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Predictions 2022: Healthcare

Matthew Cooke
1 Feb 2022

Trends, technologies and issues that will shape the healthcare sector in 2022

The rapidly changing environment of healthcare – especially during the pandemic – has consequently meant that it’s a very difficult sector to predict, understand how it’s going to be impacted and what the outcome will be.

Leading up to the pandemic, the UK healthcare sector saw a very rapid expansion in the world of digital. However, the pandemic has meant innovations such as AI and automation have had to be deprioritised, with a greater focus on back-office functions like HR.

Will 2022 be the year that cutting-edge technologies come back to the fore? Here are the trends set to shape the healthcare industry in the year ahead according to Chief Clinical Officer at Capgemini, Matthew Cooke.

Remote consultation: a patient choice

In the aftermath of the pandemic, remote consultation is finding a happy medium. While a significant number of patients will still prefer to see their doctors face-to-face, online consultancy will become more standard practice. It’s hard to know just how popular digital appointments will become due to the unpredictable nature of COVID-19, but patients will certainly have more control in 2022, with many being given the option to choose their appointment type, whether that’s via an App at home, or in a doctor’s surgery.

Increased information governance

2022 will usher in new rules around the sharing of data to help us better understand how the pandemic is progressing. Take, for instance, the vaccination programme, which now makes it possible for anyone in the NHS to see who has been given a jab, how many, when and where. Previous rules around data regulation wouldn’t have allowed that, but this is just an example of how data regulations are changing fundamentally. There will also be better procedures in place that are more patient-orientated; aimed at keeping data private, according to the patients own requests, even if it doesn’t positively impact the patient while sharing information that’s relevant for a greater cause.

Predictive analytics are coming

The method of predictive analytics represents one of the biggest transformations we can expect to see in healthcare in 2022.

Due to the unpredictable nature of COVID-19, the NHS has been pushed to use more intelligent analytics to better strategise both for the long and short term. It’s now used to bolster the resilience of the NHS during the pandemic and in planning the recovery, but hopefully also more widely, making it more a future-proof organisation to therefore cope better with the volatility of the healthcare system. Due to COVID-19 increasing the need for these analytics, and we can expect further acceleration and sophistication as we move forward into 2022.

Digitalisation of appointment booking systems

As digital appointments become the norm, so will the entire experience around them, including booking systems and the user interfaces (UIs) that they are built on. In 2022, we can expect to see a smoother and more seamless experience thanks to such digitalisation, with the gradual removal of manual booking via telephone and confirmation by mail. Rearranging appointments will be as easy as going into an App and tapping a few buttons.

Sustainability in a post-COP26 world

Should every business case have a sustainability statement? This is the type of question we’ll be hearing more of in 2022 thanks to the success of COP26. In the year ahead, we envisage many more discussions around sustainability in general. More businesses will be assessing their footprint and sustainability will have an important place in organisations as standard. Moving to the cloud, for instance, will be one trend as healthcare providers look to wipe out the carbon impact of their on site servers.

In 2022 and beyond, we will routinely have a sustainability statement in everything we do in healthcare.

As we hopefully come out of the pandemic, healthcare has many challenges to recover and become more resilient. We see digital being a major enabler of this recovery.

For more information download the Capgemini Research Institute report here,