Changes in Healthcare Expected in 2020 – 2021

The healthcare industry hit the ground running in 2020, and it doesn’t look like it will slow down anytime soon. In fact, healthcare is changing on so many different fronts, it might be tough to keep up this year. Here are 8 top changes in healthcare for 2020 – 2021. Frank Magliochetti will keep you up to date with the progress of all eight of these expected changes throughout the years ahead.

Top 8 Changes in Healthcare Expected for 2020 – 2021

1. Digitization

Like many other industries, healthcare is digitizing at a swift pace. Digitization of records had been the focal point for many in the healthcare industry, but that changeover is nearly complete. In fact, a 2019 report shows that 84 percent of healthcare professionals had already switched their practices over to digital health records. The report also shows that those who had digitized health records delivered better patient care, provided better individual outcomes for patients, improved workplace experience for healthcare workers, and could offer cost-effective healthcare services in comparison to those organizations that did not digitized.

2. Smart devices

 Now many in the healthcare industry are hoping to gain these benefits and more by expanding their digital transformation into other areas of their internal and external operations. The emergence of several new technologies, such as blockchain, cloud and edge capabilities, and 5G connectivity will fuel these changes in 2020 – 2021 and beyond.

Some healthcare organizations have adopted remote and self-monitoring medical chatbots, for example, in which patients use a messenger program to interact with a computer that simulates human conversation. Others are investigating the use of smart pills, which are medications equipped with electronic sensors that, once ingested, send wireless messages to devices outside the body. Personalized medicine will become increasingly common, as more life sciences and healthcare organizations begin to create smarter, more specific and more custom-tailored products and services for each patient interaction. Other advances, such as bioprinting of prosthetics, will take shape with the realization of new materials and build processes; these advances will help reduce invasiveness and increase safety of medical implants.

3. Big data and AI

2020 – 2021 will likely see greater adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) – only a third of U.S. healthcare organizations have adopted AI technology, using it to overhaul triage and streamline administration, diagnostics, and more.

Bigger, better data leads to more powerful AI, but big data and artificial intelligence leave many patients and healthcare institutions feeling vulnerable. Data privacy and accountability for insider threats will be major concerns for healthcare institutions in the upcoming years.

4. Renewed support for nurses

Advances in technology, advanced algorithms, and AI have taken some of the burden off the shoulders of nurses, especially when it comes to the monitoring and decision support of patients. No matter how sophisticated medical technology becomes, however, it will never replace the human touch and compassion that nurses bring to the bedside. Nurses bring experience, judgment and the capacity to know what patients need, even when technology suggests otherwise. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) has named 2020 the Year of Nurse and Midwife to highlight the need for more nurses and to advocate for increased investments in the nursing workforce.

5. Patient safety

Patient safety has been a pressing healthcare issue for decades, yet WHO reports that one in 10 patients in harmed while receiving hospital care. The Joint Commission has issued their National Patient Safety Goals Effective January 2020, in which they outline ways to improve patient safety. Safety goals include indentifying patients correctly, improving staff communication, storing and administrating medicines correctly, using alarms safely, infection prevention, identifying patient safety risks, and preventing surgical errors.

6. 5G communication technology

The implementation of 5G communication technology will allow clinicians to connect with voice, video, and data. Telehealth and remote home monitoring systems have allowed patients to receive care at home, which is especially helpful for those in rural areas, and helped doctors interface with patients or share information with specialists for years. Slow network speeds and congestion from a growing Internet of Things (IoT) can delay patient care and can even hurt outcomes; 5G technology can speed connections and resolve congestion to keep information flowing freely.

7. Human centered design

Human-centered design relies on the human perspective to solve problems; it focuses on what users, not designers, think. Unlike other approaches to healthcare in which providers assume what the patient wants, human-centered design starts by understanding the perspective of the person experiencing the problem.

8. Natural language processing

Doctors spend about half their patient time staring at computer screens, according to research. Natural language processing (NLP) can help doctors spend more time with patients. NLP products capture conversations between clinicians and patients, transcribe that discussion into a word-for-word transcript, and populate the electronic health record with information from that conversation.

The healthcare industry is at a significant turning point, with next-gen technology taking medicine into uncharted territories. While AI, 5G and other technologies will hyper-connect patients and caregivers, NLP, improved software design, and the human touch of nurses and doctors will change the face of medicine as we move through the decade.

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Frank Magliochetti owes his professional success to his expertise in two areas: medicine and finance. After obtaining a BS in pharmacy from Northeastern University, he stayed on to enroll in the Masters of Toxicology program. He later specialized in corporate finance, receiving an MBA from The Sawyer School of Business at Suffolk University. His educational background includes completion of the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School and the General Management Program at Stanford Business School. Frank Magliochetti has held senior positions at Baxter International, Kontron Instruments, Haemonetics Corporation, and Sandoz. Since 2000, he has been a managing partner at Parcae Capital, where he focuses on financial restructuring and interim management services for companies in the healthcare, media, and alternative energy industries. Earlier this year, he was appointed chairman of the board at Grace Health Technology, a company providing an enterprise solution for the laboratory environment.

Mr. Frank Magliochetti MBA
Managing Partner
Parcae Capital