The COVID-19 pandemic fundamentally changed the healthcare industry, contributing to a diminishing workforce, clinician burnout, policy changes, and a renewed call for digital transformation.
While it’s likely that much of 2022 will be spent continuing to address COVID-19 and the newest emerging variants, there are also promising innovations on the horizon that have the potential to enhance patient care and address common challenges across hospitals and health systems.
What can you expect in the new year? Read on for our monthly news recap exploring experts’ predictions for the upcoming year, with a particular focus on the pandemic’s impact on demand for telehealth services.
Healthcare IT News
The healthcare system has been stretched thin by the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is continuing to cope with challenges including the delivery of vaccination programs, a diminishing workforce, and an increased demand for digital transformation. In the coming year, the healthcare system will likely face an urgency to develop more sustainable services and therapeutics, adopt health security measures, address workforce scarcity, and make changes to proactively prevent and manage non-communicable diseases.
Grand View Research
Telehealth aims to increase access to basic healthcare, and it has been shown to improve quality of care delivery to patients. As demand for digital health services increases, the U.S. telehealth market is expected to reach $2.83 billion by 2022. This can help reduce hospital visits and re-hospitalizations, enable round-the-clock monitoring, and allow patients to access care from the comfort of their own homes.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought incredible challenges to the healthcare industry, but it has also provoked innovative new approaches. As patients looked for alternatives to in-person office visits, for example, the demand for virtual care skyrocketed. As of July 2021, the use of telehealth has increased by 38 times since before the pandemic began. Will this demand wane once the pandemic has passed? The answer may, in part, rely on policies around health plan reimbursements for telehealth services.
Millions of people quit their jobs in 2021, and that mass resignation significantly impacted the healthcare industry. There are no easy fixes for the healthcare labor crisis; however, innovations and advancements in healthcare technology have the potential to lessen the strain on overworked, burnt-out physicians, nurses, and staff. In the coming year, AI-powered tools, telehealth, remote monitoring, and precision medicine can play a role in enhancing patient care and improving the mental, physical, and emotional states of healthcare workers.