The coronavirus pandemic introduced many challenges to the U.S. healthcare industry and highlighted opportunities for innovation within all parts of the system. In 2023, startups have continued to emerge that are addressing these opportunities through the use of technology. In this review, we look back at the first half of 2023 to examine topics, such as early disease detection, chronic disease management, data analytics and insights, and generative AI. As health plans increasingly focus on value-based care and consumers gain access to more insights about their health, healthcare providers must find better ways to manage larger patient populations and generate better insights about patient health.
In the tables below, we summarize key healthcare technology themes that are reshaping the healthcare industry. We also explore how these trends influence major stakeholders, including the healthcare consumer, healthcare providers, and healthcare insurance companies.
Key Investment Themes
Early Disease Detection
Companies are training machine learning models to identify diseases such as cancer, heart disease, lung disease, and Alzheimer’s earlier than ever before. Comprehensive data sets are required to train these models and are often difficult to obtain.
Chronic Disease Management
Consumer and medical devices can simplify chronic disease management by enabling patients to collect health data at home and check in with medical professionals via telehealth. New technology could enhance medication and treatment adherence and improve patient health conditions.
Hybrid Care Delivery
The coronavirus pandemic necessitated flexible delivery of healthcare, including telehealth and in-home care.
Mental and Behavioral Health
There are not enough mental health practitioners to meet the post-pandemic increased demand for mental health services. It is critical to provide ways to augment the capabilities of practitioners, including chat support and self-help tools for use outside of one-on-one sessions and new technologies, such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), to address specific conditions.
Actionable Health Data
Consumers increasingly have access to more health and fitness data through wearable technology, sensors, and other devices. Companies that can derive useful and actionable insights from the data could provide users with actionable health information that would complement traditional medical care.
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality
As VR and AR devices continue to improve, physicians and patients can benefit more from real-life simulations. These include mental health applications for reducing stress and anxiety, patient education before or after surgical procedures, and physician education and training.
Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) and Population Management
More healthcare systems are entering value-based-care (VBC) arrangements in which they receive payments based on the patients’ treatment results instead of the quantity of service provided. These systems will need to manage larger patient populations and focus on improving service quality to decrease costs. New technology, such as RPM, can provide alerts and insights on the highest-risk patients.
Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Healthcare Providers
Large language models could enable physicians to interact more conversationally with electronic medical records (EMRs) and other medical software.
Digital Patient-Interaction and Web Portals
Consumers are encountering more web portals and platforms where they deal with all medical-related issues, such as completing forms, paying bills, booking appointments, and attending telehealth sessions. As large payors and newer entrants such as Amazon and CVS build broader healthcare offerings, the ability to create a common portal for all uses will be increasingly valuable to make the experience user-friendly.
Machine learning models could deliver more insights into disease severity by observing eye movements, facial expressions, speech, and physical motions. In some cases, these observations can be taken from a smartphone, enabling quicker and easier analysis of physical and mental illness.
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