Digital healthcare technology has played a vital role in addressing the challenges brought on by the global pandemic.
The pandemic highlighted how new technologies – some that had been slow to see mainstream adoption – could be easily implemented to bring numerous benefits to providers and patients alike.
The Top Digital Healthcare Trends for 2021
Innovations like telehealth, wearable devices, and on-demand healthcare services have helped reimagine how routine care is delivered. They offer flexibility in how patients receive consultations, engage with providers, and access treatment options.
We expect these trends to become increasingly important for healthcare organisations this year. Here are some of the trends to look out for in 2021.
We've been talking a lot about telehealth recently, and for good reason. Telehealth services have helped show how effective remote healthcare can be, providing patients with convenient access to services, medical advice, and treatment monitoring – all from the comfort of their own home.
These kinds of virtual doctor visits are expected to rise to 400 million this year, as more practices scale up their offerings to provide greater access to disadvantaged patient groups.
We'll see a long-term shift to a hybrid care model that will replace traditional appointments with a combination of telehealth and in-person visits, for services ranging from treatment follow-ups to urgent care. For providers, this approach can help save money, time, and improve accessibility.
Telehealth is here to stay, and it will play a pivotal role in extending service delivery to those that lack easy access to quality healthcare.
Personal Devices & Wearables
The pandemic provided a huge boost in demand for healthcare devices, apps, and wearables. Once regulated to the realm of simple fitness trackers, modern devices can now monitor heart rate, measure blood pressure, and even track oxygen variations.
They can capture precise data that helps guide decision-making, track treatment adherence, and alert users to potential health risks.
By sharing data with their GP, users can get personalised feedback, often improving adherence to existing treatments. Plus, it puts more responsibility in the hands of patients, so they're accountable for achieving the best possible results.
As these devices get more advanced and less expensive, we expect widespread adoption, as patients take a more active role in their own healthcare.
Thanks to advancements in telehealth solutions, digital communication, and online patient management, the shift to on-demand care is growing.
Examples of on-demand healthcare include:
- Mobile check-in apps
- Interactive patient portals
- Online consultations
- Patient-doctor communication via SMS & email
The convenience of on-demand healthcare connected solutions have made them a popular choice for many patients, as it allows them to fit healthcare around their busy schedules.
But on-demand healthcare isn't just beneficial for patients.
Online platforms can deliver on-demand healthcare information, advice, and guidance to reduce the number of unnecessary visits – freeing up staff for more pressing issues. Digital appointment booking, mobile self-check-in, and automated reminders also reduce the time staff spend on filling out paperwork, signing in patients, and following up on appointments.
The low cost and convenience of on-demand healthcare make it a trend that's expected to keep growing as digital healthcare evolves in scope.
The Future is Digital
Digital technology has firmly cemented itself as the driving force for new, exciting healthcare trends.
The pandemic highlighted the importance of emerging technology in ensuring resilience in the face of disruption. And to stay ahead, providers need to be aware of the long-term impact of digital healthcare trends, as they're set to change the very nature of how healthcare is delivered in the near future.Back to blog