Healthcare has been changing for quite some time now. However, the global pandemic has been a serious push in its change agenda, making it happen much faster. Resultantly, everyone associated with healthcare is to be ready for this change.
One such change has been the integration of technology into the healthcare system. The use of complicated digital systems, portals, tools, and equipment is getting unprecedented praise and welcome in healthcare.
Even before the pandemic, technology was taking over healthcare. But now it is not like before in any way. In 2017, the global healthcare market stood at $2.4 billion. It is expected to reach a whopping $125 billion by 2028. This is one facet of the change in healthcare; there are more stories to tell and more healthcare trends to share.
Read on to know how healthcare trends are shaping up in 2022.
1- Same-day surgeries and ambulatory care
In the past, in the case of surgery, patients had to stay in the hospital for more than one day. Similarly, in a delivery situation, the mother often had to stay in the hospital for 10 to fifteen days—a hassle for the patients and their families. But the trend has considerably changed now.
The world is fast moving towards same-day surgeries and ambulatory care. This leads to the million-dollar question: “what is ambulatory care?”
Ambulatory care refers to treatment services patients receive without staying in the hospital overnight. So, any procedure or treatment that does not require the patient to spend more than a few hours in the hospital is called ambulatory care, also known as outpatient care.
In 2021, 14.6 million patients received care in ambulatory care centers. Similarly, from 2016 to 2019, the percentage of patients who received treatment in ambulatory care centers increased by 16%.
The rise is probably because more patients in the hospital mean you need more caregiving staff such as nurses and doctors to keep an eye on them. Hospitals also need the services of more administrative staff when more patients admit to the hospital.
2- The need for qualified staff is rising
This is another trend shaping the healthcare sector in 2022 and beyond.
As healthcare becomes more intricate and patient care needs change rapidly, hospitals need more qualified staff, including nurses, doctors, and other medical professionals, to treat these patients coming with unheard-of illnesses and infections.
It is found that having highly qualified medical professionals increase patient satisfaction and improve patient outcomes. Also, more qualified nurses make fewer medical errors, apply evidence-based practices, and better care for their patients.
3- Online education is on the rise
Another trend in the healthcare sector is the rise of online education. The trend gained more traction during the pandemic when students worldwide were barred from attending school.
In the case of healthcare, online education has been helpful because it allows the professionals to continue working in the hospitals or any other healthcare facility alongside their education. The global medical education market is expected to reach 56.9 billion by the end of 2030, with an expected rise of 5% between 2020 and 2030.
Online education has opened opportunities for healthcare professionals in various professions, including nursing, where there is a greater emphasis on hiring qualified nurses with a BSN or MSN degree.
Many states and hospitals across the country have made BSN a baseline requirement for nurses wanting to work in this career.
At the same time, employers are encouraging their on-duty nurses to upgrade their educational qualifications. In this situation, online education becomes a rescuer.
4- Remote healthcare services are gaining more traction
Remote healthcare, also known as telehealth, is gaining traction. This mode of healthcare allows the patients to consult their doctors without leaving their houses. During the pandemic, telehealth also helped fulfill social distancing requirements.
Now that world has fought the pandemic and is in the recovery stage, people are still scared of the spread of infection. They prefer to have a virtual visit to their doctor than sharing space with other patients with various illnesses in the hospital.
Telehealth uses the internet to connect patients with a doctor through videoconferencing or other streaming services. It is similar to a face-to-face visit, except that a doctor cannot touch you. With this trend on the rise, app designers have responded vigorously by designing applications that help you book appointments, consult a doctor, ask questions, and add your medical records and medicine intake schedule.
In 2021, the telehealth market was standing at USD 90.74 billion. It is projected to reach 636.38 billion in 2028. This massive rise in market growth shows the penetration and utility of telehealth in communities.
5- Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)
Internet of Medical Things is another trend you will see rising in 2022 and beyond. IoMT is the group of hardware and software-connected devices enabled through the internet service. The Internet allows many medical devices to connect and send data in real-time. The data can be about the patients’ diagnosis, testing, or treatment.
The IoMT enables the use of smart robot nurses, which are already used in Italian hospitals. Currently, hospitals are checking on their critically ill patients through internet-enabled devices such as smart wearables, smart beds, smart pills— ingestible with cameras and sensors, automatic temperature readers, etc.
The global market of the Internet of things is expected to grow at a rate of 24.55% from 2021 to 2026 and reach US$257.162 billion in 2026.
The Internet of Medical Things provides convenience to healthcare practitioners, allowing them to monitor the changes in their patient’s conditions in real-time. Healthcare practitioners can promptly prescribe changes in their treatment plans, reduce medical errors, and receive positive patient outcomes.
As for the patients, they can stay connected with their caregivers all the time and reduce the transit cost of consulting a doctor.
Healthcare is changing. But this change is not limited to technological integration and applications only. It is multi-dimensional and wide-ranging, including the rise of online education, telehealth, ambulatory care, etc.
Hope you enjoyed the article and got a gist of emerging healthcare trends in 2022.