What kind of innovation will 2023 bring to the healthcare industry? Healthcare is continuously evolving, and 2023 is looking like it is going to be a revolutionary year for the industry. The coming year is expected to strengthen the global healthcare industry with new capabilities, strategic breakthroughs, discoveries, and innovations. We will be exploring the key medical technology trends and transformations expected in the world of medicine in the foreseeable future. From artificial intelligence and personalized healthcare to telehealth we compiled the top 5 healthcare trends that could significantly impact the healthcare industry in 2023.
Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare
Recent years have seen the rapid development of artificial intelligence (AI) technology in healthcare, and the trend will continue in 2023.
AI is one of those trends that has the potential to significantly impact the healthcare industry – from improving patient care with data-driven clinical decision-making to streamlining healthcare system workflows. In general, most experts understand that AI in healthcare needs to be human-centered, taking into consideration the needs of patients and healthcare providers and staff.
AI can impact multiple healthcare areas, including:
- Improving patient care
- Enabling physicians to simultaneously enhance their work performance while improving work/life balance
- Supporting healthcare institutions to deliver quality care while optimizing resources
Some examples of areas where AI is used include drug discovery, where it can assist with predicting outcomes of clinical trials and potential side effects of new drugs. It can analyze medical imagery, which involves using computer vision algorithms to spot early warning signs of disease in x-rays or MRI scans. It has also successfully been used to detect and treat neurological disorders, including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
AI also has applications in processing insurance claims and management or analysis of medical record keeping. It can also be used to analyze data collected from patient wearables or in-home sensors used in virtual hospital settings to provide early warning or predictive diagnosis of various conditions. Put together, all of these use cases indicate that AI will continue to be a prominent trend in healthcare in 2023 and beyond.
Remote Healthcare – Virtual Hospitals and Telehealth
Healthcare delivered remotely increased tremendously during the pandemic. Even now that it’s generally safe to resume face-to-face routine appointments, many patients and providers have realized that for many conditions, care can be provided more efficiently and cost-effectively at a distance. Remote healthcare falls into a number of different categories.
There is an increase in home-based care driven by evidence that shows that a familiar environment and proximity to family can have a positive effect on patient outcomes, as well as being hugely cost-efficient compared to inpatient care.
Then there is telemedicine. Telemedicine is expected to grow from $49.9 billion in 2019 to $277.9 billion by 2025.
Growth of the telemedicine industry from 2019 to 2030.
Telemedicine or telehealth has emerged as a new means of transmitting medical care and information. It involves using videoconferencing, video calling, streaming services, and other communication technologies for the remote provision of healthcare services. Telehealth delivers a variety of services from a routine PCP visit where a patient connects to a provider from home to administering a surgical procedure where a surgeon carries out surgery on a patient in a remote location using robotic technology.
Since 2020, telehealth has gained universal recognition and became a commonly accepted practice. Advanced clinics are already conducting patient consultations virtually. This type of communication will gain regulatory approvals and could likely displace traditional in-house consultations in the coming years.
- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), telehealth utilization in the USA spiked by more than 154% in late March of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.(1) Additionally, the US is considered among the telemedicine pioneers since the market is expected to rise to over $397 billion USD by 2027 following current predictions made by Fortune Business Insight with plans to create more off-site options in the coming years to reduce the maintenance costs of medical facilities and hence the cost of healthcare services. (2)
- Furthermore, Kaiser Permanente and Intermountain Healthcare, two of the telemedicine’s earliest adopters and most effective users have invested in integrated telehealth systems and virtual care platforms in order to improve preventive medicine, care coordination, chronic disease management, and affordability for more than 13 million patients.
- With the cost of delivering in-person healthcare continuing to rise, and ongoing shortages of medical providers in many countries, it’s a safe bet that all varieties of remote healthcare will be a growing trend in 2023. With that being said, what is important for all telehealth solutions to keep in mind is that the convenience of telehealth shouldn’t present a barrier for someone who is Limited English proficient, deaf, or blind, for example. It’s vital for all platforms and solutions to consider and integrate language access and accessibility from the start.
