2020, a year full of surprises, opportunities, innovations, and evolution has led to a huge transformation in the healthcare sector. This new decade will initiate the implementation of these transformations on a larger level.Breakthroughs enabled by the accelerated pace of innovations will better equip everyone to face new challenges. Furthermore, a glimmer of hope has risen with the development of new vaccines and treatment methods that the normality of some sort may resume soon.
Major healthcare trends that are likely to flourish in 2021 are:
- Telemedicine: Telemedicine has made a pivotal contribution during COVID 19 pandemic. Due to social distancing and other restrictions by the government, healthcare professionals have adopted a way to communicate, diagnose and treat their patients using phone calls, e-mails, mobile applications, and video chats. Hospitals and health systems will strive towards making telemedicine, a part of their long-term strategy. It can lower healthcare expenditure, drive up efficiency and revenue, and provide patients with better access to healthcare services. In 2021, healthcare providers will work to bridge the gaps where people may learn digital skills making telemedicine a mainstream.
- Blockchain: Blockchain is essentially a digital ledger of transactions stored in such a way that makes it difficult or impossible to change, hack or cheat the system. It empowers medical service suppliers to disseminate transactional records safely and improving data security extraordinarily. Blockchain pattern stands unfathomably in improving the healthcare industry in 2021 and coming years as,thispeer-to-peer system permits huge quantities of users to safely approach a common ledger and therefore, developing trust between two parties.
- Healthcare at Workplace: In 2021, every organization will become a healthcare organization too, as safeguarding employees and customers is a core requirement for any business. Introduction of testing and screening of symptoms at work, digital dashboards for recording and displaying data, and various other monitoring tools are needed to be introduced at the workplace as safety measures to keep employees and customers safe.
- Increased Demand for Mental Health Support: Months of lockdown and fear of an unknown virus has led to an upsurge in mental health issues like stress, anxiety, and depression. Also, there was a sudden rise in the number of suicides globally. Such issues will be addressed more, and digital therapies and mental health apps could help to meet this demand.
- Emergence of Healthcare Insurance Sector:In 2021, various ways will be looked upon that can ease the financial burden of patients, so that getting the right healthcare services becomes convenient. Health Insurance sector assists the patients and thus, relieving the patients from various sorts of financial troubles.
- Smart City Initiatives: Use of digital connectivity and automated data-driven decision-making process in “Smart Cities” will help in improving the standards of living in urban slums. With the emergence of COVID-19, the Smart City initiative focuses on managing the way the growing population will live in proximity with each other, maintaining appropriate cleanliness and hygiene practices.
- Cloud Computing and Big Data Analytics: With the development of healthcare technology, Cloud computing in the health sector is expected to increase from $20.2 billion in 2017 to $35 billion in 2022. The main reason for this tremendous growth is the dire need to store a large volume of data at a lower cost for healthcare organizations, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. Advancements in Electronic Health Records(EHRs) with incorporated features like digital voice assistants offer real-time data insights and storage solutions.
- Nanomedicine: Nanomedicine informatics is essential to integrate big and complex data sets to implement nanoparticles in living organisms. COVID-19 has also put a spotlight on drug discovery using nanomedicine. It helps in laboratory research, microscopic viewing of molecules and amino acids, arranging and sorting of millions of chemical structures, genomic analysis and intelligently delivering drugs throughout the body.
- 3-D Bioprinting: By using 3-D Bioprinting to generate living tissues to study and examine the molecular basis of disease by testing the printed models. It can help in the treatment of various complex conditions like cancer and organ transplantation which are increasing day by day due to a sedentary lifestyle. Globally, the 3-D bioprinting market is forecasted to touch $1.8 billion by 2027.
- Apps, Wearables, and Self-monitoring Solutions: Self-monitoring devices for patients with chronic diseases can account for a decrease in overall healthcare costs. Wearable sensors can assist people by tracking their health details and take fundamental measures like pulse and blood pressure, whenever required. The number of clients for self-monitoring devices is going to increase by multiple folds in 2021.
The holistic digital transformation is most likely to be the biggest trend in 2021. Additionally, targeted, and personalized care for various diseases by using nanomedicine is likely to increase even more in upcoming years.