A Vision for Digital Health: Trends and Predictions in Healthtech for 2024
By Yianni Serpanos (pictured), Founder of HealthTechX
Over the past 16 years, I’ve seen firsthand how healthtech has established itself as a distinct category of healthcare innovation, essential to the success of integrated digital health solutions.
With a continued focus on reducing costs, ensuring compliance and boosting patient engagement, healthtech is continuing to streamline healthcare, but the most significant changes and advancements in healthtech will stem from adapting to societal changes, including those brought about by lockdowns.
Emerging Trends Shaping Healthcare in 2024
To build a future of integrated digital health empowerment for all people, it’s crucial to focus on the latest trends in health technology. These emerging trends are key drivers of the healthcare landscape in 2024 and include:
- Telehealth and Remote Monitoring: The adoption of telehealth and remote monitoring in clinical care models will gain momentum due to healthtech advancements, standard metrics, inflation, workforce and scalable healthcare delivery.
- Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI & ML) in Healthcare: AI and ML will enhance established healthtech and expand into diagnostics, treatment, planning and personalised healthcare. Tech’s ability to utilise vast datasets, detect patterns, predict outcomes and optimise cost-effective healthcare delivery will be highly valued.
- Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR & VR) Applications: AR & VR will reshape patient and provider engagement in areas like training, education, treatment and adherence, with profound implications.
- Health Data Interoperability: Convergence between legacy and cutting-edge health data models is inevitable. Technologies like AI/ML, Blockchain, AR/VR, wearables and health apps, along with mobile, web and network integration, will redefine how healthcare systems share information.
Navigating Cultural and Regulatory Changes
Whilst healthtech will continue to innovate, systematic changes on a fundamental level will also drive that innovation, and vice versa. Ongoing considerations include:
- Cultural and Regulatory Changes: Ongoing shifts will impact digital health, addressing cybersecurity, privacy, digital therapeutics and health data, adapting to evolving patient and provider engagement.
- Personalised Healthcare: This approach extends beyond medicine to consider how lifestyle, environment and settings outside of traditional healthcare impact patients. Digital health will be tailored to fit individual schedules, goals and aspirations, offering a customised experience.
Patient-Centric Innovations and Redefining Healthcare Delivery
In 2024, patient-centric innovations will continue to take centre stage. Telehealth, remote access tools and mobile/browser interfaces, will empower patients to engage with healthcare on their terms, whether at home, work or while travelling.
Asynchronous clinical engagement through evolving client portals will redefine healthcare delivery. Traditional appointment-based services will coexist with enhanced, augmented services accessible through mobile and web interfaces. Consumer demand will drive these changes, emphasising direct-to-consumer strategies.
Collaboration is Key
Success hinges on collaboration among healthcare providers, developers, advisors and investors. In 2024, this collaborative approach will evolve, driving innovation in healthtech:
- Fostering Collaboration: The healthcare industry’s complex regulations and standards require healthtech entrepreneurs to adopt a broad perspective. Collaborating with specialists in investment, product development, compliance and healthcare practices enhances success chances.
- Building a Diverse Community: Cultivating a diverse community of innovative providers, developers, experts and investors is vital. Expanding networks to align with a shared mission fosters innovation.
- Emphasising Open Communication: Open communication, shared goals, mutual respect, agility and identifying healthcare system gaps will encourage cross-industry collaboration between digital health innovators, healthcare professionals and patients.
- Venture Funds Fuelling Innovation: There’s a growing effort to establish venture funds supporting validated healthtech MVPs, POCs and early-stage startups across the healthcare landscape.
Big Data and AI: Opportunities and Challenges
Big data and AI will play an increasing role in the future of healthcare and healthtech services. While these technologies hold immense potential, they also present challenges for founders.
Investment in AI and big data will continue to rise as these technologies prove transformative in healthcare. Opportunities span precision healthcare, diagnostics, predictive analytics, disease prevention, remote monitoring, natural language processing and virtual healthcare assistants.
Challenges, such as identity and fraud detection, cybersecurity risks, ethical concerns, and interoperability will require ongoing attention. The proliferation of new technology platforms could lead to fragmentation, affecting competition and system quality. This can be avoided by working with experienced collaborators who understand how to address these challenges.
The Growing Healthtech Startup Ecosystem
The evolving needs of a diverse population are driving diverse solutions for the future of the health landscape, drawing increased interest from investors and a rising number of startups in the healthtech space.
Investors are recognising the significant role of health technology in addressing healthcare challenges such as accessibility, efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Meanwhile, big tech companies are enhancing this growth by offering AI/ML toolkits, encouraging innovation among developers.
This move highlights the need for investors to stay vigilant regarding regulatory changes, market trends and healthcare system evolution. Evaluating healthtech investments requires thorough due diligence, focused analysis and continuous professional development. Working closely within the domain will help mitigate these risks.
Advice for Aspiring Healthtech Entrepreneurs
Amidst the rise in healthtech developments and platforms, aspiring entrepreneurs entering the space in 2024 should:
- Start by deeply understanding the customer you’re designing for, their challenges and the healthcare landscape they navigate. Identify real problems worth solving.
- Surround yourself with a diverse group of skilled individuals who bring different talents and viewpoints to the team.
- Form partnerships within the industry and seek mentorship and networking opportunities.
- Prioritise user-centred design to influence behavioural change. Your designs should encourage adoption and retention.
- Ensure your solution complies with data security and privacy regulations and has a foundation architecturally for interoperability.
- Healthtech startups are dynamic and fast-paced. Cultivate adaptability and resilience to navigate unforeseen challenges and setbacks.
- For those seeking to condense their startup’s liftoff runway, partnering with platforms like coreplus & HealthTechX can provide valuable support, mentorship, resources and cost-effective growth opportunities.
The Future of Healthcare: Scaling Up HealthTechX
As we look ahead to 2024 and further, the potential for healthtech innovation is vast, promising to empower patients, foster collaboration, attract investments and harness the power of AI and big data. The healthcare industry is undoubtedly complex, governed by a myriad of regulations, standards and expectations. Navigating this landscape can be challenging, especially for startups.
As the Founder of HealthTechX, I am proud to stand at the forefront of this transformation. Driven by a commitment to addressing critical gaps in healthcare technology, my focus is currently on growing coreplus, Australia’s leading digital health practice management platform for the Allied Health sector.
coreplus, was a direct response to the challenges and opportunities in this sector and aims to seamlessly integrate healthtech into everyday life, enhancing human interactions within healthcare settings. With a digital health network of eReferrers connecting our community to over 75,000 GPs, Specialists and Allied Health professionals around Australia, I’m excited about our plans to scale up.
Recognising the significant shortage in health tech, especially in unregulated spaces, we’re poised for strategic expansion. Over the next 6-12 months, our focus will shift towards introducing coreplus to international markets, including the UK, Canada and the USA.
I believe the key to success lies in adopting a broad perspective and collaborative approach. By concentrating on individual needs and promoting teamwork, we can pave the way towards significant healthcare transformations and ultimately achieve our goal of integrated digital health empowerment and solutions that benefit everyone.