Adapting to Change: Key Healthcare Trends of 2024 and Their Impact on Providers

Although 2024 is still in its infancy, there has been quite a lot of progress on the healthcare front. We’re witnessing technologies like remote patient monitoring take the lead in clinical settings as AI also helps to create automated medical workflows that lighten the workload for healthcare professionals. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. In this article, we shall explore these and many other exciting healthcare trends. More importantly, we shall be extrapolating just what these shifts and disruptions mean for providers so that you can plan for the future. Let’s get started.

Generative AI as the new front-office assistant

According to reports by Statista, 1 in 5 healthcare organizations had implemented some form of AI model in 2021, with 98% of providers planning to do so in the subsequent decade. Among these models, generative AI was found to be among the most popular.

In particular, here are a few innovative ways that healthcare providers are putting generative AI to work:

  • Providing patient self-service: Generative AI models are being leveraged to provide an initial point of contact, where patients can consult with chatbots that basically double up as virtual physicians.
  • Summarizing data: They can also trawl huge volumes of data to help physicians derive key insights at a glance without having to trudge through heaps of information.
  • Addressing staff concerns: For hospital employees, generative AI models are also fast becoming the go-to for clearing up IT and HR-related questions, among other concerns, to improve physician and support staff experiences.

All in all, generative AI is providing a landing point for patients while eliminating iterative consulting work so that care providers can focus on higher-priority tasks.

Advanced personalization strategies coming into play

Personalization in medicine is helping healthcare providers to gain the competitive edge while ensuring more successful health outcomes for patients. In fact, around 70% of patients today desire personalized healthcare experiences, which goes to show just how important this is.

When it comes to how they are achieving that, many hospitals and clinics are rolling up their sleeves to collect first-party data from their patient base and prospective consumers. This has helped them to segment individuals according to their needs, urgency, and accessibility, among other factors, which is helping to personalize hospital marketing efforts to boost patient acquisition and retention.

Patient-self service as the face of new-age healthcare

In 2020, Becker’s Hospital conducted a survey across hospitals, and it revealed something very alarming. According to its findings, 93% of hospitals across the US had experienced staff shortages.

It is in light of this staff shortage that patient self-service is fast racing onto the scene as a way of plugging staff deficiencies which are still to remain huge up until 2030, according to a separate report by the NIH.

But patient self-service isn’t just about taking the pressure off the shoulders of providers. Far from it, it’s also becoming a great way to:

  • Address patients’ expectations of their healthcare technologies
  • Improve provider productivity by reducing time spent on administrative tasks such as appointment scheduling
  • Elevate patient satisfaction, which encourages loyalty to providers
  • Collect patient-reported data that tends to be more accurate than traditional data collection strategies

With further research showing that 93% of patients want options for managing their own care, including setting up appointments at their discretion, patient self-service will only gain more traction in the coming months.

Digital health consulting taking the front-row seat

With 53% of hospitals expected to experience losses this year as per a Kaufman Hall report, digital health consulting is coming up as a way for providers to open up their service offering and boost revenue without necessarily inflating their overhead costs.

Thanks to virtual audio-communication technologies and patient wearables, digital health consulting services enable physicians to diagnose a patient’s symptoms just as effectively as they would during an in-person appointment.

By allowing care facilities to reach patients across far-flung locations and time zones, digital health consulting is fast gaining popularity as a key part of the modern medical workflow.

SDOH coming into sharper focus than ever

For a long time, the social determinants of healthcare have largely been overlooked with focus primarily shifting to primary medical factors. But that’s all beginning to change, as SDOH has gained even more priority as the healthcare industry looks to plug any vulnerabilities.

Being viewed as the magical bullet that may finally help the world achieve health equity, healthcare players are now making amends to address SDOH factors such as:

  • Health literacy
  • Food insecurity
  • Poverty
  • Housing instability, etc.

In what is being labeled in some corners as “non-medical care,” we’re seeing providers and governments implement policies that are helping to address disparities as they seek to level the playing field for universal care.

The concept of digital twins is exploding

Just as its name suggests, a digital twin is a virtual replication of an object that matches the original in terms of its physical features and parameters. In health, we’re noticing digital twins not just of medical devices such as surgical apparatus but also digital twins of individual organs and the entire human anatomy at large.

These twins are modeled after each unique patient and are fast becoming a great way to simulate the effects of treatment. Consequently, they are becoming important tools to help verify treatment options for patients, without subjecting them to trial-and-error processes that cause uncomfortable side effects.

At the moment, one particular application of the digital twin that researchers are working hard to explore this year is a digital replica of the human brain. This one leverages artificial neural networks in place of neurons, to imitate biological brain functioning. It might just help providers to get a better understanding of various mental health conditions.

The only constant is the change

In the words of Greek philosopher Heraclitus, the only constant is change. But change doesn’t always have to bad thing. If anything, it can signal the arrival of better tidings, and that’s certainly the case with these key healthcare trends of 2024 that are reshaping the medical frontiers for the better. In turn, they’re helping to elevate care providers to new heights of productivity, efficiency, and profitability. So don’t get left behind. Turn to Aura Health Solutions to stay ahead of the curve with game-changing healthcare technology that gives you the competitive upper hand.