The U.S. healthcare industry has seen significant growth over the last six decades. According to healthcare industry statistics, in 1960, the industry was worth $24.7 billion and today its estimated worth is more than $3.8 trillion and climbing.
No doubt the healthcare industry is feeling growing pains while the U.S. population ages and suffers the effects of increased obesity and poor health decisions. Efforts to provide the best care with a limited staff while reining in costs is leading the healthcare industry to embrace tech innovations in a big way.
Improved care through better communications
While communication between patients and healthcare professionals has always been at the center of providing better care with easier access and more positive outcomes, today it is even more important. Using internet-based phone systems (such as voice over internet protocol or VoIP) with cloud-based technologies has the potential to play a positive role in healthcare and in many locations it already is.
In 2020, U.S. healthcare providers and facilities spent $11.36 billion on cloud-based technologies—up 33% from 2019. (An increase is also expected for 2021.)
With the adoption of 5G networks, the global healthcare industry is on track to save $600 million in 2021, and nearly $94 billion globally by 2030. The power of 5G could lead to the development of even more technologies that change how healthcare functions: more cost savings, better access to quality healthcare, and improved patient experiences.
Virtual meetings, Wi-Fi calling, and video conferencing also help keep staff members connected to each other as well as their patients. Features such as call forwarding and softphones make business phone systems more reliable and accessible while healthcare staff are on the go.
More care without leaving home
There are currently just 2.9 doctors for every 1,000 patients in the United States and experts say this trend is likely to continue. Healthcare experts predict there will be up to 122,000 unfilled posts for physicians by 2032.
One way the industry hopes to handle the doctor and nurse shortages is through remote patient monitoring, or RPM technology. Healthcare providers are finding that consumers want to play an active role in monitoring their own health. Since one in four U.S. adults has a chronic health condition, the use of RPM could limit unnecessary doctors’ visits and give patients and doctors the ability to share real-time health data. RPM tools that offer vital tracking, early detection, and disease prevention could save time, money and, ultimately, lives.
A Bipartisan Policy Center and Social Science Research Solutions’ survey found that, in 2020, one-third of U.S. adults used telehealth services instead of visiting a healthcare professional in person. More than half (63%) of adult respondents used telehealth for a preventative service, to have a prescription refilled, or as a routine visit for a chronic illness. Eight in 10 said they plan to use telehealth again.
In a recent study by Market Measurement, 89% of adult respondents say, “ease of access to care” and “privacy in healthcare data” were important factors when engaging with healthcare. “Data security” and “personalized care” came in at 88%, while 75% believed “Being able to monitor my health (using apps or devices)” was important.
Technology could revolutionize diagnostic practices
The American Journal of Medicine reports that the use of artificial intelligence could offer real benefits when it comes to the analysis and interpretation of large amounts of data. Adopting AI technology could help reduce medical care staffing costs and allow medical professionals to make more accurate diagnoses.
The World Economic Forum sees drones as having a significant role to play in healthcare. The flying objects could ultimately be used to deliver medication or collect blood and other samples from patients, especially in rural areas.
While healthcare costs continue to rise, the adoption of technology gives the industry hope for a brighter future. The advancement of AI and the introduction of internet-based technologies to the healthcare industry are likely to impact medical care costs in a positive way. These innovations have the potential to meet the care and support challenges the healthcare industry faces in the years to come.
Get on the cloud
Providers, such as Joon, offer cloud-based phone systems with the tools and expertise to help your team.
Schedule a call with Joon to learn more about our VoIP business phone services with personalized solutions and unmatched tech support.
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