It’s time to get out the crystal ball and share some thoughts on what to expect for healthcare in 2021.
In 2021, there will be a higher expectation for information sharing. The pandemic has shown that there is a willingness to share personal data when the benefits are clearly communicated. The growth in the amount of data collected will be enormous in the next year. It has yet to be clarified how the data being collected is shared with pharmacists, doctors, health plans, as well as state and federal government entities.
This higher expectation for information sharing will hopefully result in removing outdated technologies, like the fax machine, from the healthcare process and focusing on innovative and efficient digital solutions.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a valuable tool for collecting and interpreting data. As the amount of data will continue to increase in the future, machine learning algorithms will become more important in finding solutions and identifying sequences and trends in data.
In the new year, public and private interests will need to come together stronger than ever to solve problems and handle the amount of data. This is especially important as the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines needs to be managed. Seamless data sharing also will be essential to the distribution and interoperability will be more important than ever.
The 21st century CURES act will reshape the healthcare landscape. Patients expect to directly contribute data to their records and care as well as access it to know the costs of medications, procedures, visits and more ahead of time. This will enable patients to have a greater choice in the type of care they receive and how it’s delivered. 2021 will put patients in the driver’s seat.
Increased data volume also means increased cyber-attacks that healthcare providers will need to protect themselves against. In the future it will be more important than ever for organizations to establish security measures that includes training staff, ensuring they meet privacy and security regulations, and ensuring systems are continually updated.
New vaccines and treatments give us hope that normality of some sort may return. The biggest challenge for 2021 will be to securely share patient health data to increase patient safety, lower costs, and improve care. 2020 taught us many lessons, but most of all, it equipped us to successfully face new challenges.