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The Future of Health Care: Observing New Trends

World changes with each generation due to economic factors, population fluctuations, and the rapid development of information and communications technology (ICT). That affects the healthcare market with visible trends entailing the change. Vogenberg and Santilli (2018) allocate eight themes that attribute key trends in the healthcare delivery system:

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  • A decline in rural population puts rural hospitals at risk of closure.
  • Consumerism dictates rising expectations for healthcare as prices continue to grow.
  • Workforce and workplace changes stimulate employers to expand employees’ healthcare benefits.
  • More employees turn to HDHPs as the healthcare benefits cost contribution rises; the pricing for specialty drugs becomes the main determinant of the healthcare cost increase.
  • Integrated care reforms in healthcare delivery continue to be a trend, while the support for ambulatory care increases as it is more economical.
  • With a rapid technological advance, the use of new ICT in healthcare delivery opens new prospects.
  • The need to reconsider the metrics and matrix of the drug supply chain becomes more pressing due to stakeholders’ unclear practices and third parties’ involvement.
  • Public and private sectors will further fragment the healthcare market if the government stays dormant to take action regarding market dynamics.

ICT use in healthcare and the ambulatory approach are the most significant trends because they will directly change the healthcare delivery system. Wearable devices with sensors and mobile applications to promote a healthy lifestyle are increasingly widespread (Vogenberg & Santilli, 2018). Such devices contribute to telemedicine and telehealth, which implies transferring the patient’s telemetric data to the healthcare provider. That allows monitoring the patient’s health condition and reacting to emergencies without the patient’s direct involvement. Nikou et al. (2020) argue that “digital healthcare technologies are important enablers for elderly people to live independently at home for a longer period of time” (p. 1). Moreover, artificial intelligence (AI) can help physicians in their decision-making and organizational aspects (Vogenberg & Santilli, 2018). The use of telemetric and AI will become universal in the future, with most patients in care never leaving their homes.

Telemetric will make ambulatory care as efficient as inpatient care. ICT and well-being programs will be for general use, allowing personalized medicine for every patient’s individual needs, virtual reality for physicians’ training, patients’ relaxation, and recovery. By consolidating healthcare providers and services, healthcare delivery becomes more productive. Standardizing technology and care will aggregate healthcare practices and outcomes, making healthcare delivery more beneficial for both physicians and patients.

References

Nikou, S., Agahari, W., Keijzer-Broers, W., & de Reuver, M. (2020). Digital healthcare technology adoption by elderly people: A capability approach model. Telematics and Informatics, 53, 101315, 1– 18. Web.

Vogenberg, F. R., & Santilli, J. (2018). Healthcare trends for 2018. American Health & Drug Benefits, 11(1), 48–54. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'The Future of Health Care: Observing New Trends'. 31 October.

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