Virtual everything, asynchronous care, sustainability: Healthcare innovation predictions for '23

Healthcare had an innovative year, with many new technologies entering the frame for hospitals and health system innovation arms investing in promising solutions.

But what will 2023 bear for healthcare innovation? Becker's got forecasts from five health system leaders:

Thomas Graham, MD. Chief Innovation and Transformation Officer of Kettering (Ohio) Health: I believe 2023 will be the year when virtual (fill in the blank) transitions from esoteric to essential. Telehealth got its "battlefield promotion" during the pandemic, which hopefully served to insinuate it with both providers and patients. With this level of familiarity, we now can expand into virtual ICU, virtual stroke management, virtual nursing … and beyond. Leveraging technology to reach more patients where they are, while alleviating pressure on our human resource burden is a formula whose time has arrived.

Omkar Kulkarni. Chief Innovation Officer and Chief Digital Transformation Officer of Children's Hospital Los Angeles: Innovative healthcare systems in 2023 will begin leveraging technology that enables their staff to deliver care asynchronously and/or in a distributed manner to maximize efficiency and throughput. If the pandemic brought on the scaling of synchronous telemedicine, the post-pandemic period will encourage new care models in which healthcare providers and administrative staff maximize their productivity by reimagining the need for asynchronous work.

Lisa Prasad. Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer of Henry Ford Health (Detroit): We will see a great deal of progress in the use of artificial intelligence, retail healthcare delivery, and telemedicine and remote care, particularly for the elderly. However one of the biggest trends will be new platforms and technologies to address post-pandemic mental health challenges.

Roy Rosin. Chief Innovation Officer of Penn Medicine (Philadelphia): Outside the world of therapeutics, which continues to evolve quickly in curing disease and saving lives, I expect a few key trends. First, I think we'll see an ongoing focus on various forms of automation that enable both efficiency and the unburdening of overburdened care teams. Second, I expect further focus on moving care to high-value, less constrained settings, shifting care both out of hospitals and clinics. Finally, I believe we'll see more models arise where there's an evolution in who is delivering care, addressing access, cost efficiency and who can best engage patients.

Jonathan Westall. Vice President of Ancillary Services at Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital (Los Angeles): I think consumption all around will be the biggest sustainability trend next year. We have seen hospitals' green efforts almost halted during the pandemic as single-use and disposable items became a safety mandate for folks. Coming out of that, we are able to step back and focus closely on what must remain single use and what can be reused safely to create less waste. This remains true for energy and resource consumption as well. California is discussing power outages again. Nevada is focusing on potentially running out of water. Hospitals are large community-based partners, no matter what organization you work for; therefore, they must be at the forefront of this effort.

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