As a new year approaches, it is time for healthcare professionals and medical practices to look toward the future. Like most industries, healthcare will adapt to the changing world as we welcome a new year. Consider some trends expected to shake up the industry in 2023.
1. Travel Nurses Will Continue to Succeed Post-Pandemic
Travel nursing will continue to be critical to healthcare in the post-pandemic era. COVID brought extreme challenges to the healthcare industry on a global level during the height of the pandemic amidst case surges. But challenges still remain as we enter a post-pandemic era.
Shortages in healthcare workers are ever prevalent in communities across the US, and hospitals are in need of clinicians to fill positions in specialty areas in order to best meet the medical needs of the patients.
Registered nurses are in particularly high demand. Not only this, but the healthcare industry is seeing the trend of travel nursing continuing to be a popular option amongst qualified nurses seeking employment.
When it comes to recruitment methods for travel nursing, a recent study found that “57% of nurses report that they are comfortable using technology to search for jobs themselves, but prefer to work with a recruiter as well”. Recruitment technology has made it possible for nurses seeking travel positions to be matched with a recruiter that will help them find a position that is in line with their desired pay, location, and specialty area.
2. VR Healthcare
Could virtual healthcare become three-dimensional in 2023? Augmented reality is taking over the world, so why not use it to facilitate patient care?
It might be a little too early to predict that virtual reality (VR) will play a role between patient and doctor, but it is undoubtedly an effective educational tool. Students can learn human anatomy or perform procedures in a virtual reality setting. Surgeons can also get a better view of an operation and even practice before surgery on a live patient.
Add virtual games to the list of medical benefits coming out of VR. Interactive medical simulators can improve cardiac health, range of motion, and muscle strength, all without the patient leaving their home. Exercising in the virtual world enhances patient engagement, as well.
3. Further Expansion of the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)
Of course, digitally enabled-care relies heavily on wearable medical devices. It is an industry expected to reach a valuation of over 27 million in 2023.
These devices allow healthcare professionals to promote the prevention of common chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease. Instead of once-yearly checkups, patients can interact with their healthcare providers regularly. This real-time health monitoring helps pinpoint those at risk to start treatments early and improve outcomes.
Artificial intelligence (AI) seems to be everywhere, so it’s not surprising to see it on a list of healthcare trends going into 2023. AI has many applications in healthcare, from diagnosis to care planning.
One place AI is becoming increasingly helpful is in emergency room care. Patients can respond to questions, and AI analyzes the answers as a form of triage. The AI can decide if the patient is in the right place. Do they need emergency care, or could they go to a retail clinic or urgent care center instead?
With this application, patients don’t sit in waiting rooms for hours when they could get help elsewhere. Instead, it allows them to be in the best possible healthcare environment for their individual needs and frees up ERs for genuine medical emergencies.
AI is also helpful in automating tasks. For example, the programs can analyze information for medical devices and do pre-authorizations with insurance companies.
5. Preventive Medicine Remains the Focus
So far, all the items on this list work towards one common goal – preventing chronic illness. Once upon a time, healthcare was about treating disease. For several years, the focus has shifted toward preventive medicine.
Today’s medical profession looks to engage patients in their own health and help them be proactive regarding staying well. That shift will increase in 2023 as wearable medical devices and telehealth become the new normal.
Wearable devices and telemedicine help pinpoints trends in wellness and allows healthcare professionals to understand biomarkers and risk factors better. All that means a more comprehensive analysis of overall healthcare, individually and globally.
6. Blockchain Technology
The use of blockchain technology is becoming more common in healthcare. That is a trend that will continue in 2023.
Blockchain allows better storage opportunities for data and is more efficient to use. It also enables healthcare organizations to be more transparent and cost-effective when storing patient records, reducing the need for paper and improving how patients access their information. It allows for the safer transfer of data from provider to provider.
In an age where cybercrime is becoming an increasing concern for medical facilities, blockchain also helps manage some cybersecurity issues facing modern healthcare networks. It keeps healthcare records secure and private without increasing storage and security costs.
In 2023, the healthcare industry will continue to take advantage of the digital enhancement that has proven effective during the pandemic. From telehealth services to virtual reality, healthcare is evolving in a way that engages patients and benefits providers – all without increasing costs.