5 Healthcare IT Trends to Watch for in 2023
OpenLoop CTO, Curtis Olson, shares five healthcare IT trends to put on your radar in the coming year
As we enter into the last month of 2022, everyone is gearing up for what’s next in 2023. OpenLoop tapped into our very own CTO, Curtis Olson, to get a pulse on what’s next for healthcare IT in the new year.
Using his extensive industry knowledge and personal experience leading a successful tech team for an industry leading telehealth support company—Olson identified five trends to keep an eye on going into 2023.
Without further ado, let’s jump right in.
1. AI to play major role in revenue cycle management
“On the RCM side, I think AI is going to play a big part in improving efficiency for insurance companies.”
While artificial intelligence (AI) has already been introduced into the treatment of certain diseases and illnesses, its use in insurance will be a game changer. The insurance industry is one of the largest in the world and is centuries old—but it’s due for some upgrades. The recent push from policy-centric to more consumer-centric insurance makes it ripe for the integration of technology like AI.
Remember those “choose your own adventure” books you had as a kid? Well, companies like Lemonade are using AI to bring that level of personalization to the insurance process. Due to their focus on data driven, predictive technology, they’ve been able to attract that next generation of consumers with a majority of their members being under the age of 35.
AI is also predicted to be incorporated into the billing and reimbursement process for payers, patients and providers alike. Offering a more seamless, stress-reduced and data driven billing process that favors the consumer-centric approach.
2. AI and diagnostic imaging
“Imaging is an area AI could definitely have a strong influence on…it does a pretty fair amount of work with images nowadays and I think that’s going to continue to grow.”
Another AI trend Olson predicts will pick up in 2023 in both traditional and virtual healthcare, is its use in diagnostic imaging. AI’s ability to learn through continuous data collection could prove useful in offering diagnosis recommendations through image analysis. These images could include MRIs, X-rays and CT-Scans down the road, but are more likely to be utilized for lower-risk diagnosis for now.
“In the healthcare space specifically, there are not a lot of companies that are actually doing that (type of imaging) yet,” Olson said.
For example, say a patient is using a virtual care platform and is presenting the symptom of a rash. They would upload a picture of the rash onto a secure platform that the AI would then analyze and from it, recommend a potential diagnosis based on data it’s collected. It would then be confirmed by a licensed physician, making the path to treatment faster and easier.
3. A bigger push for healthcare security
“As more healthcare becomes digital, I think the number of threats and aggressive attempts to take over systems is going to increase.”
With healthcare entering into a more virtual age, ransomware and cyber attacks have become common in the industry—and threats will only continue to grow as medicine becomes more digital. In 2023, there is going to be an even greater push and urgency for health companies to invest in better digital security in both brick-and-mortar as well as telehealth.
“Security companies, or areas that focus on security specifically for the healthcare ecosystem, are also going to grow quite a bit as a result,” Olson said. This includes putting a stronger emphasis on building interoperable systems and introducing innovative security products to the market.
Healthcare companies and systems need to prioritize investment in better, more secure systems. In 2023, new security companies will fill the market gap created by the modernization and digitization of healthcare systems. It’s up to healthcare executives to stay on top of the changing security needs in order to keep their patient information secure.
4. Universal patient portals
“Being able to have a unified patient portal that aggregates all your health data from multiple clinics that you’ve seen—that’s something we’re trying to continue to solve for in 2023.”
Portals offer patients and providers a universal place where they can keep track of health care provider visits, test results, billing, prescriptions and more. Not only does a single portal make finding and storing patient information easier, it provides better security and prioritizes patient safety.
As we launch into 2023, imagine if a patient portal could act as a central location where a patient could store and access their entire medical history (like a patient passport). Providers would have a more complete patient story to work from when diagnosing, recommending treatments and prescribing.
Currently, even if a patient sees two different providers that both use the same platform, they will have separate portals between each provider. Not only does it take more effort, but it makes communication between the two difficult. Having a central location where a patient can access their entire medical history provides clinicians with a better patient roadmap.
This next year will see an increase in investment from healthcare companies towards solutions meant to bring us closer to creating and introducing a more unified patient portal to the market.
5. Peripheral devices or RPMs
“Remote patient monitoring (RPM) devices are going to continue to be top of mind for healthcare companies and health systems for 2023.”
RPMs or peripheral devices offer more opportunities to utilize asynchronous care and allow providers to stretch their time more efficiently while still offering quality care outcomes.
With this increase in RPM and peripheral device use, we will also see their further integration into patient portals to offer a more end-to-end user experience. Patients would be able to continuously collect and feed their individual health data back to the EHR that would then be accessed by their provider. With a push toward more value-based care and thus, a greater focus on interoperability, patients and providers would be able to enjoy a more seamless and secure flow of health data.
Common Types of RPM Technology:
Wearables (Apple Watch, FitBit, Withings)
Blood pressure monitors
Specialized monitors for dementia and Parkinson’s disease
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