The healthcare industry is facing global challenges such as lack of staff, increasing demand and financial constraints, while striving to enhance operational efficiency and innovate care delivery models. Moreover, healthcare leaders are more aware of the social responsibility of improving healthcare equity, as well as the urgency of reducing the industry's carbon footprint to safeguard the planet's health. To assist with these challenges and aspirations, the following 10 healthcare technology trends are anticipated to gain more momentum in 2023.

1. Using workflow automation and AI to overcome workforce shortages

Human resources are the key factor in the health sector, so the health system will suffer if there is a situation of burnout or shortage of human resources. Moreover, healthcare professionals are currently dealing with a backlog of treatments that are specific to the pandemic. To cope with these workforce challenges, healthcare providers use automation, supported by AI, to improve efficiency and boost employee capabilities. For example, AI can help radiology departments increase productivity by allowing faster and clearer MR image scans. This way, radiology departments can accommodate more patients in a day, while enhancing diagnostic accuracy and patient experience.

Healthcare technology is moving towards an era of automation to eliminate repetitive administrative tasks for medical staff, helping them save time on computers and focus more on patients. For example, the automatic entry of patient monitoring data into electronic medical records enhances staff experience and efficiency.

2. Training and education as a way to boost digital skills continuously

The rapid pace of digital transformation in the healthcare sector indicates that in the coming years, 'education as a service' will become more important to support continuous education and lifelong learning. To ensure that the care service is continuous, safe and quality, it is very important to train staff fully on digital skills. Hospitals can encourage staff to use new technologies proficiently by appointing 'super users' as pioneers and representatives for other staff to ask for opinions or assistance when needed.

Healthcare professionals are familiar with previous digital experiences and they increasingly demand more flexible and suitable learning experiences for their needs. Therefore, the education method in the healthcare sector will also evolve over time. Specifically, 2023 shows the growth of blended learning methods between direct training and self-directed online learning - from self-study guides such as online learning, webinars, and gamification to more modern distribution methods, such as augmented reality and virtual reality.

3. Virtual collaboration: A way to enable operations remotely

Technology enables remote guidance for healthcare workers through virtual collaboration. This is one of many healthcare technology trends that have been accelerated by the pandemic and are now becoming widespread. Remote collaboration is also valuable in other healthcare settings, such as acute care. Tele-ICU programs extend critical care resources to the bedside through technology regardless of the location of the facility. A team led by active specialists at the central facility can monitor up to 500 ICU beds remotely to support the on-site care teams, combining audiovisual technology, predictive analytics and data visualization to help ensure that patients receive specific attention when they need it. Similarly, in stroke care, emergency physicians can provide virtual guidance to their colleagues at facilities in remote or underserved areas or facilities that are not fully equipped to support clinical decision-making to improve patient outcomes.

4. Vendor-neutral and interoperable informatics solutions

Healthcare technology is becoming more connected, requiring different systems and devices to be able to communicate with each other to create a smooth experience for patients and healthcare professionals. Hospitals often rely on equipment from various vendors, which often leads to a broken digital infrastructure and a disjointed healthcare experience as a result. To overcome this fragmentation, IT solutions that are compatible with any vendor and can exchange data are needed. 

5. Healthcare is shifting more to the cloud 

The cloud is a tool that helps create an integrated and connected information technology infrastructure in the healthcare sector. That infrastructure needs to be secure and flexible, allowing healthcare providers to adjust quickly to changing needs without worries about data security. In recent years, cloud data adoption has increased rapidly in many parts of the world. At the same time, software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions delivered through the cloud are also growing.
Cloud platforms also provide a flexible basis for developing and testing new digital applications quickly. Cross-functional teams working in short, agile cycles can deliver new digital applications to doctors or patients faster, and then enhance or add new features as they get user feedback. That means healthcare organizations can innovate faster, on a smaller and more responsive scale.

