Top 5 Medical & Healthcare Industry Trends for 2020
Top 5 Medical & Healthcare Industry Trends for 2020
With the rise of trust in technology, we are seeing a drastic shift in consumer behaviour.
More specifically, individuals are becoming more and more comfortable sharing personal details about their lives, including their health and well-being online.
Up until a few years ago, the very idea was unthinkable – out of fear of not knowing who or what is operating on the other side.
The role of digital transformation in the healthcare industry
Now, with technological innovations transforming the healthcare industry, there have been various advancements relating to treatments for diseases and disorders, medications, instruments, equipment, and facilities.
Healthcare services are no longer just about diagnosis and treatment. It is about providing a user-friendly environment where individuals can easily access reliable, personalised information with a human touch, aided by artificial intelligence.
As the ‘new normal’ sets in, it is likely that trust in technology will grow because systems will only continue to improve, slowly lessening concerns regarding privacy and security.
In turn, the broad embrace of digital interaction and its convenience will become more evident.
With that in mind, here are the top 5 trends for the Australian healthcare sector in 2020.
1. There will be a focus on mental health conditions and substance abuse disorders
All around the globe, societies deal with issues that are perceived as aversive such as mental health conditions and substance abuse disorders.
Often, these issues trigger emotional responses, including anxiety, sadness, anger or shame. They also create barriers that inhibit access to treatment, which is a major concern among healthcare professionals.
With the increase in access to care for mental health conditions and substance abuse disorders, as well as more prominent disclosure among the online community, the stigma around such issues is slowly diminishing.
As more online forums appear, and research rises to the surface, we can expect a reduction in the discrepancy between “us” and “them”.
Positive interpersonal interactions, shared objectives, and equal status among individuals – all of these factors can diminish anxiety, heighten empathy and, in turn, facilitate the process of combatting stigmatization.
2. Big-box stores and atypical organizations will dive headfirst into the healthcare industry
Rural communities and underserved populations are continuously looking for convenient alternatives to physician-based or hospital-based health services, which are generally limited by geography.
With this in mind, the main objective is to bring care directly to patients through virtual visits or other forms of electronic communication.
In striving to fill this need and to keep up with the latest trends, big-box stores and atypical organizations are making every effort to enter an industry that they do not quite understand.
For instance, Walmart opened its first Walmart Health Clinic for the purpose of offering a wider assortment of services than in its existing in-store clinics, and those offered by its competition.
Of course, some will say that these companies are merely “following the money” in an attempt to increase revenues. Ultimately, success within this area will depend on the ability to meet the growing need for local health care and the quality of care delivery.
3. Physician groups will gain the upper hand over hospital systems
In recent years, physician groups have been dominated and acquired by hospital systems. Those who hope to stay private are seeking alternatives, one of the most promising being their coming together into accountable care organizations.
In its broadest sense, accountable care organizations are groups of doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare providers. They form a partnership to serve a particular patient population with coordinated care, all the while reducing growth in costs.
Private groups are also able to more effectively store and protect customer data for those with private health insurance, as they have access to more updated client management systems.
Similarly, private equity companies are attracting physician groups by leveraging their purchasing power. In doing so, they are allowing them to remain independent of hospital health systems and compete more effectively within the rapidly growing healthcare industry.
Yet the evolution of continuous quality improvement continues to impact the healthcare industry. In the following years, the possibility remains that even physician groups backed by private equity companies will eventually end up being acquired by large hospital systems.
4. The dental industry will grow in size
Every year, we are seeing new trends in the dental industry, including new technologies and procedures that aim to improve the patient experience.
2020 is no different. Research shows that with an emphasis on prevention, the dental industry is expected to grow in size.
As dental practices continue to implement new approaches, this will result in more accessible patient care, shorter treatment time, and an increase in patient volume.
Such methods include:
Even the cost of dentures in Australia, which vary on a case by case basis, will continue to become more affordable to those in need, as more custom solutions become available.
This has the potential to ease some of the strain caused by Australia’s ageing population, and present flow-on effects in care industries such as aged care.
Dental practices who are willing to mix it up to stand out from others in the area are the ones who will reap the rewards of attracting new patients and retaining existing ones.
5. Wheelchair-friendly options will promote independence among individuals with mobility impairments
As advancements in technology are helping various industries move forward, one such sector that is seeing significant benefits is the automobile industry.
For individuals with mobility impairments, this means a greater sense of independence, such as driving vehicles on their own.
Likewise, there is an escalating trend among inexpensive mobility assistive devices and mechanical systems assisting in making long-lasting improvements to wheelchair-accessible vehicle converter systems.
Expect to see some flow-on effects in the disability care sector.
At current, Sydney prides itself on accessibility and more and more locations becoming wheelchair-friendly (including accommodations, bathrooms, seating areas, and pathways, to name a few).
As a consequence, the wheelchair-accessible vehicle converter market is expected to display good growth potential, especially within the next five years.
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