Top Healthcare Industry Trends to Watch in 2023 and Beyond

To succeed in this increasingly competitive environment, healthcare organizations need to make significant investments in processes and technologies to cut down costs, increase access to care delivery, and improve medical care.

Insight categories: Digital TransformationHealthcare

The healthcare ecosystem is rife with competing interests and forces, from rapidly evolving technologies and shifting government policy to the complex regulatory environment and needs of consumers, payors and providers. Business models are constantly under pressure in this space, and yet innovation tends to be more difficult than in other industries. Legal and policy hurdles, uncertain funding, and evolving revenue models are among the factors complicating digital transformation for healthcare organizations. 

As Chet Kolley, SVP & GM of Medical Technology here at GlobalLogic, shared with Healthcare Innovation News recently, “From complex regulatory constraints and outdated technical models and mindsets to interoperability issues and rapidly changing business models, healthcare is foundationally challenged to handle transformative innovations.”

Given these complexities and competing priorities, where should your organization focus your efforts and resources next? Here are the top trends for innovators and decision-makers in healthcare to keep an eye on in the months ahead.

1. Remote & Virtual Care

The COVID pandemic was telehealth’s watershed moment, as evidenced by a 300% spike in virtual care inquiries in H1 2020 alone. The trend of increased demand for remote and virtual care options continued throughout the pandemic and drove a broad consumer acceptance of these methods of care delivery that we can expect to persist in the years ahead. The patient experience of seeking and receiving care has fundamentally changed – and there are business benefits, too. America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) predicts that telehealth could help save the United States as much as $4.28 billion on health care spending per year. 

Telehealth is just the beginning, and there is much work to be done in the months and years ahead. To shape the future of disruptive innovation in healthcare for everyone’s benefit, there are three major challenges we must tackle on a global and multi-stakeholder level, according to Gaurav Gupta, Vice President – Engineering. The first, he said, is that we “reduce the burden of hospital visits for patients, their families, and caregivers.”

Harnessing the potential of data and technology can streamline physicians’ work, optimize systems, improve patient outcomes, reduce human error, and even lower costs through enhanced web and mobile experiences, he explained.

Other benefits of remote care supported by advanced technology include:

  • Expanded access to healthcare and the democratization of services.
  • Reduced physical contact between patients and their care providers.
  • Improved care for critically or chronically ill patients who need frequent checkups and ongoing monitoring to ensure continuity of care.

Focus on these beneficial outcomes and use them as criteria in evaluating and prioritizing innovations.  

2. Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) & Wearables

Patients are getting more and more involved in managing their own personal health. Our wearables and connected devices help us make healthy lifestyle choices and address specific diseases such as COPD, heart arrhythmia, asthma, pain management, and many others. IoMT devices monitor their own performance, too, using predictive maintenance to reduce costly downtime.

Even insurers are realizing the benefits of wearables, with some offering reduced insurance premiums to those who take preventative measures and provide monitoring data. Businesses are seeing there are advantages to providing them to employees, and they’re becoming less cumbersome to wear around, too. Gartner predicts that by 2024, miniaturizing capabilities will advance to the point that 10% of all wearable technologies will become unobtrusive to the user.

eMarketer predicts the U.S. smart wearable user market is poised to grow 25.5% YoY in 2023, and the diversity of devices on the market is already tremendous. Some of the more popular wearable medical device usages include:

  • Smartwatches for health
  • Wearable continuous glucose monitors (CGM)
  • Wearable pain management devices
  • Wearable cardiovascular disease management devices
  • Wearable EEG monitors

There are many other growing areas where IoT and wearables can be applied to improve patients’ health and overall lifestyle (e.g., smart pills, smart hospitals, patient identification, etc.). Explore more use cases here:

Click to read Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) Case Studies

3. Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Machine Learning (ML)

The role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is growing and is expected to be one of the major trends in healthcare in the upcoming years, with the demand for precision medicine and cost reduction being key drivers. AI can transform any area of healthcare, from hospital workflow tasks to diagnosing health conditions, providing process automation, and increasing diagnostic accuracy.

