The healthcare industry is rapidly changing due to advancements in technology, over budgeting, and the heavy burden on facilities. Thus out of necessity it is evolving and with that, certain healthcare industry trends throughout 2011 have been recognised, giving insight into what we can expect from the global healthcare industry in the feature. Technology in particular will play a major role, affecting patients to doctors to those in health economics jobs.
The healthcare industry overview for 2011 proved that technology can be used to achieve a better healthcare system overall, providing a more efficient and collaborative system between consumers, healthcare providers, insurers, suppliers and healthcare brands. Technology can greatly reduce operational costs through the sharing and exchange of data, as well as provide consumers with a more interactive experience with doctors and providers and allow them to stay updated with healthcare industry news. Mobile applications for the healthcare industry will also see a rise on a consumer and service provider level.
Technologies will increasingly enable users to adopt a ‘self-service’ approach to their healthcare. For example the US healthcare industry reported that 80% of internet uses claimed to have searched online for health-related information and answers. Platforms used by interactive medical suppliers and health sites allow the consumer to empower themselves, giving the healthcare industry tremendous opportunity to communicate and interact with a more active type of consumer. Digital and social media in particular will serve as huge channels for the exchange of information, and will allow all healthcare industry professionals, from those in Pharmacovigilance jobs to clinical research, to easily reach and engage with clients.
Finally, open access to data, whilst still respecting privacy, is a growing commonality. Electronic records are beginning to replace the current system, which will eventually improve the coordination of healthcare industry data for client records, reducing administration, costs and room for error.