The New Year tends to come with some changes – new socio-cultural interactions, new ways of doing business or new adjustments in our lifestyles. Some changes tend to fall on
the wayside as the year advances.
But other changes tend to be more long-term, serving to redefine several aspects of our lives. You can be certain that there will be changes in healthcare delivery this year.
As with other service-oriented industries, technology will be a key driver of healthcare delivery. The interplay between technology and health is already quite advanced, but will get even more accelerated as the year progresses.
You will already be familiar with a multitude of tech gadgets that can monitor various aspects of your health, and even offer suggestions on specific health actions. Such gadgets will get more refined, eventually becoming indispensable in individual health monitoring.
You should expect to see more interactions with machines rather than humans in healthcare facilities. You will start with electronic bookings, then step into automated booths to have your vital data recorded and get out at the other end with an electronic prescription.
In some cases, you will not even need to physically visit your doctor’s once. Telemedicine will continue to evolve, allowing remote consultations within the comforts of your home or office.
All the paperwork you currently associate with healthcare will slowly be a thing of the past. Electronic health records are already mainstream, allowing you to access your records anywhere and at anytime.
Safeguards for electronic health data will continue to evolve, allowing everyone to have their data stored in vast cloud-based repositories. Seamless access to such records by various healthcare providers should be expected to improve overall healthcare delivery.
You should expect to see more individualisation of healthcare approaches. The field of genetics is growing rapidly, facilitating targeted screening tests and pharmacological interventions. Getting lumped into broad definitions of disease will slowly disappear, leaving you with a unique and personalised approach. The probabilities of successful prevention and cure will continue to increase. You will have to play your part and keep abreast with the inevitable changes in healthcare.
That means keeping yourself well informed, and arming yourself with appropriate health gadgets. You will have to be ready to act on a flurry of medical information coming from all your self-monitoring.
That may mean some lifestyle changes, or the odd medical intervention. All the investments in modern healthcare will translate into rising medical bills, mandating an adjustment in your healthcare budget as well. Keep abreast with novel healthcare approaches this year. It’s all for your good.