AI mimics human reasoning using big data processing and pattern recognition, making quicker and more precise work of data analysis for medical research, diagnostics, long-term care planning, and more. AI and ML are also fueling rapid advancement in how digital twins are being used in healthcare, where they are helping to improve patient and clinician experiences, patient data security, 

Many companies — from startups to major players like IBM, Google, and Microsoft — already have their own AI healthcare projects and are investing in this area more and more. Soon, AI and machine learning technologies will be used across the entire healthcare ecosystem, from simple consumer health applications to complex disease management and clinical decision support.

Here are just a few examples of how AI/ML are being applied in healthcare today:

  • AI/ML algorithms are being used to obtain insights to improve diabetes care and outcomes. 
  • Giving human radiologists an AI assist in analyzing and reading images, enabling faster processing times and the detection of anomalies that escape the human eye.
  • AI chatbots powered by NLP gather and “triage” patient information, directing queries to the right medical professional.
  • Pattern recognition in patient genetics and healthcare data analysis to aid in tailoring treatment to the patient’s unique needs.
  • Significantly reducing the drug development cycle with AI-power efficiencies throughout the process.

4. Medical Robotics & Embedded Devices

Robots are revolutionizing the medical world, and mobile robotic applications are one specific use case with major impacts on patient experience. Collaborative mobile robots can be adapted and waterproofed to assist patients with functional disabilities in showering, for example, which otherwise requires the aid of a human caregiver. This system enables the patient to shower alone, supported by the robot acting on their commands, returning both dignity and independence to the patient. 

Robots can also be used for rehabilitation and physical therapy (e.g., bionics, exoskeletons, next-gen wearable robots), elder-care assistance, autism (i.e., to enhance social interaction skills), and simplifying surgery. In fact, surgical robots comprise the largest component of the medical robotics market. Frost & Sullivan forecasts that by 2025, 80% of surgical procedures are likely to be performed by robots.

Embedded devices have become a fundamental part of how medical treatment is delivered, too. Growth and innovations in the space are being propelled forward by the increased computational power and quality of visual presentation in modern mobile devices, the advent of 5G, and consumer demand for preventative care. Embedded solutions are being used for:

  • Patient monitors
  • Surgical robots
  • Cochlear implants
  • External and implantable cardiac defibrillators
  • Insulin pumps/glucose monitors
  • Ultrasound machines
  • Pain management systems

Explore two use cases, a defibrillator/patient monitoring system and a next-generation insulin pump, here:

Click to read Embedded Medical Device Software Development Case Studies

5. Healthcare Data Intelligence

Having a big data strategy is imperative for making improvements to patient care and experience by reducing medication errors, facilitating preventative care and solving persistent pain points caused by fragmented, siloed patient data. 

It’s just as important for research and clinical trial companies, too, which must stay on top of cutting-edge techniques and opportunities and improved testing processes for analyzing large datasets. Blockchain is one technology proving effective in improving record accuracy and preventing healthcare data breaches. 

Blockchain-based healthcare systems can solve various challenges, such as data interoperability, integrity, security, portability, and many more. Medical records and information about transactions between patients and their healthcare professionals are more accessible to all parties, including insurance providers, even as security is enhanced, thanks to blockchain technology.

Conclusion

Innovative healthcare technologies are making healthcare more accessible, affordable, and personalized for patients. 

These solutions empower physicians and other healthcare providers to build trust and better serve their patients’ needs with faster, easier access to test results, dosing recommendations, medical imagery, and other healthcare data needed to impact patient outcomes positively. 

GlobalLogic helps our healthcare partners revolutionize patient and clinician experiences and outcomes through our deep experience in SaMD, IoMT, health data intelligence and diagnostics, and regulated software development. We help some of the world’s leading Medical Technology, Medical Device, Clinical Research, and Diagnostics organizations bring products to market faster, uncover and capture new revenue streams, and transform healthcare through technology and innovation. 

How can we help you?

More helpful resources:

Author

top 5 healthcare trends to watch in 2023 and beyond

Author

Yana Arnautova

Manager, Sales Enablement

View all Articles

Top Authors

Mark Norkin

Mark Norkin

Consultant, Engineering

Sujatha Malik

Sujatha Malik

Principal Architect

Diego Mujica

Diego Mujica

Solution Architect

Alvaro Soria

Alvaro Soria

Solution Architect

All Categories

  • URL copied!