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The year 2022 saw the emergence of many new trends in the healthcare industry. While the COVID-19 pandemic led to widespread economic collapse around the world, it has also accelerated innovations, digitisation and tech adoption across different industries, especially the medical and pharmaceutical sectors. Use of telehealth among people increased significantly during the pandemic, new diagnostic tools and technologies improved diagnostic accuracy, ultra-low freezers are now being used widespread across the world for safe storage of vaccines. In the year to come, experts are expecting much bigger changes in the healthcare industry, more innovations, further increase in adoption of digital technologies and improvements in disease prevention and treatment. Want to know the technology trends expected in the year 2023? Read on
From e-consultations and telemedicine to real-time diagnosis and access to digital therapeutics, the healthcare industry has advanced on many fronts.
Prashant Parmar, Head Doctor Growth, HealthPlix Technologies, says, "A combination of artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things (IoT), and data management practices have led to the industry getting smarter by the day. In recent years, there has been an explosion of artificial intelligence (AI) applications in healthcare. AI is being used to develop new medical treatments, improve disease prevention and make healthcare delivery more efficient. It is getting better at understanding and responding to the complexities of human health and complementing the work of doctors and other healthcare professionals,"
Citing a report, he notes that the global Artificial Intelligence [AI] in healthcare market size and share is expected to surpass $95.65 Billion by 2028.
Parmar continues, "The expected growth highlights how frontier technologies can transform industries at peak adoption. In the coming years, AI is expected to get closer to being able to provide personalized medicine and playing a key role in improving diagnosis and treatment for a range of conditions. It will be no surprise if digital or frontier technology like AI will be part of every aspect of the healthcare ecosystem, leading to a positive impact on lives and society."
"Furthermore, digital systems provided by health-tech start-ups will empower doctors and hospitals to streamline their operations, patient tracking and engagement followed by administrative functions. More importantly, the use of AI-powered Electronic Medical Records (EMR) in healthcare will advance rapidly and is one area where significant improvements will benefit doctors, patients and the industry at large," he adds.
However, Parmar underscores that doctors inside hospitals and individual clinics that dominate rural Bharat need a digital push that can advance patient care.
Jesal Doshi, Deputy CEO, B Medical Systems states that the healthcare sector is moving towards a more sustainable way.
Talking about the trends dominating the healthcare sector, he says, "New technology and solutions that address the needs for clinical diagnosis, treatment, and illness management are among the trends in the healthcare sector that we are currently seeing. The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic stimulated the development of new technology for treatment, patient management and supply chain management, etc. Tech-enabled solutions to improve the efficiency of healthcare infrastructure through real-time, remote monitoring equipment, E-consultations, telemedicine, real-time diagnostics, and access to digital therapies are made possible through immersion technology tools. Precision medicine is made possible by genetic analysis, clinical data storage, big data, and analytics."
"Hospitals are becoming smarter because of the deployment of artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things (IoT), and data management techniques. The healthcare sector is also moving towards a more sustainable way of operating by reinventing processes, products, and waste management. Green products like energy-saving equipment, solar-powered vaccines, cold storage etc. are setting a tone for the future of healthcare infrastructure," he adds.
Meanwhile, Pritika Singh, CEO of Prayag Hospitals Group, has high expectations from the upcoming budget. She says "Innovative technologies like AI and IoT, along with digitization and telemedicine were at the helm of healthcare transformation in 2022. In addition to that, immersive technology and 3D printing evolved as some big trends this year, as the whole healthcare paradigm went through a huge change after the pandemic. There has been a focus on a holistic approach to overall wellness as well, like encouraging yoga, Ayurveda, and naturopathy. The next year will carry forward these trends along with further incorporation of advanced medical equipment and infrastructure upgrade in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. With 80 per cent of healthcare being managed by the private sector, the healthcare industry has high expectations from the upcoming budget. There will be a focus on patient-centric or personalized care as well, as a trend that was observed in 2022."
Dr. Ajay Sharma, Chief Medical Director, Eye-Q, feels that there has been a major shift in the attitude of people and the government toward healthcare post-pandemic. He asserts, "People have now adapted to a more conscious lifestyle. Additionally, the government has been proactive in strengthening the healthcare framework in the country by launching schemes like Ayushman Bharat, Aam Aadmi Bima Yojna, etc."
However, he also points out that there is still a lot of work to be done to ensure that everyone receives quality healthcare in the country, and it is a long way to go.
"The government needs to spread awareness so that people can reap the benefits of the schemes being made available, and more insurance coverage should be provided to people belonging to the low-income class. It demands collective efforts from all ends to fill in the existing gaps in the healthcare system in India. The new-age healthcare startups will also play a major role in ensuring that India has a proper healthcare infrastructure that caters to all individuals' needs," opines Dr. Sharma.
Dr. Krishna Veer Singh, Co-Founder, Lissun, highlights the increased in demand for treatment of mental disorders following the Covid-19 pandemic.
He says, "For the third year in a row following the Covid-19 pandemic, we have witnessed an increase in demand for anxiety and depression treatment, as well as treatment for trauma and stressor-related disorders and substance misuse disorders. Subsequently, due to the increasing mental health awareness, mental telehealth services augmented access to individuals who would otherwise be unable to receive treatment. Even more intriguing is the fact that younger generations, those between the ages of 16 and 30, are becoming more informed of the necessity to keep up with mental health issues and are seeking out ways to combat them for themselves as well as for their loved ones."
"For 2023, the mental health apps market is expected to grow further as they have demonstrated the ability to manage patients' medications, reduce stress, monitor symptoms of disorders and prevent onset of serious issues," he adds.
Prashant Tandon, Chair at IAMAI Health Tech Committee and CEO and Founder of TATA 1 mg, is optimistic about the next phase of the Indian Healthtech sector. He is anticipating to witness the industry getting powered by innovation and new technologies like artificial intelligence, data analytics, and moving towards integrated and personalized preventative healthcare. He also strongly believes that India can lead the world in creating the next gen models for ensuring better quality affordable healthcare, given the high quality innovation manpower that country has.