As 2015 comes to an end, it’s time to look forward to 2016. The future of healthcare is bright and there are a lot of new and exciting trends to keep an eye on in 2016.
We have covered a few of these healthcare trends before, but it’s worth recounting them, along with other trends that we see really making an impact in 2016.
The ability to request a doctor to show up at your house is becoming increasingly simple. It’s something we’ve previously discussed (link to post). We outlined several startups that are offering on-demand doctors, like Heal, that have recently launched. In 2016, look for more companies like these to launch.
Also be on the lookout for already established companies to expand the cities they operate in. Many of these startups offer services in big metropolitan areas like San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York. But these companies will take the next step in 2016 and open up in more cities.
Telemedicine is another service we previously covered (link to post). Its value has been expanding beyond rural neighborhoods, thanks to improving technology. 2016 will be a big year for telemedicine for two reasons.
One, the baby boomer generation is becoming more comfortable with mobile technology, like video conference calls. Going to the doctor can be physically difficult as they age, so telemedicine is a helpful solution.
Secondly, millennials (who are already adept with technology) don’t need to visit the doctor as often. Instead of taking the time to schedule appointments, telemedicine services are enough for more healthy millennials. The combination of these two demographics will propel telemedicine in 2016.
The “internet of things” continues to grow and with it are more healthcare related devices. Companies like Fitbit, Jawbone, and Apple are bringing fitness tracking to the masses. If you look around any coffee shop, you’re bound to see someone with a fitness tracker on their wrist.
In 2016 look for wearable technology in healthcare to continue its evolution, beyond fitness trackers. Companies like Athos, which offers smart fitness apparel, are leading the charge.
Athos’ gear can measure muscle activity and heart rate in real-time, tracked through a mobile app. There’s even a Kickstarter project for a “smart water bottle.” HidrateSpark, is a connected water bottle that tracks your water consumption and glows to remind you when you need to drink more water. Look for more companies like these to pop up in 2016.
With all the increased data that we’re racking up, there has to be some way to use it to our advantage. That advantage lies in healthcare personalization and predictive analytics.
As our fitness trackers (or other data collecting sensors) gather more data about your activity and habits, we’ll be able to spot irregularities in our patterns. Just like Visa knows when a couple is going to get divorced, apps like Ginger.io will know when your health is going to take a hit.
Health insurance is a pain. Even with the Affordable Care Act, it can still be a hassle. As more startups try to disrupt healthcare, this will include health insurance.
Oscar is an example of a next generation health insurance company. The company has raised over $300 million in venture capital and is dead set on taking on big, slow insurance companies. The company offers three things, better plans, better care, and a better experience. Three things that everyone wants out of their health insurance.
Companies like MakerBot are helping bring 3D printing into everyone’s home. The vision of being able to print anything in your home, instead of having to go out and buy it, is one that has many early adopters salivating.
When it comes to healthcare, there are many different potential options for 3D printing. Things like prosthetic limbs are currently being printed and distributed. Then there are more complicated things, like a heart valve, that are being created and tested to see how viable they are for humans.
Look for more 3D printing options and experiments in healthcare to occur in 2016.
We are living in an exciting time for healthcare. It’s changing (for the better) on many different levels. Change that we haven’t seen in years. 2016 is going to be a big breakout year for healthcare and these six trends are definitely worth keeping an eye on.