Like many other industries, advances in healthcare have accelerated in recent years. These advances have been fueled by a variety of scientific and technologic discoveries and innovations. Of these, the impact and potential future health developments related to generative AI have been the most notable in recent months. Therefore, as we watch for healthcare trends in 2024, it’s not surprising that AI will play a significant role. But instead of discussing AI’s general role in future healthcare developments, it’s better to get into specifics. As such, the following examines some of the most intriguing healthcare trends in 2024 that’s likely to evolve. It’s certainly going to be a year full of change and innovation when it comes to health in 2024.
The Personalization of Care
This past year, personalized medicine took a significant step forward. Increasingly, researchers and clinicians are leveraging genomics to assist with diagnosis and management. In this regard, AI has helped greatly, being able to better collect and analyze vast amounts of data. In addition, when these insights occur at a molecular level, personalized medicine becomes precision medicine. But these advances are just the beginning. Future healthcare developments will see personalized medicine jump by leaps and bounds. In the process, the potential for more efficient, less costly, and higher quality care will increase. Thus, one of the major healthcare trends in 2024 will undoubtedly involve expansion of personalized medicine in healthcare.
The Impact of Virtual Health Assistants
Another hot area for future healthcare developments this next year will involve virtual assistants. But unlike retail centers and other sectors, virtual assistants in healthcare have the potential to help providers and patients. For providers, virtual assistants will be able to provide advice concerning diagnosis, treatment, and medical choices. For patients, these technologies will be able to offer advice about prevention while connecting them with sources of information. And as virtual assistants become increasing connected with EHR systems, they will increasingly handle patient scheduling. All of these activities will promote more informed decision-making and better use of resources. These may even be used as companions to prevent isolation and loneliness. It’s not known precisely how these will be utilized. But there’s little question the inclusion of virtual assistants will be among the major healthcare trends in 2024.
Aging and Anti-Aging Developments
In the majority of nations throughout the globe, populations are aging. In addition to individuals living longer, anti-aging research is advancing quickly. This past year, many investigations and major investments in anti-aging research took place. These healthcare trends in 2024 will continue as interventions and medications prove their worth. But while these advances are exciting, aging populations are placing a greater burden on healthcare systems. For this reason, future healthcare developments will also be exploring new approaches to managing the elderly. Generative AI and the Internet-of-Things (IoT) are expected to play a significant role in this regard. Home-based care and living can cut costs and resource use for older adults. In addition, increased research efforts to identify effective preventions and treatments for degenerative disease will take place. Naturally, virtual assistants, personalized medicine, and remote care technologies will be leveraged to achieve these goals. But we can also expect healthcare trends in 2024 to become increasingly focused on how to manage aging societies.
A Shift in Mental Health Care
The pandemic brought about many health concerns related to the global spread of infectious illnesses. But it also brought about a marked increase in mental health problems as well as an increased awareness of them. As such, it has become increasingly evident that current healthcare systems suffer in meeting mental health needs. This has led recently to mental health apps as well as increased provider screenings. But these efforts are not enough, which is why healthcare trends in 2024 will continue to investigate innovative mental health care. These efforts will undoubtedly leverage virtual assistants and remote monitoring. But expect bigger changes at a system level in future healthcare developments before significant improvements are seen.
3D Printing Innovations
In many industries, 3D printing is being utilized for important innovations. This was noted this past year in the aerospace sector with plans to use 3D printing technologies on the moon. But 3D printing is also making major strides in future healthcare developments as well. Research is actively investigating the opportunity to make actual human organs from biologic materials using 3D printing. If this proves to be successful, this could alleviate transplant organ shortages. It could also lower costs and reduce organ transplant rejection rates. In other areas of healthcare, 3D printing is also being evaluated to relieve supply shortages in developing countries. These technologies are being used to produce surgical instruments, implants, and even prosthetics. Being able to produce needed devices and tools on-site is much less costly and more efficient that routine practices. Given all these advantages, expect similar healthcare trends in 2024 involving 3D printing to take place.
Healthcare Going Virtual
In addition to virtual assistants, healthcare trends in 2024 will explore the virtual world in other ways. While virtual simulations are already a part of medical training, other advances can also be soon expected. One area involves the use of digital twins, which are virtual models of real-world systems and objects. Digital twins are already being utilized to test real world healthcare applications and treatments. But at the same time, these can also be developed to replicate the human body. This past year, scientists made significant progress in creating a digital twin of the human brain. This could be a gamechanger in future healthcare developments and treatments. Therefore, continued research in this area can be anticipated in 2024. Other intriguing use of virtual healthcare trends in 2024 will likely involve remote care. In some hospitals, virtual units are already being designed where remote care will be provided. Using IoT, telemedicine, and communication technologies, these virtual units reduce costs and improve outcomes. Without a doubt, 2024 is going to be an exciting one when it comes to healthcare.