The Future Of Healthcare: Predictions For Year 2023

It’s that time of year again. Many thought leaders put out their predictions of what will come to pass in the year ahead for health care. Irrespective of what sector you work in, every prediction for the year starts with ‘the future of…’ & talks of all manner of exciting developments – some more close to reality than others.

If we talk about the Indian healthcare sector, it is undergoing a rapid paradigm shift. There is accelerated technology adoption in healthcare driven by a clear consumer need across all stakeholders including the health tech companies, hospitals, insurance, corporates and the Government. The rapid growth of Indian healthcare is being driven by several factors, including the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases, the growing middle class, and the government’s increasing focus on healthcare.

We are entering 2023 with the belief that the next phase of the Indian health-tech sector will witness the industry getting powered by innovation and new technologies like artificial intelligence, data analytics, and a move towards integrated and personalised preventative healthcare.Some of the major trends that will shape our healthcare landscape in the years to come are omni channel healthcare delivery, telemedicine, artificial intelligence-assisted diagnosis, increasing demand for quality healthcare services, efforts towards cyber secure ecosystem and the expanding insurance coverage.

What’s New in 2023?
1.Consumer behaviour has irreversibly shifted. For instance, consumers once at ease only with Amazon and Flipkart for their online shopping needs are increasingly comfortable consuming healthcare on their mobile phones.

-FLIPPED CARE: Patients today are more conscious, tech-savvy and more willing to embrace emerging technology. As a result, a new trend – ‘flipped care’—has emerged.

a. ‘How much time does the average person spend with healthcare professionals? Even patients with long term health conditions will spend on an average just 5 hours interacting with a clinician. The rest of their waking hours – all 8755 of them – patients are looking after themselves

b. The covid-19 pandemic forced us to rethink existing healthcare delivery models and embrace digital transformation. A large majority of patients (60%) and doctors (65%) now prefer digital platforms over in-person consultations.

India witnesses 200,000-300,000 telemedicine consultations every day currently, with calls coming from not just urban hubs like Delhi or Mumbai, but millions from over 2,000 towns spread across the country’s vast rural heartlands. And 80% of these are first time users.

India’s non-communicable diseases (NCD) are threatening to assume tsunamic proportions, and is one instance where advanced e-health interventions are delivering better patient care.

2.Healthcare is a national priority today more than ever.
During his Independence Day speech on 15 August, 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the aspirational and transformational National Digital Health Mission, now reschristenedAyushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM). It aims to create an “open digital health ecosystem (ODE)", a shared digital infrastructure that can be leveraged by both public and private enterprises to build and provide new, innovative, healthcare solutions.

The Mission is already one of the largest health databases in the world with over 243 million health accounts and IDs generated on its National Health Stack so far and will ultimately, result in a complete redesign of the flow of people, money, information and approach to create a new and comprehensive foundational health paradigm.

How to nail the changes?
1.Companies that focus on the job will find growth where others struggle.
In his book, Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice, late Harvard Business School professor Clay Christensen highlights that understanding and organizing around their customers’ jobs is what enables organizations to succeed in the long run. This is because doing so makes it significantly harder for new entrants or competitors to disrupt the organization. However, organizations that focus on their own products, services, and internally-focused priorities are effectively competing against luck.

Organizations focused on the “demand-side” establish resources, processes, and priorities around identifying and serving consumer and customer Jobs to Be Done. As a result, they are able to help users achieve their goals by providing experiences that help consumers and customers complete their jobs uniquely well.

2.Jobs-focused value-based care (VBC) models will continue to grow incrementally
Just as Christensen outlined in Competing Against Luck, organizing one’s company around consumers’ and customers’ jobs is a path towards long-term sustainability. Aligned with this thesis, Jeff Bezos, former CEO of Amazon, stated, “If we can keep our competitors focused on us while we stay focused on the customer, ultimately we’ll turn out all right.” If more health care entities took this stance, they too would see the outsized growth those who focus on jobs tend to realize. May 2023 be the year we see more health care entities take this approach.

In light of that, 2023 will see VBC organizations that are organized around their consumers’ and customers’ jobs achieve outsized success as compared to their peers who instead organize their businesses around either 1) what the competition is doing, or 2) a supply-side perspective focused on the products and services they already offer. While the growth won’t be near what we saw in 2019, 2020, or 2021 for health care start-ups, incremental growth will continue nonetheless.

3.Preventive health will remain a priority, and those that respond are poised to win
One of the primary shortcomings of Indian healthcare system has been the lack of focus on preventive care. It is understandable that the large population, geographic area to cover, and limitations of human as well as technological resources created a scenario where healthcare services were offered/accessed only when someone fell ill. However, with digital diagnostics devices, internet connectivity, and growing awareness about diseases and their causes, 2023 will witness a greater adoption of the preventive healthcare approach by service providers and general public alike.

4.Subscription-based home healthcare:
At the peak of the pandemic, there was a war like urgency shown in the healthcare arena. All stakeholders were constantly engaging with each other and working to scale sectors like home healthcare by deploying cutting-edge technologies. However, now that things have normalized, the urgency to address healthcare challenges was missing in 2022. On the other hand, caregivers are constantly trying to refine and expand the diversity of subscription-based home healthcare services. We would witness a significant surge in subscription-based home healthcare services especially as corporate healthcare programmes will integrate such preventive approaches to reduce the burden of actual healthcare expenditure on insurance etc.

Heath tech evolution and the trends emerging from it are going to be beneficial for the entire ecosystem. Hospitals can offload non-critical care burden to remote and home healthcare services, diagnostic accuracy and access can be improved through wearables and digital devices. Consumers will thus get better quality of care at comparatively affordable prices. These are going to be the key health tech trends in 2023 and will create a landscape of future universal healthcare for all!