7 Expert Insights About the Future of Healthcare Technology

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Pete Humes Head of Content

Technology is transforming healthcare at warp speed.

While the world still waits patiently for the luxury of hover cars and shopping malls on the moon, medical facts are sounding more like science fiction every day.

Artificial intelligence is predicting disease.

Wearable devices monitor what happens inside our bodies.

And robots are scrubbing in for surgery.

But the healthcare industry’s journey to a completely connected, digital future is a marathon, not a sprint.

Modernization is a massive effort for hospitals and medical facilities around the world. While the C-suites do their best to launch digital revolutions, doctors and nurses still have to care for patients. Getting healthcare over the line is going to take a concerted effort from stakeholders at every level.

That includes the talented technicians and expert engineers who keep all that life-saving equipment operational.

Here are 7 insights about the future of healthcare, medical devices and technology and why they matter for service organizations.

“99% of survey respondents said that the development and commercialization of digital health solutions has accelerated in the past two years.”

Source: Accenture POV Digital Health & MedTech

Why it Matters for Service

There’s no denying the obvious: healthcare and technology are officially a couple. When it comes to high-tech tipping points, the ship has sailed, the train has left the station… pick your analogy. Change is happening fast and if you haven’t reserved your seat on the Digital Transformation Express, you may have to hustle to catch up.

For those who’ve been watching the slow-motion story of electronic health records (EHRs) since the 1960s and 70s, that was then. Today, seismic digital shifts in healthcare are happening over months rather than decades.

The good news? It’s easier than ever to get started on one solution at a time. The key is finding a tool that can grow with you and plays well with existing platforms.

“More than 30 health systems have invested $2.5 billion in remote monitoring and home health, alongside an additional $1 billion to support digital capabilities — and that number is rising according to PwC’s Hospital of the Future 2022 study.”

Source: PwC Pulse Survey January 2022

Why it Matters for Service

If you needed proof that healthcare is going mobile, those numbers are in billions (with a B). For tech companies, manufacturers, and service organizations, the more value they can provide during this evolution, the better. The Care at Home shift is full of opportunity.

A McKinsey report stated that the shift “could create value for payers, healthcare facilities and physician groups, Care at Home providers, technology companies, and investors. It also could improve patients’ quality of care and experience.”

It’s important to keep in mind that you’ll probably have to adjust strategy when it comes to service. Not only do medical device manufacturers have to consider the new challenges that come with a surge in self-administered care, but they will need reliable and easy-to-use support channels for customers.

“60% of [healthcare] executives say digital transformation is their most critical growth driver.”

Source: PwC Pulse Survey January 2022

Why it Matters for Service

This is nothing less than the complete rethinking of the way hospitals and healthcare facilities operate. But the good news is that the majority of healthcare leaders are moving forward with the patient experience in mind.

According to a Deloitte survey, health systems are “taking a consumer-centered, outside-in approach—designing processes and experiences from a consumer’s perspective as a way to build their trust and loyalty—to improve patient experience and build on newer forms of care delivery using digital technology.”

This is important for service organizations in the healthcare space because the more hospitals consider the patient experience, the more they become aware of their OWN customer experience.

“Global demand for healthcare workers is predicted to rise to 80 million staff by 2030. With supply of healthcare workers expected to reach just 65 million over the same period, this leaves a significant 15 million shortfall.”

Source: Philips Future Health Index

Why it Matters for Service

It’s not great news, but healthcare is by no means alone in its labor woes. And like every other industry suffering a talent drought, one of top priorities is figuring out how to help current teams work smarter and not harder.

Technology is a great lever to pull to immediately improve efficiency. Hospitals are busy, fast-paced workplaces that are full of labor-intensive, menial tasks ready to be replaced. Research cited in this GE Healthcare article noted that “doctors and nurses spend an average of 6 percent – 9 percent of their morning and evening shifts searching for medical equipment.”

Service providers who go beyond the simple break-fix model can have a real impact on overall efficiency. There are countless ways to deliver added value with the right technology:

“In 2023 we will continue to see a rise of blended learning methods, combining the best of in-person training with self-directed online learning – from self-paced tutorials such as e-learning, webinars, and gamification to more advanced delivery methods, such as augmented reality and virtual reality.”

Source: Philips Healthcare Technology Trends for 2023

Why it Matters for Service

Technology can do wonders in shortening the on-ramp from rookie to field-ready. Advancements in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) allow new technicians the ability to learn, practice and make mistakes using digital twins and virtual models of multimillion dollar pieces of equipment.

GE Healthcare has deployed a training solution that combines “the immersive power of simulation, the user engagement of cutting-edge gaming techniques, and the precision of a highly detailed technical service manual - and put it all in a mobile training center that can be shipped and used around the world.”

Even more practical are the “mobile training centers” that we all carry in our pocket. If you’re looking for a powerful training tool,a remote expert guidance app is one of the fastest and most effective ways to get junior techs up to speed.

“Healthcare provider networks will increasingly look to MedTech manufacturers to deliver technological innovations to increase the efficiency of their staff by decreasing both administrative and labor burdens.”

Source: Iqvia, MedTech Trends to Watch in 2023

Why it Matters for Service

While everyone is worrying about whether ChatGPT will take over humanity, it’s important to remember that great technology can make our lives significantly easier. The ongoing digital transformation of healthcare is helping eliminate the busy work that bogs down medical professionals and can ultimately lead to better quality care.

Service teams can be part of the solution by streamlining and digitizing as many repair processes as possible. Reduce friction by eliminating paper forms, complex spreadsheets and other roadblocks that keep you from getting those offline devices back up and running.

“Expenses for health systems are projected to rise by almost $135 billion in 2023 and about 30% of rural hospitals are in danger of closing.”

Source: Forbes, “Digital Health Predictions”

Why it Matters for Service

Money. On just about every healthcare CEO’s list of priorities, you’ll likely find cutting costs right below saving lives. The financial pressure is mounting and overwhelming, so you’d better believe plenty of that stress will be passed along.

How can you avoid getting crunched with the other numbers? The mandate for service organizations is simple: do it fast and do it right the first time.

Maybe “simple” isn’t the right word.

But whenever you’re ready to build a more efficient service process that leverages the latest technology, elevates the customer experience, and seamlessly connects with wherever the healthcare industry will be in 2033…

We are here to help you get started.

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