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Healthcare and tech: What lies ahead for 2022

January 18, 2022
Health IT
Prashant Warier
From the January/February 2022 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

By Prashant Warier

In the history of healthcare, there is no way around the fact that the last 24 months have been among the most challenging periods ever. From producing effective COVID-19 vaccines to delivering care under extreme COVID-related restrictions, the healthcare industry has done a remarkable job of navigating this incredibly hectic – and dangerous – period. Unfortunately, with both the Delta and Omicron variants breathing new life into the pandemic, 2022 looks like it will be just as busy as the previous two years.

Compounding this is the fact that the healthcare world hasn’t just ceased operations and focused on COVID-19 related efforts. The world is still spinning and healthcare organizations are striving to keep up. Which is why technology has become so indispensable in healthcare and will continue to be so in the year ahead.

With that said, here are a few ways in which healthcare will continue to be a huge ally in the healthcare world as the global community pushes for a “return to normal.”

Telemedicine expansion
Ahead of the rollout of vaccines, there was belief in some quarters that a reduction in telehealth visits would follow suit as individuals felt more comfortable heading back for in-office visits. However, as people have become more accustomed to telehealth around the world, and the spread of the Omicron variant has once again given pause, telehealth will likely not be going away anytime soon. Keeping that in mind, expect healthcare organizations to redouble telehealth efforts in hopes of providing a better experience for their patients. Additionally, look for healthcare organizations to begin investing more in IoT and AI as a way to provide more personalized and effective “distance healthcare” to their patients.

Enhanced real-time collaboration
As healthcare has become more decentralized and hospital networks have grown, the demands on IT departments to enable easy information sharing and collaboration have reached a fever pitch. However, due to fears of privacy and the highly regulated nature of healthcare, IT professionals have had a difficult time addressing requirements using the traditional data centers and infrastructure at their disposal. So, IT departments have begun to push for a greater embrace of the cloud en masse. Therefore, as 2022 unfolds, expect more and more healthcare providers to complete their shifts to the cloud as a way to power more robust AI tools and enable the real-time data analysis healthcare providers need to ensure patients are receiving the highest quality care.

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