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Top 6 market trends in the Healthcare industry in 2022
The Covid-19 pandemic has initiated a major change in the healthcare industry. As of 25th May 2022, the global cases tally above 526.7 million while the death count has reached 6.28 million, according to data collected by John Hopkins University. These numbers have propelled certain market trends in healthcare to take a front seat. The healthcare market is also seeing a transformation due to competition, technological advancements, and well-informed patients, leading to the development of healthcare marketing strategies that deliver.
A Deloitte report has shed light on the factors that need to be addressed while deciding the next market trends in healthcare. These factors include;
- Health Equity
- Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG)
- Mental health & well-being
- Digital transformation and health care delivery model convergence
- Future of medical science
- Public health reimagined
The challenge is to take these key issues into account in order to create an integrated marketing strategy that proves to be beneficial for both patients and the healthcare industry. In order to come up with a marketing plan for healthcare, we will discuss at length some significant market trends in healthcare.
Market trends in the healthcare industry
Telehealth or Telemedicine is an online service that allows medical practitioners to provide their services through computers, tablets, or smartphones, eliminating the need for an in-person visit. While Telehealth has been available for a number of years, it achieved prominence and became a market trend in healthcare during the Covid-19 pandemic. Even though clinics and hospitals are easily accessible once again, patients are still using Telehealth for consultations. According to a report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, about 2 in 5 (over 28 million) Medicare beneficiaries used telehealth in 2020 (due to pandemic) and the usage remained high through early 2021. Patients who live far away from their healthcare providers or wish to avail discreet medical services (such as therapy) stand to benefit the most from Telehealth.
The American Medical Association (AMA) hosted an event in 2022 to discuss the use of telehealth for emergency medicine by employing innovative solutions such as:
- establishing contact with the emergency medical services unit for screening exams and triage
- obtaining teleconsultation regarding transfer stabilization treatment, correctional medicine, or nursing skills
- following up after emergency department visits
- monitoring remotely from home
- Innovative Technologies
Over the years, the healthcare industry has relied on technology to ensure care to patients. In today’s world, new innovative digital technologies such as AI, VR, and 3D printing are playing a greater role in enabling healthcare providers. Let’s take a look at these in detail:
- Artificial Intelligence (AI): The most common market trend in the healthcare sector is the use of AI for patient management. Many startups are coming up with software solutions for patient diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring, which can be achieved remotely using AI. Some of the benefits of using AI in healthcare are the provision of more targeted diagnostics, the development of next-generation medical tools, reduction in burdens of EHR use, precise analysis of medical images, and containment of risks of antibiotic resistance. Healthcare providers are turning to AI for solutions regarding automated patient engagement and reputation management, and companies such as Emitrr offer technology-based solutions to provide such services.
- Wearable Devices: Smartwatches and Fitness Trackers are not only meant for fitness enthusiasts. The healthcare industry can benefit greatly from such devices as they allow patients to monitor their health and take preventive measures. Medical practitioners can use the data stored in these devices for patient care.
- Virtual Reality (VR) headsets: For healthcare services such as rehabilitation therapy, VR headsets are being promoted as a means of clinical treatment. This technology can also be used in medical education or for viewing holographic medical images.
- 3D Printing: The advent of this technology-enabled printing of implants and prosthetics using inexpensive materials. The prosthetics can be created as per the needs of individual patients. The 3D printed prosthetics are also lightweight and stronger than the traditional ones. A new field called bioprinting, where 3D printing is done with cells, is also gaining attraction in the healthcare industry.
- Big Data Analytics
The healthcare industry always endeavors to segregate patient data and analyze it to come up with actionable information. The collected data, which is unstructured, is being put through algorithms to provide insights to improve diagnostic and disease management processes. Big data analytics help in going through a huge amount of data by recognizing hidden patterns and correlations to provide insights. There is an increasing need to use the volumes of data collected over the years and put them to good use. Big Data analytics and machine learning are the latest market trend in healthcare to tackle the problems associated with patient data and help in better patient monitoring. Big Data analytics is also useful in risk management, product development and innovation, better decision making, and improvement of customer experience.
- Health Consumerism
Due to the availability of innovative products and services, many patients are happy to spend money to seek best solutions for their health. Highly-deductible health plans are also pushing people to take healthcare in their own hands. The healthcare industry is focusing on consumers by providing self-diagnostic kits and wellness products. The aim here is to let customers handle their health instead of solely relying on hospitals for basic problems. Virtual care is a prominent example of the rising trend of health consumerism as more and more patients are seeking help regarding their health through digital means. This market trend in healthcare is likely to continue due to an increased access to home-testing kits, virtual counseling and wellness apps. Several companies are also selling dietary supplements to promote prevention over cure.
- Social identity
Gone are the days when a patient would rely on word-of-mouth to select a medical practitioner or healthcare provider. People decide to avail services on the basis of your online presence and having a social identity is an essential market trend in healthcare. An entity’s digital reputation depends on the following factors:
- Website: A comprehensive website providing all information about your services is a prerequisite for any healthcare provider. The website should also contain SEO content, a well-constructed landing page, and informational blogs, and the design should be engaging.
- Third-Party business profiles: A lot of listing websites like Google Business Profile, and Yelp often prove to be beneficial in promoting your business. However, it is crucial to claim these profiles and ensure that the data (name, services, contact information) provided by them is correct.
- Reviews: Patients usually refer to online ratings and reviews provided by earlier clients to decide if they wish to avail your services. A healthcare provider should ask satisfied clients to leave positive feedback online. It is also important to address negative comments in order to show care and willingness to rectify any issues faced by the patients.
- Social Media: The usage of platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube continues to remain the most influential contributor to any healthcare practice’s growth. If there is one market trend in healthcare that forms the backbone of most marketing plans, it has to be social media. Patients care more for a healthcare provider’s social media presence than their credentials. It is the perfect method to engage new and old patients by providing information in an interactive manner. Since these platforms mostly use images and videos, patient engagement is relatively easier.
The healthcare industry is also immensely focused on providing patients with access to personalized portals and apps. Personalized portals are meant to provide all the medical information regarding treatments, medication, reports, and FAQs in one place for the patient. Each patient gets individual access to personalized information that reduces the need to seek their doctor for small things. Personalization is a new market trend in healthcare that is consumer-specific and aims at bettering patient/doctor relationship.
These days, almost every healthcare business has its individual app to provide resourceful information to its customers. Patients can even use these apps to avail digital services offered by the company, check out service prices or gain more information about the panel of doctors onboard. A personalized healthcare system offers more options to the patients as these portals and apps make it easy for them to make decisions regarding their health.