Four Digital Health Trends for 2023: A CTO Perspective
The digital health industry is on the cusp of a radical transformation. Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2019, digital health companies, one by one, have been achieving the following short-term goal: transforming their businesses into healthcare platforms.
This transition is changing how care is delivered and the very nature of patient health management. As the industry evolves, the trajectory of these platforms will ultimately drive the future direction of digitally-enabled healthcare services.
This blog looks at the four biggest digital health trends that healthcare CTOs and technology leaders should consider in 2023 and the coming years.
Read in this article:
Digital Health Industry Growth
Let’s begin with some numbers.
Statista recently reported that the global digital health market is poised to grow from $334 billion in 2022 to $417 billion in 2023. In addition, the same report shows that the market will grow at a CAGR of 25 percent from 2019 to 2025, which is higher than other healthcare sectors such as medical insurance, pharmaceuticals, and health administration.
In the United States, digital health spending is projected to reach $123 billion by 2025, based on the increasing adoption of mobile apps, wearable devices, and telehealthcare projects.
With these numbers and ideas in mind, the following tech trends will likely be essential for digital health companies in 2023 and the coming years.
Trend 1: Improved Patient Care Through Telemedicine
The healthcare market is shifting from the provider to the consumer. The convergence of digitized patient information and medical devices drives healthcare consumerization.
The advancement of telemedicine further accelerates this trend. Advanced virtual medicine services take the patient’s medical device data and present it on a smartphone.
As a result, patients can access medical care and documentation at any time from any device, requiring the assistance and permission of a healthcare professional. Additionally, patient comfort during interaction with healthcare practitioners will improve.
While it will take some time to perfect, in 2023, advanced telemedicine services will be an integrated part of a normalized healthcare experience.
Takeaways for CTOs:
- Lead the integration of patients’ digital medical records, devices, and care plans.
- Figure out how to efficiently scale advanced telemedicine services across facilities and regions.
- Work with developers to create snappy telehealth applications for patients and clinicians.
Trend 2: Secure and Confidential Access to Patient Health Data
As patient-led data become a standard part of digital health delivery, using personal health information (PHI) will become much more critical. In addition, the consequences of data breaches will only become more severe, leading to an increased demand for patient-centric technology solutions.
Regarding data security and privacy concerns, not all PHI will be equally private. Accordingly, individuals will be able to decide which medical devices and apps to use. This trend will allow consumers to shop for gadgets that best suit their individual needs.
For example, a consumer might purchase a mobile application that facilitates heart rate and blood pressure tracking. However, that person may only be willing to share some things about their health with the healthcare practitioner.
As a result, the consumer may share vital signs during a visit with their healthcare provider but would want to keep that information private from insurance providers, for example.
Notably, cloud-based storage technology sets the stage for the seamless sharing of private data between doctors and patients. To empower consumers and improve patient care, I believe doctors need to secure their patients’ health data on a decentralized network—based on blockchain, for example.
As consumers begin to define new expectations around privacy, digital health companies must focus on designing systems that respect these new boundaries. In addition, in 2023 and the coming years, healthcare professionals will likely become more engaged with patients personally.
Takeaways for CTOs:
- Assess the current data protection policies and protocols regarding patient data.
- Invest in software and hardware that help ensure the security of patient information.
- Work with platform developers to integrate privacy safeguards into new and existing applications.
Trend 3: Building Patient-Led Healthcare Platforms
As noted above, the value of data is becoming increasingly important to patients. This trend will push digital health companies to make their services data-driven and approachable for patients to improve the quality of care and the overall experience.
As emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and IoMT (The Internet of Medical Things, or medical IoT)become more widely adopted in healthcare, data-driven platforms will be crucial. These platforms will allow consumers to engage with their healthcare providers in meaningful ways. For example, they will help patients understand their conditions and make informed treatment decisions.
As a result, digital health companies that focus on building patient-centric platforms will stand out in the marketplace.
Takeaways for CTOs:
- Analyze the technological drivers of this trend and determine how they can be utilized to improve patient care.
- Do not see healthcare IT as a separate silo from the rest of an organization.
- Continually work with healthcare providers, insurance providers, medical research companies, and other stakeholders to develop and deploy new healthcare platforms.
- Ensure that all digital health devices are interoperable with enterprise systems and workflows.
Trend 4: Digital Health Is More than Just Healthcare
The last few years have demonstrated an explosion of digital health companies— some have failed to meet expectations. Many companies have not focused enough on delivering tangible and valuable applications to consumers.
To be successful and relevant, these companies need to begin thinking about digital health as a whole rather than just healthcare.
An excellent example of this idea is the partnership between Apple and Stanford Medicine. As noted by the university, this collaboration is critical to use digital health technology to create more predictive and preventive health care. It includes making patient health data more accessible and bringing cutting-edge technologies to hospitals and primary care facilities.
In 2023, the top digital health companies will begin thinking about how to build a holistic consumer-centric platform. The success of these companies will hinge on the ability to connect consumers to their data and deliver relevant healthcare services.
Takeaways for CTOs:
- Conduct a technology audit of your current digital health platform and identify opportunities for improvement.
- Review new technology, especially in the mHealth space, that can contribute to a better patient experience.
- Consider ways to expand existing products and services into adjacent markets.
With all of these ideas in mind, incredible opportunities are ahead. As digital health companies expand, they should focus on delivering high-quality products and personalized services.
The use of blockchain to store patient data could help drive this trend. For the healthcare industry to continue growing, patients should feel a sense of control over their health data. Blockchain technology enables consumers to take ownership of this data and drive themselves to digital platforms.
Additionally, connected devices and apps will become more independent of healthcare providers as they grow in popularity. Advanced healthcare systems that focus on fusing data from patients and their devices will genuinely serve the needs of consumers.
Looking ahead, we’ll likely see an increase in the use of wearables for healthcare services. Despite recent concerns about the health effects of these devices, the industry shows no signs of slowing down.
Combining data from wearables with other health data sources and a patient-centric platform that allows patients control over their data will likely lead to a world where consumers have more influence in the healthcare system.
Digital health will make waves in the years to come. What 2023 holds for the industry is anybody’s guess, but obviously, digitally-enabled healthcare will continue to be a growing and dynamic space for innovation. The most successful companies will focus on data-driven business models that embrace personalized solutions for patients.