Ready to go to the local mall for your physical? Or see your pharmacist about your watch app’s alerts about your cholesterol level? These are a couple of potential scenarios greeting the healthcare industry in 2023. Learn about them and more, as well as the role hospital computer systems can play as possible solutions to these challenges.  

Healthcare to Offer More Individual Patient Care 

“Patients are all alike and should be treated as such.” 

This deep-seated notion in medicine is being called into question especially given the advancements in technology. Patients in 2023 will most likely see healthcare personalized geared to them.

One way this is made possible is through the increased use of precision medicine. The medical model specifically tailors drugs and other forms of treatments based on factors like:

  • Patient’s Age 
  • Genetics 
  • Risk factors for specific conditions like diabetes and heart attacks 

Patients benefit because it allows them and their providers to make more choices about how their care is planned and delivered, given their circumstances, opinions, and belief systems. 

Personalization in healthcare is also being driven by psychographics, or the study of people’s attitudes and behaviors in decision-making. Some healthcare groups are using it to take patient segmentation to focus on diverse populations. They do so to address the population’s unique needs as well as differentiate themselves in the highly-competitive market. Examples include:

  • California-based Medicare startup Clever Care and its focus on the Asian community. 
  • Alignment Healthcare addresses the needs of its Hispanic population through its “el Unico” option. Zocalo Health, founded by Amazon Care alumni Erik Cardenas and Mariza Hardin, provides the same with their “by Latinos for Latinos” clinical group.  
  • Members of the LGBTQ+ community can find healthcare insurance for their needs via SCAN’s Affirm health plan. 

Digital front doors are good starting points involving healthcare strategies to reach out and retain patients. For personalization, they can be adapted to:

  • Provide up-to-date information of the healthgroup group, clinics, and hospitals in the patients’ languages.
  • Make available live operators fluent in the served population’s languages.
  • Offer educational tools and documents vetted for cultural / historical accuracy and sensitivity. 

Retail Pharmacy take Primary Role in Healthcare

Retail healthcare is predicted to double in 2023. Much of the growth is driven by health solution companies like Walgreen pharmacy, Aetna CVS, and Walmart Health. Part of this was in response to the global pandemic in 2020 when many medical clinics shut down due to health and budgetary concerns. Retail health clinics began to take over as sites for COVID-19 testing. They have since expanded, offering traditional healthcare services like:

  • Blood tests 
  • Medical check-ups
  • Vaccinations

Patients found the offered services more convenient and accessible than medical clinics. They especially like the fact many retailers did not require appointments to be booked in advance. 

Unsurprisingly, retail store pharmacies will be the cornerstone for this healthcare model. Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians will see their roles expanded with more direct patient care. Equipment use in these retail pharmacies will become similar to that found in traditional healthcare clinics and hospitals:

  • Patient kiosks powered by a medical box PC to manage patient check-in.
  • Medical tablets with fanless design and IP65 rated sealed bezels for easy maintenance and cleaning.

Healthcare Goes Off-site with Remote Patient Monitoring

Telehealth and telemedicine saw massive growth and use in healthcare during the 2020 pandemic as providers and medical staff diagnosed patients remotely. 

Remote patient monitoring (RPM), a part of telehealth, is expected to see greater use in 2023. This is driven in part to the aging population and rise of comorbidities, or multiple chronic conditions like:

  • Arthritis
  • Cerebrovascular disease like embolism
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Joint disease
  • Mental health issues like depression or dementia
  • Respiratory disease
  • Sensory impairment like blindness

Providers and medical support staff like nurses can use the technology to monitor patients’ health off-site. Many are “wearables” ranging from simple devices designed to track vital signs such as heart rate and blood oxygen levels, smart “textiles” that can detect blood pressure, to  smart gloves capable of detecting and even reducing the tremors suffered by patients with Parkinson’s Disease. Wearables capable of monitoring and detecting signs of mental illnesses are increasingly becoming available, which can help deal with those suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s. 

Three “Must-Haves” for healthcare groups for their RPMs programs and accompanying wearables are: 

  • Patient Portal Messaging
  • Care Kits
  • Optimized Medical PC Workstations

Closing Comment

The healthcare industry faces new challenges with the new year. Three of them – patient segmentation, pharmacy-based primary care, and telehealth – bring new opportunities. Contact an expert at Cybernet if your healthcare group is dealing with these three formidable issues and is looking at medical computers as possible solutions. 

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