Since the early 1900s, the healthcare industry has changed by leaps and bounds every decade.
Surgeries look and feel totally different than they did less than 100 years ago, and patients are better able to find treatments and pain control options that work.
Of course, these changes have come improvements in healthcare reform as well as increased costs.
If you’re earning a degree in nursing or are simply interested in emerging health news, prepare to see the following 6 changes throughout the healthcare industry within the next decade.
1) Affordable Care Act Changes
Although the proposed destruction and replacement of the Affordable Care Act did not take place with the last administration change as was expected, you will still notice changes throughout the health insurance industry in the next few years.
More insurers may opt-out of the marketplace while tweaks to the law help to drive down prices for the middle class.
2) Enhanced Mobile Health Technology
Mobile healthcare has drastically changed care for those living in rural areas, and improved communication and informatics will continue to drive this form of care even for those living in the city.
Prepare to see your doctor begin to offer mobile visits or video chats and to communicate with you through video and email without needing to see your face in many cases.
Mobile healthcare will also help your doctor treat you after surgery without having to set foot in the hospital. With the growing number of BSN-credentialed nurses in the field, the need is even higher for health information to be pulled up quickly online.
3) New Energy Sources
When it comes to radiologic imaging, the past has mostly seen its use as a way to observe internal anatomical structures and human tissue; however, new advancements in energy sources will allow researchers to evaluate tissues on a cellular and even molecular level.
These new magnetic radiofrequency devices and the new capabilities they grant researchers will reduce the chance of misdiagnosis, making patient care safer and more reliable overall.
4) Increased Retail Health Clinics
Clinics located in retail spaces will continue to boom with fewer people heading to the emergency room. This will help improve triage and care in the emergency room as retail clinics are allowed to treat increasing numbers of problems.
With the improvement in health informatics, retail clinic practitioners will be able to pull up your health information quickly online.
5) Liquid Biopsies
Liquid biopsies will decrease the pain associated with the traditional biopsy because doctors will be able to perform genetic testing and disease testing using blood, serum or other fluids throughout the body rather than only solid samples.
In June 2016, the FDA approved the first liquid cancer biopsy, and numerous companies are working on other liquid biopsy possibilities.
6) Improved Robotic Surgeries
While robotic surgeries have been around for a while, the improved robots will have four arms instead of only two and will be able to be turned and repositioned without having to be removed from their docks.
These newer robots will also be paired with operating tables that can reposition themselves, further decreasing the chance for human error.
Technology like imaging will also become more digital as time goes on, increasing the accuracy of diagnoses and facilitating procedures.
Of course, this is just a glance at the numerous changes in policies, technologies and more that are coming throughout the whole field.
As researchers continue to learn more about the body and politicians continue to enact reforms based on what their constituents are saying, you will see even more changes that you probably did not think were possible a few short years ago.
As these changes occur, you will certainly notice changes in everything from your clinic visit to your health insurance policy.