If you wish to run a healthcare business, it is always beneficial to be prepared for the landscape to change at short notice. Between governmental changes and technological advances, it is possible to find that you will suddenly have more, or less, regulation to deal with. You may find that some practices which were lauded as “the future” not so long ago are now obsolete due to a breakthrough in medical science. And with the internet having brought ever more information to the fingertips of patients, you may even find that trends and fashions affect your business.
There are, nonetheless, certain things that remain immovable. Patients – and businesses, for that matter – will inevitably prize convenience and timeliness highly. Everyone will benefit from procedures which minimize side-effects of treatment. And an increasingly informed set of potential patients means that if your business provides healthcare – or access to it – then you’re going to need to spend more time answering questions than would have been the case a couple of decades ago.
The Advance of Telehealth
The pandemic helped to set in stone something that was already becoming more obvious to us all – we’d rather have medical appointments in our own home than go to a surgery. Telehealth was an increasingly-available option before 2020 anyway, but last year drove home the point that we’d all prefer to avoid sitting in a waiting room where airborne pathogens are loose.
Telehealth appointments are ideal for people with self-reportable symptoms such as intermittent pain and nausea, so it’s beneficial to offer them if you can – but it is also vital to impress upon patients when they need to make an in-person appointment. Doctors aren’t just there to provide reassurance – sometimes they need to intervene.
Replacement Body Parts
The prosthetic limbs and joints of the past were functional, up to a point, but they were a long way from the real thing. However, modern technology has brought them forward in leaps and bounds.
The development of 3D printing has allowed impressively intricate replacement and artificial body parts to be crafted and fitted to human bodies, while G10 machining and other processes have allowed incredibly lightweight fixings to be created, which are also more durable than the metal parts that used to be used.
It goes without saying that artificial intelligence, which has been shown to have uses in the home and in retail, could work exceptionally well in the healthcare industry too. There are numerous ways that it could be beneficial, including delivering healthcare in remote areas without access to medical facilities, but a particularly interesting development is its potential utility in spotting signs of cancer before they become obvious to any human. While this application is still in development, it could be crucial to early detection while also eliminating much of the risk from false positives. For many people, this could be life-changing.
If your business, present or future, is in healthcare, then it is vital to keep an eye on technological and diagnostic innovations. With the pace of change in the healthcare sector as it is, it’s fascinating to think how things could look in a few years’ time.