Sunday, January 23rd, 2022

Future Of Healthcare: Advancements and Challenges of The New Era

Healthcare is one of the most transformative industries since it affects us in more than one way – physically, financially, emotionally, and mentally. Today, the continuous advancements in technology have given rise to innovations across the entire healthcare field. For instance, the unfathomably complicated medical research studies are now possible with just a couple of keystrokes. Not to mention how artificial intelligence, nanomedicine, 3D bioprinting have revamped the healthcare landscape.

However, when talking about the future of healthcare, it’s next to impossible not to consider the mounting pressure on this industry. Specifically, the unanticipated events in the past year left the healthcare industry painfully depicting the need for structural transformation and how important it is to roll with the changes. 

Therefore, it’s safe to say that the healthcare sector is currently undergoing a transformative stage due to new technological developments and the ongoing pandemic.

Now, let’s discuss some of the new advancements and challenges that will shape the future of healthcare: 

Advancements

mHealth

mHealth or mobile health refers to the usage of mobile technology to enhance patient experience and streamline the care delivery process. Several lifestyle wellness apps are readily available today, including nutrition, meditation, brain exercise, and sleeping records. 

Healthcare professionals such as FNPs, whose primary focus is to promote the health of people of all ages, can leverage these apps. For instance, they can send automated texts to remind patients about their medications. However, as the baby boomer population grows old and the young generation becomes subject to new diseases, the need for holistic care becomes indispensable.

For this reason, nurses are enrolling in an online MSN-FNP program to learn the escalating use of mHealth in lifestyle management and educate people about preventive healthcare. And an online degree allows nurses to stay abreast of the latest technological advancements and attain a healthy work-life balance.  

Robotics

Today, robots are everywhere – from your favorite science fiction movie to the local healthcare facility. While some patients feel slightly uncomfortable with robot treatment, the healthcare industry is normalizing robotics technology to enhance performance. 

Moreover, with the emergence of the recent pandemic, healthcare organizations worldwide have taken advantage of robotic technologies to help minimize exposure to the virus. Previously, robots only assisted in the surgery room. However, with technological advancements and evolvements, automated technologies dispense medications, disinfect hospital rooms, and even transfer supplies and meals throughout the hospital. 

The significant advantage of deploying robots is that automated machines can reduce human errors and labor.

Other promising advancements

It is relevant to note that these aren’t the only advancements that have revolutionized the healthcare world. Instead, there are other promising trends, too. Such as using artificial intelligence in health informatics to improve the accuracy of diagnosis and predict the high risk-conditions. Alongside this, 3D-printing technology is creating human organs and living tissues. 

Challenges

Healthcare workers shortage

This demonstrates one of the most leading challenges that the healthcare industry will face in the forthcoming years. With the looming lack of healthcare workers, patients may not get the highest quality care in the healthcare facilities.

Not to mention how the Covid pandemic has emphasized the need for healthcare professionals. Particularly nurses who were at the forefront during these unprecedented times. But, unfortunately, the mass exodus of registered nurse practitioners may also create a series of new challenges for the nursing sector. Although there’s an influx of new talent, these novice-level nursing professionals lack the experience.

Therefore, healthcare organizations should harness cutting-edge technologies and provide professional development opportunities to employees to combat this issue.

Growing demand for data management and analytics

Data analytics is one of the many blessings of the digital era. Healthcare organizations can figure out the current trends and patient patterns through big data. These key findings can help healthcare facilities to deliver more customer-centric services, provide more transparency, and enhance the patient experience.

However, the problem is the slow integration of data analytics tools in the healthcare industry. There are various reasons behind this slow implementation – that include a lack of understanding between healthcare professionals and tech experts and misalignments in the goals.

Moreover, every day, healthcare organizations generate a wealth of data. And this set of data comes from various sources, such as patients, healthcare providers, and payers. Since there’s isn’t a single data source, it becomes highly challenging for healthcare workers to analyze the patterns and deliver quality services. Therefore, healthcare facilities must develop a proper infrastructure to secure, retrieve, and assess the data within a single system. 

Cybersecurity

As with all the other areas of life, monumental innovations have revamped the outlook of the healthcare industry. Unfortunately, the downside is that these advancements have also made internet crimes more sophisticated and led to increased malicious cyber-attacks. 

A healthcare breach report stated that the healthcare industry witnessed 599 breaches in 2021, depicting a 55.1% increase since 2019. Healthcare organizations that fall victim to these breaches not only face tainted reputations. But they also have to pay a hefty number of penalties.

Hackers may misuse confidential data such as patient health records, payment information, and insurance details. Not only this, but patient identity might also get affected in cyber theft. Therefore, healthcare organizations must invest in cybersecurity measures to prevent such issues. 

Final Words

The healthcare industry is continually in flux, from policymaking to patients and everything in between. And thus, the future of healthcare will be exceptionally different considering the way it’s operated, regulated, and financed today. 

The leading driving forces are the tech innovations in this industry that provide healthcare professionals with the opportunity to deliver the best quality care. For instance, with a broad range of mobile applications, patients can now assess their health conditions, stay in touch with healthcare providers, and receive health information

However, the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus and the technological advancements have also exposed the vulnerability of the healthcare sector. Rising healthcare costs, cybersecurity, and value-based payment models are some of the challenges the healthcare industry faces today. And to thwart these challenges, healthcare organizations should develop a multi-pronged approach that enhances the patient experience and improves healthcare quality.