From data and analytics to artificial intelligence-driven smart centers to decentralized care, five trends will define the healthcare sector in 2023.
Unlocking innovation through digital transformation will be the mantra as the industry sets sights on achieving new capabilities and delivering the next level in patient care.
As customer experience becomes the differentiator, patient-centric approaches will be critical to enterprises navigating the evolving and highly regulated healthcare landscape.
The healthcare industry is at a crossroads. According to The Beryl Institute research, more than three-quarters (76 percent) of Americans have reported not having a positive patient experience in the recent past.1 However, digital technologies and new approaches to care are set to provide a new route forward, delivering better outcomes for all stakeholders in the industry.
From the transformative role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to interoperability and decentralization of care, a groundswell of innovation will empower patients, practitioners, providers and payers with new levels of support, enhanced insights and previously unimaginable capabilities.
Here, we explore five healthcare industry trends that will define the sector in 2023 and beyond.
In 2023, data and analytics will catalyze a new healthcare landscape. With the global healthcare analytics market expected to surpass USD 43 Billion this year, primary stakeholders – payers, Healthcare Professionals (HCPs) and patients – will benefit from the all-new insights, services and levels of experience that next-generation healthcare-related data and analytical capabilities provide.2
Data contextualization platforms will enable providers to seamlessly integrate and contextualize healthcare data in 2023. Organizations will be empowered with timely clinical data and insights, facilitating hyper-personalized care and improving medical decision-making. While patient data will prove crucial, this future can only flourish if data from myriad streams is unified, enabling a holistic view of patient-related information.
Payers will also benefit from integrated and holistic healthcare data, unifying member journeys and enabling those with complex healthcare needs to be better served. Third-party vendors with advanced analytics solutions can unlock insights that, when harnessed correctly, can help move away from a traditional focus on finance to providing better-quality and lower-cost care. A McKinsey & Company study shows that such next-generation care models generate 0.5 percentage points of EBITDA margin above average expectations.3
Promisingly, the healthcare industry is leading the way when it comes to areas such as social analytics. Research from WNS and Corinium Intelligence reveals that 20 percent of healthcare companies view their social analytics capabilities as ‘expert’ – the highest of any industry – with manual processes augmented by social media insights and social analytics data feeding predictive or prescriptive insights.
Combined with integrated data and democratized insights, increased connectivity in healthcare will enable a new era of smart hospitals to flourish in 2023. Fueled by an advanced digital infrastructure, forward-looking providers will utilize next-generation tools and technologies, including smart buildings, the Internet of Things (IoT), big data and AI to unlock new levels of care.
Leading players in the industry are already setting out their smart hospital visions4, including seamless hospital and home monitoring, smart diagnostic devices and predictive patient behavior, among other capabilities. In South Korea, KT Corporation and the Samsung Medical Center have together developed a 5G-powered medical service, bringing these visions to life.5 New York General Hospital’s intensive care unit is already home to smart beds that track anything from patient weight to pneumonia.6
With governments also recognizing the opportunities, smart hospitals will take off in 2023. For example, Germany’s Hospital Future Act has made billions of dollars in funding available for new digital hospital infrastructures.
Increased connectivity will also help beyond frontline work. Smart, end-to-end revenue cycle management solutions harnessing AI, Machine Learning (ML), automation and the cloud will help the industry seamlessly deal with issues such as soaring costs, reimbursement changes and workforce shortages. This will ensure that crucial talent can be delegated to profit-driven and value-based care.
The healthcare landscape is becoming increasingly dispersed. Despite much of the world returning to post-COVID normalcy, the digital healthcare behaviors embraced during the pandemic are here to stay. The Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) reports that 72 percent of medical groups expect demand for telehealth services in the US to stay the same or increase in 2023.7
Rapid advances in telehealth-related services are driving enhanced outcomes for payers, providers and patients. For instance, next-generation telehealth services that provide end-to-end solutions led by AI, chatbots, mobile health (mHealth), analytics and self-service can help improve the patient experience while optimizing costs by as much as 40 percent.
In the foreseeable future, new technologies will boost outcomes even further. A new generation of wearables and remote monitoring tech will enhance technology’s role as a facilitator of our health. Meanwhile, AI can potentially augment remote diagnosis in previously unimaginable ways. Recently, researchers developed an ML algorithm capable of predicting an individual’s response to the antidepressant Sertraline with 83.7 percent accuracy.8
This healthcare decentralization isn’t all digital, either. According to Forrester, retail health clinics, in 2023, will increase their share of the primary care market. Patients will opt for retail health’s elevated patient experience and convenience over under-pressure hospitals.9 Simultaneously, expect consumers to look even further afield for healthcare, with the improved infrastructure and relatively low cost of treatment abroad fueling a boom in medical tourism.
As digital transformation in healthcare re-defines patient engagement, the risk and compliance landscape must be fortified. Increased digitization magnifies critical risks around privacy, data integrity and cybersecurity like never before in healthcare.
Leading service providers are stepping in to help, offering comprehensive clinical expertise, harnessing AI and analytics for improved risk scoring and visibility, and protecting against non-compliance. Such capabilities will prove crucial in 2023, with increased regulatory stringency and continued technological innovation spurring further demand for risk and compliance services.
This is particularly true for payers in the wake of increased enrollment in Medicare and Medicaid plans and pandemic-related rule flexibilities in flux. They require strong domain expertise and deep knowledge of compliance standards across all 50 US states. Demand for vendors with advanced analytical solutions to improve care management and risk stratification is also on the rise.
In the future, technology will solve the problems it has caused. According to WNS and Corinium Intelligence research, 30 percent of healthcare executives believe blockchain will be instrumental in helping their organizations realize digital transformation plans and successfully harness this new landscape.
One word underlines all healthcare trends in 2023: experience. Patient or customer experience is a competitive differentiator in today's healthcare market. Perceived better service – whether based on convenience, engagement or outcomes – is driving people to seek healthcare solutions that suit their needs.
The industry is fast waking up to this shift. According to research from PwC, 49 percent of provider executives say customer experience is a top strategic priority over the next five years. 81 percent of payer executives say their companies are investing in improving member experience.10
To do so, healthcare companies must embrace solutions that adopt digital-first, patient-centric approaches. This would enable the successful navigation of a shifting and highly regulated landscape and the optimal use of next-generation technologies with transformative capabilities. Such approaches have never been more integral, with research from The Beryl Institute showing that almost two-thirds (61 percent) of patients who have had positive healthcare experiences prefer to see the same healthcare provider.11
To know more about how WNS can help you pivot to digital-first and patient-driven healthcare, visit Healthcare BPM | WNS
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23 October 2023
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