Two years on from the first symptoms:
a Healthcare industry checkup
Mike Hoey is the President of Source Meridian
Two years ago this month, the world came to a grinding halt. Since then, the leaps and technological bounds the medical community has made to protect us from the effects of the first truly global event to personally affect every member of mankind since the Ice Age deglaciation period roughly 20,000 years ago——the SARS-COV-2 virus pandemic—have been truly remarkable.
But with remarkable advances in healthtech, have come a radical rethinking of healthcare. US citizens in particular were especially affected by this seismic shift in meaning and potential and how tech has stepped in to facilitate those changes.
So in light of continued sentiments driving change in everything from insurance authorizations to telemedicine diagnosis, here are 3 things we should expect to see in healthcare in 2022.
Nobody wants to actually ‘go’ to the doctor anymore (still)
Telemedicine has become ubiquitous in the past two years, so expect to see not only the continued use of this tech by healthcare providers, but it’s expansion into other areas of practice as well – especially in the fields of psychiatry, substance abuse disorder treatment, and endocrinology, according to a McKinsey’s overview.
Now, having seen ten years of growth in a little less than two years, patients utilizing the tech have now leveled off at no less than 38x the user base pre-pandemic.
I anticipate new applications to arise within the next year as IoT enabled devices allow doctors to make sophisticated preliminary diagnoses, remotely, and for telemedicine appointments to only fall by 20%.
I should know me - the rise of patient access to health records
Your health record used to be in a manila envelope in a filing cabinet in your doctor’s office, but now it’s on your phone. This is a good thing, considering how hard it used to be to get access to data about what’s going on inside of your body.
Due to HIPPA, doctors need to allow patients access to their records, and this development has been excellent news to healthtech companies. Expect to witness the rise of patient sufferers of certain illnesses selling access to their healthcare records to researchers and drug-development companies.
Proprietary healthcare data used to be extremely difficult to come by and estimates from security specialists indicate that the cost of one record alone can still be worth up to $250 on the black market. However, by allowing patients to provide their data to life sciences companies (for a fee) puts the power of that information back in the hands of the patient.
Dr. Cyborg - the rise of wearable technology
Fitbit, Amazfit, Garmin, Apple, Samsung. As more companies enter into the lucrative hybridized field of healthcare data collection, expect to see more wearable consumer technology in 2022 healthtech. On the professional side of things, wearables are helping hospitals monitor patients’ vitals, conduct real-time blood tests, and detect anomalies that can later become cause for concern.
The crossover between the two will lie in healthcare providers and insurance companies getting involved in the universe of wearable technology. Imagine paying lower healthcare costs because you have hard data backing up the fact that you eat vegetables, exercise regularly, and sleep 8 hours a night. To those who value their health, this will come as a welcome relief to having to pay more for necessary procedures.
COVID allowed Americans to reframe the way they view medicine, and what healthcare means to them. For healthcare providers, that means a profound digital shift built around harnessing and unlocking the insights generated by each doctor’s visit, each jog, and each night we on time go to bed eager to start a new day in the morning. Allowing patients access to that data is the next step in the process, and the network that allows easy and remote transmission and diagnosis of that data is the final piece in the puzzle.