Top 8 trends revolutionizing healthcare in 2024, according to experts
Don’t get blindsided by the future.
It’s barely 2024, and it already feels like you’re behind. The headlights of last year’s leftover tasks are still bright in your rearview mirror, while the taillights of today congest the road in front of you. It’s a common occurrence; after all, this is healthcare. This week’s struggles often threaten to outweigh next week’s successes.
Your goal, however, is constantly clear: Deliver patient-centered support while balancing operational efficiency and innovation.
But when time moves faster than you do, is getting ahead even possible?
Today, SHI is paving your passing lane with the IT trends poised to shape the healthcare industry in 2024. Keep reading for a comprehensive overview and tips to help your organization prepare for the upcoming changes.
1. Telemedicine evolution
The demand for virtual healthcare and telemedicine is set to continue its upward trajectory. While COVID-19 acted as its catalyst, telemedicine is not just a pandemic response; it’s a fundamental shift in healthcare delivery. Patients are seeking accessibility, as healthcare systems strive for cost-effective care. In 2024, anticipate advances in virtual hospital units, digital therapeutics, improved integration into Electronic Health Records (EHRs), and enhanced chronic condition management.
2. AI and ML integration
The incorporation of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) in healthcare systems will deepen, thus influencing areas such as diagnosis, treatment recommendations, patient monitoring, and drug discovery. The advent of generative AI is also democratizing access to transformative applications. While the potential is vast, its subsequent ethical and privacy concerns must be addressed. Fortunately, the recent Executive Order on AI emphasizes accountability, with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) leading the charge in developing a strategic plan for AI applications in healthcare.
3. Hyper-personalized medicine
Advances in genomics and precision medicine are poised to usher in an era of highly tailored medicine. By leveraging the fusion of genomics and AI, providers will customize treatment plans based on individual genetic makeup. The introduction of digital twins – virtual replicas of humans – will enable the simulation of real-world treatments, enhancing treatment effectiveness, outcomes, and resource utilization optimization.
4. Wearable and IoT sophistication
Wearable devices for health monitoring and data collection will become more sophisticated for Internet of Things (IoT) devices in 2024. From smart jewelry to fitness trackers, these devices will offer real-time data, empowering consumers and healthcare professionals to make informed decisions. This increased complexity will enable early intervention, proactive care management, and operational efficiencies within provider organizations.
5. Data-driven healthcare paradigm
The rise of big data and analytics is reshaping healthcare from reactive to proactive care. Predictive analytics and real-time data monitoring will help identify health risks early, leading to more preventative care and improved patient outcomes. However, robust data protection measures are essential to ensure patient privacy and confidentiality.
6. Mental health focus
In response to the ever-increasing awareness in recent years, there will be an even greater emphasis on mental health in 2024. Its rise in prominence will lead to further integration with physical healthcare and therefore more holistic solutions. Expect to see telebehavioral health practices grow significantly as individuals seek therapy and support remotely.
7. Health equity and sustainability initiatives
Investments to address healthcare access and outcome disparities are likely to increase, highlighting the importance of equitable care for all. Expect imbalances in care and costs across racial, ethnic, and gender lines to be further addressed as well.
Additionally, we will witness a growing focus on sustainability in healthcare, including efforts to reduce waste and energy use. This will span technologies, practices, and even building design as healthcare providers strive to simultaneously save on costs and energy.
8. Cybersecurity challenges
As healthcare becomes more digital, cybersecurity becomes paramount. Cyber attacks have surged with the average cost of data breaches now exceeding $10.93 million. Ransomware attacks will persist and evolve in sophistication, posing new risks with the proliferation of IoT devices. Providers must adopt measures such as biometric authentication, zero trust, and AI-powered detection and response to stay ahead of emerging threats. Indeed, synchronizing IT and operational technology (OT) within your healthcare organization can also be critical to closing security gaps, streamlining workflows, and improving performance levels.
As healthcare providers navigate these trends, collaboration with experts is crucial. Luckily, SHI can not only help you enable new security measures but also enact solutions for all of the aforementioned trends.
Solving what’s next
For over 30 years, SHI has helped organizations like yours navigate the oncoming traffic of industry trends. Our healthcare experts are waiting to help you gain visibility into your systems and roadmap a plan of action based on best practices and patient needs. Crucially, we’re also helping healthcare organizations adapt to the growing number of patients who view the home as a more comfortable, safe, and convenient environment in which to receive post-acute and long-term care. These home or virtual solutions can even increase accessibility for small and rural communities too.
Whether you’re a public, academic, or private healthcare system, embrace home-based care to:
- Meet government and private insurance regulations.
- Achieve a secure collaborative telehealth environment.
- Save on IT infrastructure costs.
- Migrate smoothly to new data/AI solutions.
SHI will help you build robust technology plans, find suitable contracts, leverage grant funding, and advance innovation—for all your new year’s goals. Make 2024 the year you stopped playing catch-up. Connect with SHI’s dedicated healthcare team today!