6. Smooth and uninterrupted patient monitoring within and beyond hospital walls

Data sharing across facilities through cloud-based digital solutions in healthcare will lay the groundwork for a connected healthcare system that links hospitals, families and communities. This will enable delivering the right care, in the right place, at the right time, which is essential for enhancing the patient experience.
Clinical monitoring technology in hospitals can offer timely and detailed information about patient conditions across care settings, producing actionable insights from live streaming data. This, along with predictive analytics, will assist caregivers in shifting from reacting to adverse events that have already happened to prevent life-threatening situations that may occur.
The service of connecting hospitals with home and ambulance facilities and monitoring patients remotely will persist in 2023 after it thrived during the pandemic. For instance, stroke patients can use patches to spot heart rhythm irregularities early and intervene to avoid recurrent strokes. These patches are becoming more discreet, letting patients keep an active lifestyle while care teams watch their health remotely. Cloud-based AI can identify early signs of arrhythmias from over 20 million ECG records, enabling care teams to take preventive action when needed. Moreover, recent studies have revealed that cardiac monitoring outside the hospital can help enhance patient outcomes and save costs by tracking arrhythmias after transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) and thus promote timely intervention.

7. More attention to equitable and inclusive healthcare delivery

The promotion of digital technology in healthcare has helped expand access to care services, especially for those in remote areas. However, it also revealed the health disparities and widened the global health gap. The health inequity is more concerning than ever. This has sparked a global call to address systemic injustices.
New technology brings hope for maternal and child health care, by allowing remote monitoring of high-risk pregnancies and using mobile ultrasound with AI support. Thanks to the advances in mobile health technology, many essential care services can be provided closer to more patients. Mobile screening solutions can also help detect early dangerous diseases in people who may not have access.
Future healthcare technology can help improve the delivery of equitable care services, bringing good health to everyone, regardless of who they are and where they are. To leave no one behind, a holistic approach is needed to put people at the center of innovation. And that requires listening and collaborating closely with those who endure the current inequality.

8. Circularity: A climate action strategy for healthcare providers

Future healthcare technology could help health leaders who care about sustainability reduce the excessive CO₂ emissions of the global healthcare system.
Using smart digital tools allows health systems to "dematerialize" and deliver maximum value with minimum resources. For example, by supporting the shift from resource-intensive clinical settings to lower-cost networked and home-based settings. The trend toward cloud-based solutions, services and software will save material on on-site enterprise hardware and reduce CO₂ emissions while increasing efficiency.
Likewise, business models based on usage and outcomes enable hospitals to access system functionality 'as a service' without significant upfront capital costs and to support multiple cycles of use and recycle. This is important for hospitals to be able to provide patients with the best possible imaging and analysis to support accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment.
Circular practices, such as design for refurbishment, usability, and upgradability, will become a vital part of the healthcare industry's climate action toolbox. Moreover, circular innovation can also help hospitals address financial and budgetary constraints, as well as reduce their environmental impact.

9. Science-based strategies for decarbonizing healthcare

Hospitals are the most energy-intensive buildings among publicly funded buildings. Healthcare leaders are aware of the impact of carbon-driven climate change on health and the industry's responsibilities.
A clear and necessary trend to reduce carbon emissions in the health system is to apply science and technology. For example, California has mandated that all companies worth more than $1 billion have science-based carbon reduction targets by 2025. The Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) helps organizations set targets that show how much and how quickly they need to reduce emissions to prevent the worst effects of climate change. By early 2022, over 2,200 companies, representing more than a third of the global economy's market capitalization, had joined SBTi.
Healthcare organizations are taking action to achieve their goals by directly reducing power consumption through more energy-efficient healthcare technology. And aim to reduce indirect emissions through sustainable resource use and circular economy.
To further decarbonize, the healthcare industry will increasingly have to take a holistic view of the value chain, apply Green Procurement criteria, and engage and incentivize the supply chain by offering improved payment terms to those implementing specific climate mitigation measures.

10. The connection between environmental health and human health: A growing insight

Currently, healthcare companies are acting to achieve their goals by reducing direct power consumption through more energy-efficient healthcare technology. And aiming to reduce indirect emissions through sustainable resource use and a circular economy.
To go further in decarbonizing, the healthcare industry will increasingly have to take a comprehensive view of the value chain, apply Green Procurement criteria, and engage and incentivize the supply chain by offering improved payment terms to those implementing specific climate mitigation measures.
Healthcare technology and health systems are part of a larger value chain, affecting biodiversity through land use change, pollution, consumption, and emissions. According to the World Economic Forum, protecting and restoring natural ecosystems can provide 37% of the cost-effective CO₂ reduction needed by 2030 to keep global warming. Not to mention, it also helps ensure a healthy, biodiverse living environment for future generations.