2024 Healthcare Technology Predictions
As 2023 draws to a close, it’s time to take an annual collective pause and plan for what’s in store for healthcare in the coming year. In the spirit of tradition and championing innovation in healthcare, here are a few of our observations on the trends that will shape the digital health landscape in 2024.
1. A Measured Approach to Health AI
Artificial Intelligence (AI) was the topic on everyone’s lips this year, but 2024 is shaping up to see the technology implemented in a more measured approach.
“Interestingly, [AI] funding levels cooled in the back half of the year as pragmatism was ushered in via an increased focus on governance and safety but also an appreciation for the limitations of the current state of technology,” Hospitology editor Blake Madden noted in his 8 Predictions for Healthcare 2024: What the Market is Signaling for the Year Ahead article.
Healthcare organizations are starting to realize that the true value of AI lies not in its novelty but in its clinical and operational impact. With nascent generative AI and other technologies flooding the market, many healthcare organizations are taking a cautious approach to point solution adoption. 2024 should see an increased focus on building a secure infrastructure to introduce audio, video, and other sensor-based AI technology safely while improving large-language and other data models to better leverage AI tools.
2. The Continued Embrace of Hybrid Care Models
Industry-wide workforce challenges that plagued 2023 will persist in 2024. As Sonia Millsom, CEO of Oxeon, put it in the recent Forbes piece Overhyped? Digital Health Executive Anti-Predictions for Healthcare In 2024, “Health systems will remain in crisis. The scarcity of workforce and archaic nature of the workflows is at a crisis point.”
As a result of this trend, hybrid care models have been on the rise, and their popularity is only set to grow in 2024. These models combine the convenience of remote healthcare staff coupled with the personalized touch of in-person care. Virtual Nursing, in particular, has proven effective as an inpatient workforce multiplier for understaffed hospitals, providing real-time reinforcement to overburdened floor staff.
As telehealth and adjacent technologies continue to advance, expect to see hybrid care models integrated into more acute and nonacute healthcare settings. In the coming years, patients will not only appreciate but come to expect the added layer of care, and healthcare providers will benefit from the improved patient experience and reduced reliance on travel staff.
3. Empowering Patients with Wearable Health Tech
Wearable health technology has been steadily evolving, and 2024 will witness a new era of data-driven insights. From smartwatches and fitness trackers to remote patient monitoring devices, wearables are becoming increasingly sophisticated, offering new sources for real-time health data capture in almost any setting.
In 2024, wearable health tech devices will play a more significant role in chronic disease management and early detection of health issues, both in the patient’s home and in hospital settings. With the adoption of AI technology, wearables will provide even more patient-specific health recommendations and alerts, helping to guide care more proactively.
Caregility CEO Ron Gaboury sees these trends coming together to leave an indelible mark on healthcare in 2024. “AI-enhanced hybrid care sets the stage for emerging home-based care delivery models like hospital-at-home, envisioning a future where highly skilled virtual nurses, alongside bedside clinicians, are empowered by intelligent tools to deliver high-quality patient care directly in patients’ homes.”
From a measured approach to health AI to the continued embrace of hybrid care models, digital health trends continue to redefine the way we approach healthcare. As we step into 2024, one thing is certain: the future of healthcare is digital, patient-centric, and teeming with new possibilities.