2020 is an exciting time for the global healthcare industry as technological advancement is at its height. When strategizing for the future, C-level executives consider the challenges they face and solutions that promise to address those. Along with financial, strategic, and talent-related issues, the healthcare sector faces a lot of digital challenges. In this article, you will get familiar with the major predictions and trends that will shape the development of hospitals in the next 5 years.

Global healthcare overview: Current state and predictions for future

According to Forbes, 2019 was the year of robust digital transformation across medical and health care.

Top predictions came true, and here’s what we have today:

Key predictions for Healthcare

Value-based healthcare model

The outcome-based model of medicine globalized, which means that providers became focused on better health for patients. Instead of paying for hospital interventions, patients tend to pay for longer lives and better health. Doctors determine which treatment or intervention will bring the best patient outcome and take the specific measures to reach that outcome. 

The concept of value-based treatment stands for the elimination of costs for ineffective interventions and the release of the resources needed to solve the problems associated with the rapidly growing and aging population. Despite the widespread of this concept, it is still in the early stage of adoption. Stakeholders are still weighing all pros and cons and searching for the right tools to make the model work.   

AI-powered applications for healthcare

Frost and Sullivan’s survey says that the AI healthcare apps market will achieve a 68,5% GAGR from 2018 to 2022. Artificial intelligence solutions promise to solve the problems with productivity, data accuracy, and customer experience. However, these apps require investing additional budget, which can’t be often afforded by the end-users. Thus, software development companies tend to offer cost-effective solutions with clear ROI outcomes. 

It is anticipated that AI-fueled apps will be widely used for analytics, drug discovery, and image diagnostic. They will also help serve the e-health and m-health sectors, telemedicine, and improve patient experience within the entire healthcare system. 

Digital health tech

According to Deloitte, the future of healthcare will be characterized by higher consumer engagement and more accurate data and platform interoperability. The data that become available today – biometric, genomic, social information – will help provide more personalized services for patients. Insights backed by real-time data can make recommendations of public healthcare systems more specific and accurate, leading to target treatment and prevention measures. 

The evolution of digital health apps enables patient involvement in care. Today, people can benefit from having access to their health data, which means they can better control their habits and behavior. 

Smart hospital as a digital transformation outcome 

Technology advancement introduced intelligent solutions to healthcare, which resulted in a smooth shift towards “smartness” in hospitals. What is a smart hospital? Simply put, it is an environment in which a patient can get optimal care by using the most of IT. It is a place that timely provides relevant data and expertise. It is the center that offers efficient diagnosis and surgical solutions. And ultimately, it is an enterprise with a low human error rate and cost-effective operations.  

Smart hospital features

A smart hospital could also be described as an interconnected system with completely automated and reliable processes, offering a wide range of assets fueled by AI and IoT solutions. The European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) defines the critical objectives of smart hospitals as follows:

  • Enhanced diagnostics and surgical capacity
  • Seamless patient flow
  • Remote health monitoring and medical care
  • Safe patients – smart hospitals
  • Advanced cybersecurity
  • Trustworthiness

The agency considers that IT advancement impacts the objectives listed above and provides new opportunities for hospitals. For example, the surgical sector can benefit from surgical robots, which can perform microsurgery. That’s what clinicians cannot do without specific devices and tools. 

The adoption of IoT devices for medical care ensures remote health monitoring. Wearables and mobile devices allow for doctors to get real-time patient data remotely. These capabilities help doctors not only monitor the state of health but also diagnose diverse diseases at early stages and timely direct patients in proper treatment.   

What are smart hospital assets?

Each hospital positioning itself as a smart organization should own a specific combination of assets. Some of those will also be characteristic of traditional hospitals but existing without connectivity to intelligent technology solutions. So, below is a comprehensive list of assets associated with smart hospitals:

  1. Remote systems, which may include medical wearable devices.
  2. Networked devices like mobile phones, implantable devices, stationary devices, robots, etc.
  3. Authentication systems that can include biometric scanners, smart badges, radio frequency identification systems (RFID), etc.
  4. Networking tools like IoT gateways that serve to collect data for analysis and send it to the cloud.
  5. Mobile devices like mobile apps, laptops, apps for emergency communication.
  6. Information systems, for example, laboratory information system or blood bank system. 
  7. Different types of data, like patient data, staff data, research data, etc.
  8. Smart facilities, which may include an intelligent patient room management system, automated doors, temperature sensors, etc. 

