What are the long-term trends that will shape the digital health market in 2021? This article will summarize some significant shifts to be expected following industry report interviews and articles published in reputable health magazines.
COVID-19 is the first global pandemic in the digital age, and many healthcare technology developers seem to make the most of the sudden increase in demand for health innovations.
According to industry reports in 2021/21, we can definitely expect further expansion of telemedicine as a part of a significant trend that healthcare becomes available where the patient is. Patients, doctors, and decision-makers have discovered that telecare is easy to implement and doesn’t require costly investments in hardware or software. In some cases, it can supplement or even replace on-site visits.
According to Rock Health, health care services were the most funded value propositions in 2020. In one of the Forbes articles, we can read that patients increasingly prefer virtual tools and digital self-enrollment capabilities such as scheduling an appointment, providing healthcare insurance information, and receiving pre and post appointment communications online. All of these will be in increasing demand in 2021!
Additionally, remote monitoring technology for both active and passive healthcare consumers will likely gain traction over time. Telemedicine virtual reality will also gain importance, and VR in healthcare is believed to work well in pain relief and treating certain mental diseases. According to predictions, this market will grow to 2.4 billion dollars by 2026.
If you want to explore more about the power of VR in medicine, I recommend the recently published book “VRx: How Virtual Therapeutics Will Revolutionize Medicine” by Brennan Spiegel, the director of health services research at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He gives examples of many VR applications and emphasizes that this revolutionary new kind of care has no side effects and can be surprisingly effective.
There is also a dynamic development of national or local health platforms providing patients with access to electronic health records to manage their own health. These platforms help facilitate personalized prevention programs and communication between the patient and public health institutions. Health platforms will also play a central role in transforming the system from chaotic care to continuous holistic and coordinated care, improving patients’ experience.
Impressive progress is also being made in artificial intelligence. AI algorithms will be applied more often in the diagnostic systems and the development of new drugs. Artificial intelligence will help people to lead a personalized lifestyle, predict disease earlier and live longer. It will accelerate medical research and speed up clinical studies. Following an article published in September 2020, 29 FDA-approved artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms for applications in healthcare.
Overworked medical staff face burnout, so around a third of European clinicians think of leaving their profession. The imbalance between supply and demand for medical services is growing, and digitalization can offer some support to make this gap smaller. Finally, 2020 has boosted digital therapeutics due to the healthcare act that allows german doctors to prescribe mobile apps that successfully pass the application process.
The question remains will other countries follow these digital-friendly laws during and after the global pandemics. According to digital health trends in 2021 we have seen so far; we can expect many long-term changes in this direction that will eventually completely transform the digital health market in the following decade.
Dr.Peter Wong, affectionately known as Dr. Peter by his staff and patients, has helped hundreds of patients achieve their dreams of the ultimate smile. He is happily married and has two wonderful children, Isabella and Christian. Dr. Peter enjoys blogging about digital health and spending as much time as possible with his family.
Dr. Peter Wong
Hidden Valley Smiles