The healthcare industry is in a constant state of change. New technology and diseases create emerging healthcare industry trends.
Yet few could have predicted the huge impact of COVID-19 on the world’s population. As of March 2021, there have been 2.6 million deaths from COVID-19.
With that in mind, how might we see healthcare trends change in 2021? Will we see the start of any future trends in healthcare?
Read on to learn four of the trends you will see in 2021.
1. More Access to Telehealth Appointments
COVID-19 forced many healthcare providers to cut the number of in-person appointments. This helped to halt the spread of the virus.
Telehealth appointments became a way for patients to speak to their health providers. We can expect this trend to continue into 2021 and beyond.
These digital appointments mean patients can access healthcare providers for less urgent appointments. They’re also more accessible for those who struggle with attending appointments in person.
These telehealth sessions are particularly helpful for mental health provision. It can be more beneficial to attend appointments in the comfort of your own home.
Yet we must make sure people without technology or the internet can also access services. Healthcare technology trends need to work for everyone.
2. Better Focus on Public Health
The impact of the pandemic made governments realize the importance of public health. A healthy population boosts the economic wellbeing of a country.
We’ll see emerging trends in healthcare around improving the health of the population. This will include addressing those areas that contribute to poor well-being. That means tackling food deserts, lack of exercise, and mental health issues.
3. More Flexible Workflows
COVID-19 caused widespread disruption within healthcare providers around the world. In some places, it led to canceled or postponed operations. Intensive care departments were soon overrun.
Other markets were severely affected. If you’d like to learn more about the impact of COVID on the cardiac surgery market, you can know more here.
This led to a growing need for more flexible workflows across providers. In some places, organizations reassigned staff according to new priorities.
As an example, St George’s Hospital in the UK set up a COVID Family Liaison Team. They redeployed consultants and specialists from other departments to use their communication skills.
This type of flexible assignment of staff is likely to continue in 2021.
4. Better Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity is already one of the current trends in healthcare. The WannaCry ransomware attack in 2017 cost the UK NHS around £92 million.
The switch to online working brought with it its own set of hazards. Staff started working on their own devices and insecure networks. This put data at risk.
We can expect to see healthcare providers patching security holes while creating new, more robust networks.
These Healthcare Trends Are Here to Stay
These are just four of the healthcare trends we can expect to see in 2021. As new technology and vaccines emerge, we’ll start to recover from COVID-19.
Yet these trends, focused on telehealth, cybersecurity, public health, and flexibility, are necessary for healthcare to thrive.
Check out our health articles for more industry advice.