Rise Of Medical Robots
Robotic-assisted surgical equipment makes up most of the market currently. The global medical robotics market is forecast to reach $28.34 billion by 2026, up from $8.3 billion in 2020, however, the surgical segment isn’t expected to be the fastest-growing portion of medical robotics.
That spot belongs to rehabilitation robots, a category that is forecast to grow from $530 million in 2018 to $2.6 billion in 2026. One example of a rehabilitation robot is the EksoNR by Ekso Bionics which is an exoskeleton that enables patients with brain injuries to stand and walk during their rehabilitation.
The EksoNR by Ekso Bionics.
Here are some other examples of robotics in healthcare:
Cell-sized Nanorobots, which are being developed at University of California San Diego to kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Robotic prosthetics: bionic arms and legs with receptors that allow patients to “feel” as if they were their natural limbs. These aren’t yet in widespread use, but three Swedish patients have been living with such prostheses for years.
Moxi, a friendly robotic hospital assistant. It brings supplies to patients’ rooms, delivers lab samples, transports soiled linens and more.
The Medineering endoscopic robot, which can move and hold an endoscope (tiny camera) inside a patient’s body with more precision than human hands can.
Small “capsule robots” are being developed by Vanderbilt University for colonoscopies, biopsies, and polyp removal.
The world’s first implantable bionic human eye, developed by Australia’s Monash University and successfully trialed in sheep in July.
The adoption of robotics is everywhere in our world today, especially in the healthcare sector.
Wearable Medical Devices
Wearable devices will be increasingly used by individuals during 2023 to track their own health and exercise activity, as well as by clinicians to monitor patients remotely. Continuous health monitoring through health wearables enables personalized, data-driven care where the clinician and patient take a “proactive” rather than “reactive” approach. Furthermore, wearable devices, mobile technologies, and medical wireless biosensors can be used for clinical trials to obtain real-time data, when enrolled subjects are at home, potentially leading to better patient engagement and clinical outcomes.
A study was published this year showing how physical indicators such as activity levels, sleep patterns, and heart rate can be used to detect when individuals may be at risk of depression. We may start to see medical wearables incorporating some of this functionality soon.
In 2023, we will increasingly see wearable medical devices acting as “edge” devices, designed to track vital signs such as heart rate and blood oxygen levels, and smart watches capable of sophisticated scans such as ECGs, smart textiles that can detect blood pressure and predict the risk of heart attacks, and smart gloves that can reduce the tremors suffered by patients with Parkinson’s Disease. As well as physical illness, a growing emphasis is being placed on developing wearable devices capable of monitoring and detecting signs of mental illnesses.
During 2023, patients will have more opportunities to receive healthcare delivery that is personalized specifically to them. This includes the concept of precision medicine, where drugs and other treatments are specifically tailored to a group of patients – based on genetics, age, lifestyle, and environmental data to ensure the accuracy of personal diagnostics and treatment efficiency rather than administer a one-size-fits-all approach.
The most advanced and precise forms of personalized healthcare take into account a person’s genetic information and can help healthcare practitioners predict how effective specific drugs will be or whether someone is more likely to suffer from side effects.
The term personalized healthcare is also sometimes used to allow patients to make more choices about how their care is planned and delivered. This usually involves drawing up a personal treatment plan for an individual, considering their own circumstances, opinions, and beliefs when making choices about how and where they should be treated. As we have seen with the COVID-19 pandemic, the healthcare industry is constantly changing. By highlighting the rapidly advancing areas and key trends in the healthcare industry, leaders can identify which sectors they need to focus on and invest in to bring significant value to their organizations.
Bromberg works daily with healthcare organizations, delivering meaningful language access in a variety of settings and covering more than 200 languages. The importance of trends, such as AI and technology in healthcare can’t be overstated, however, it’s the people building and implementing these innovations, who are driving the change. That’s why Bromberg is always ready to support meaningful language access and effective communication as integral aspects of any trends and developments. Have a question – let’s connect!
- Koonin et al. (2020). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 69, 1595-1599
- Fortune Business Insights. (2021). Article available from https://www.fortunebusinessinsights.com/industry-reports/telemedicine-market-101067 [Accessed December 2022]