All these systems, devices, and data make up a smart hospital. They are powered by super-intelligent technologies that allow these assets to communicate with each other. 

Future of hospitals: What are the most critical solutions that a smart hospital should possess?

ENISA survey uncovers clinical information systems and connected medical devices as the two most crucial assets for a smart hospital. Further, in the ranking, come networking equipment and remote care systems. The fifth is the data. Let’s focus on these five major things to understand what role each of them plays in creating an intelligent environment for providing high-quality healthcare services. 

Most important assets for smart hospitals

1. Clinical information systems (CIS): Current state and the future 

Information systems for clinics are widely used in the USA and Europe. Hospitals having more than 200 beds usually have CIS. These solutions are aimed to manage administrative and financial operations rather than serving patient needs. More significant adoption of IT is presented by electronic health records (EHR), which are successfully used in Spain, France, England, Australia, and other countries. 

Within 5 years, as more IT solutions evolve, it will be possible to connect CIS to new technologies in hospitals so that patients will get better support. Actually, it means that CIS will morph into powerful platforms incorporating real-time patient data, health professionals, and diverse applications in one place and allowing for secure work and data exchange.  

Among the top demands associated with CIS, there is the seamless integration of these systems with EHR, voice recognition solutions powered by IoT and AI, and apps that could deliver real-time patient data directly to the hospital. 

2. Connected medical devices: How the IoMT market will grow in 2022

According to Deloitte, MedTech suppliers produce over 500.000 devices of different types (stationary, implanted, wearable, etc.). The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) connects the physical world with digital technology for hospitals ensuring high data accuracy and effective diagnosis techniques. Also, networked devices enhance operational productivity and flow management in clinics. Today, connected medical devices are actively used to streamline the outcome-based care model that is intended to improve the quality of healthcare service. 

The future of IoT-powered technologies in hospitals depends on how effectively and rapidly these will be adopted and implemented in healthcare. The key challenges of IoT adoption include the following things:

  • Developing a complete picture of the end-user needs.
  • Elaborating on cybersecurity measures. 
  • Finding the right digital/MedTech provider.
  • Collaboration between MedTech companies, hospitals, and governmental institutions. 

Here are some predictions for the IoMT market growth presented by Deloitte:

IoMT market growth 2017-2022

3. Networking equipment

Networking equipment is fundamental for ensuring the correct work of connected devices in smart hospitals. IoT gateways allow CIS to collect data, analyze it, and send it to the cloud. Besides, these devices have the potential to fully replace the legacy platforms as they can significantly improve the healthcare sector in general, diagnostics, and medical care in particular.  

4. Remote care systems: Giving affordable access to care 

Remote care systems are usually associated with remote patient monitoring (RPM), which allows controlling the health of patients outside hospitals. Such systems can reduce costs for care and increase access to care, for example, in rural or remote areas. Typically, these solutions are built bearing in mind the four key components:

  • sensors enabled by WI-FI, LTE, or BLE;
  • data storage at a patient’s site;
  • centralized base station;
  • application for diagnostics.

Synchronized, these components make up a super-intelligent platform that can monitor health indicators, analyze them, transmit to the hospital’s site, and develop appropriate treatment or interventions. 

Read how we developed an RPM platform for clinical trials

5. Data: Hospitals of future 

Almost in every industry, data is considered as one of the most vital assets. In healthcare, data comes in the form of patient data, research data, medical errors, data logs, to name a few. According to Forbes, data analytics in healthcare shifts from Big Data to meaningful small data by hospital specialty. Based on this trend, healthcare providers will use analytics to the fullest extent possible. It means that hospitals will aim to improve their techniques of identifying at-risk patients, prescribing treatment, and preventing medical errors.  

Hospitals of future

Future hospital technology: What should we expect from healthcare within the next 5 years?

Global Healthcare, like any other industry, undergoes a massive transformation of about everything. What we see taking into account the trends mentioned above and real evidence – the industry is going to provide an intelligent approach to treatment, better services, and more options for patients. Within 5 years, if we check the predictions, we’ll see a significant advancement in AI-fueled technology solutions for hospitals, improvements in public services, and the shift to value-based healthcare. 

How can DICEUS help you?

We design and develop custom CISs, remote care platforms, and solutions with a wide range of applications: flow automation, front desk management, patient information management, etc. We consult our prospects and customers on modernizing and optimizing their systems, as well. So, feel free to contact our experts. They can recommend the best way to start innovation in your hospital.