive care. It is understandable that the large population, geographic area to cover, and limitations of human as well as technological resources created a scenario where healthcare services were offered/accessed only when someone fell ill. However, with digital diagnostics devices, internet connectivity, and growing awareness about diseases and their causes, 2023 will witness a greater adoption of the preventive healthcare approach by service providers and general public alike.
The growth of AI – AI has been a game changer for almost every service vertical and healthcare industry has been one of the biggest beneficiaries. We will now see AI integration go beyond analysis of data, research and chatbots etc. There are several diseases that remain difficult to treat due to lack of adequate understanding of symptoms, detection and delivery of care. For instance, Alzheimer’s and various types of cancers and heart ailments continue to evade detection through conventional processes. AI will also facilitate greater analysis of patient data that is collected through devices in patients’ homes. This trend of AI-assisted diagnosis for complex healthcare problems will see greater traction.
Remote healthcare – Remote healthcare has been a major capacity booster for the medical community in the recent times. The bulk of medical services provided by clinicians usually doesn’t require emergency intervention, and with right tools and expertise, remote healthcare delivery can be equally effective. Whether it is treating a COVID patient in isolation or supporting home-healthcare services, we will see a greater acceptance and coverage of options like telemedicine and remotely controlled robotic surgeries.
Wearable devices – Health tech evolution and the rise in disease awareness has made people conscious of own health conditions. Almost every millennial and educated person in urban as well as rural environment is now placing greater emphasis on monitoring vitals and remaining alert about any symptoms or disease indicators. We will see wearable devices such as Continuous Glucose Monitors, smart bands and heart monitors etc., grow in demand in 2023.
Personalized healthcare – Doctors are using the most advanced health tech tools and digital diagnostic devices to provide more personalized care. Management of chronic ailments such as diabetes is going to be driven by custom diet, workout and mental health support delivered through smart devices. This patient-centric and personalized service delivery will lead to superior outcomes and experience for all stakeholders.
Subscription-based home healthcare – At the peak of the pandemic, there was a war like urgency shown in the healthcare arena. All stakeholders were constantly engaging with each other and working to scale sectors like home healthcare by deploying cutting-edge technologies. However, now that things have normalized, the urgency to address healthcare challenges was missing in 2022. On the other hand, caregivers are constantly trying to refine and expand the diversity of subscription-based home healthcare services. We would witness a significant surge in subscription-based home healthcare services especially as corporate healthcare programmes will integrate such preventive approaches to reduce the burden of actual healthcare expenditure on insurance etc.
Heath tech evolution and the trends emerging from it are going to be beneficial for the entire ecosystem. Hospitals can offload non-critical care burden to remote and home healthcare services, diagnostic accuracy and access can be improved through wearables and digital devices. Consumers will thus get better quality of care at comparatively affordable prices. These are going to be the key health tech trends in 2023 and will create a landscape of future universal healthcare for all!
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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