Strategic Trends in Healthcare 2020

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What are the important strategic trends in healthcare in 2020?  The healthcare industry is constantly changing and 2020 will be no exception. New technologies are creating change from artificial intelligence to gene therapy. Trends are coming that will shape the industry.  BrightTALK recently hosted a webinar on Frost & Sullivan’s 2020 Healthcare Predictions to advise healthcare organizations to be ready for the coming changes.


Top three strategic trends in healthcare 2020

Prediction #1: Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) Analytics.

This will become key to improving health outcomes. Frost & Sullivan predicts that by the end of 2020, 40% of US healthcare organizations and commercial insurers will be using social determinant data for risk assessments, patient outreach, and business decisions.

One of the factors driving this is current research showing that medical care accounts for only 10-20% of health outcomes. The vast majority of patient outcomes are based on a broad range of issues, including demographics, health-related behaviors, socioeconomic status and environmental factors. Thus, SDoH data is going to be increasingly used to customize patient care and improve patient outcomes.

Another recent study indicates that 68% of patients in the U.S. are facing at least one SDoH challenge. Healthcare organizations will look for solutions that can track patient outcomes while providing information on the return on investment (ROI). Hospitals and healthcare organizations will increasingly use SDoH data to improve the quality of patient care.

For example, an SDoH challenge that many people face is loneliness. Research has shown loneliness has a negative effect on human bodies. This is just one of the many areas of SDoH that healthcare organizations can address to help improve patient outcomes.

Prediction #2: Artificial Intelligence (AI) will face ethical challenges.

Healthcare will find more uses for AI, at the same time, it will face more ethical challenges. AI in the medical imaging market had been found to improve the accuracy rates for detecting and diagnosing disease. However, the ethical dilemma remains if something were to go wrong.

Standardized guidelines will have to be implemented to address these concerns. The public will need to be convinced that AI is being used fairly and ethically. These guidelines will slow the rapid pace that AI is currently experiencing, for example in radiology. The use of AI will shift to using AI technology as a part of solutions as opposed to AI as a direct purchase.

However, the use of AI will grow for pharmaceutical companies, especially for drug discovery applications. By the end of 2020, it is anticipated that clinical trials will begin using AI to discover a molecule for the first time.

Prediction #3: Gene Therapies will become accessible to more people.

Currently, the cost of gene therapies has been prohibitive for many people to afford. However, in 2020, patients will have increased access to gene therapies due to the increasing use of annuity based reimbursement models. The current reimbursement models have kept gene therapy prohibitive due to the high cost for most patients.

By structuring payments in installments, patients will be able to afford the high cost of cell and gene therapies, giving patients more access to them. Frost & Sullivan is predicting the revenue for gene therapies 2020 will be $2 billion. And annuity-based reimbursement model will ease the burden of high-cost spending by patients.

It will be challenging to justify clinical outcomes by obtaining patient monitoring data. There will be a demand for real-world evidence (RWE) data to demonstrate the costs are worth the patients’ improvement in their quality of life.


Long-term strategic trends

What trends will shape healthcare in the next decade? Here are the top six trend predictions from Frost & Sullivan’s for the next 10 years.

  1. Transhumanism. This is the belief that humans can use technology to evolve beyond the physical and mental limitations of our natural bodies.
  2. Autonomous world. When intelligent technology systems operate without human assistance, ideally, they are more efficient. It’s already being seen in the automotive industry. The question is, how will it affect healthcare?
  3. Connected living. New technology using voice, data and video to connect hospitals to homes and to the workplace. For example, senior living facilities will see many changes with new technology.
  4. Industry 5.0. The healthcare industry is already moving from industry 4.0 to 5.0 systems. 5.0 systems bring with them increased integration and personalization.
  5. Digital reality as frontier technology. Virtual reality and augmented reality will create big changes for healthcare.
  6. Complex needs of a heterogeneous society. We are already seeing the rise of a platform economy.


Using your knowledge of the strategic trends

Of course, you want your organization to be strategically positioned for the coming year(s). But what can you do to ensure you are ready?

The first is researching what the experts predict will be the strategic trends in healthcare 2020, and possibly seeking assistance from outside experts.

The second step might well be the completion of a solid strategic plan, focused on your facility and areas of service in the healthcare industry.  A good strategic plan identifies steps to improve operations, determine which service modalities to expand or eliminate, how to financially plan with new compensation models, these and other aspects of the healthcare you pro0viode need to be addressed!

What do you think will be the most important strategic trend affecting you?  Please share your thoughts in the comment section!


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