The healthcare industry refers to the economy’s sector dedicated to delivering healthcare services, products, and equipment. It includes various organizations, such as hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, diagnostic and treatment centers, health insurance companies, and pharmaceutical manufacturers.
The healthcare industry is responsible for diagnosing, treating, and managing illness and injury and promoting health and wellness through preventative care and education. The industry comprises a diverse range of professionals, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other medical personnel, as well as administrative and support staff.
The healthcare industry is a vital part of any economy, as it plays a crucial role in maintaining the health and well-being of citizens. It is also a rapidly growing industry, driven by advances in technology, an aging population, and changes in healthcare policies.
The healthcare industry is a complex and dynamic sector of constant change and innovation. The industry is heavily regulated by the government and private sector and is also influenced by factors such as economic trends, demographic changes, and advances in medical research. The healthcare industry is a significant contributor to the economy and a major employer in many countries.
Yet, despite the importance of this industry, there are still many challenges that remain unsolved even today.
Let’s look at the 5 top challenges the Healthcare Industry faces.
CHALLENGE 1: Security
As the healthcare industry evolves with new technology and legislation, the security threat to our most personal data is also changing. As a result, data security is one of the healthcare industry’s most pressing challenges today. Medical organizations’ vast amounts of sensitive patient data make them prime targets, and many lack the expertise and tools necessary to protect themselves. In addition, Cybercrime’s recent surge has led many healthcare organizations to realize that they need better security.
The industry now understands the need for data security, but many obstacles remain. The most substantial of these challenges include:
Healthcare data is valuable, so much so that these organizations can’t operate without it. As a result, cybercriminals are more likely to receive a substantial payout from a successful ransomware attack. Ransomware is a reality that medical organizations must plan for, conceivable for as long as they use digital data.
- Mobile Applications
Sensitive medical data is now accessible through mobile devices that often lack extensive security. Users who don’t understand the importance of security steps like multi-factor authentication and avoiding public Wi-Fi may make their medical data vulnerable.
- Lack of Interoperability
As hospitals integrate more digital services, they may encounter an interoperability problem. For example, many electronic health records (EHR) systems have proprietary design features that hinder communication with other systems. This lack of interoperability could cause delays or errors that expose sensitive data.
- IoT Vulnerabilities
Many medical organizations have embraced the IoT to streamline operations and improve data reporting, but these devices are often vulnerable. In addition, these devices contribute to IT sprawl, often lack sufficient built-in security measures, and expand hospitals’ attack surfaces.
- Limited Resources
Many hospitals lack the staff, funding, or expertise necessary to protect themselves from today’s Cybercrime. In addition, running a hospital is complex and expensive, making it difficult to implement proper cybersecurity controls.
In addition to security threats, healthcare companies must adjust to the increasingly digital and changing landscape to survive. With Covid-19 irrevocably altering how companies do business, many face hurdles moving forward. They are advised not to attempt to revert to “business as usual” in the pre-pandemic sense but should take dynamic, digital, and decisive steps toward a new normal.
CHALLENGE 2: Digital engagement is essential, not optional
Telehealth engagement is 11 times higher than before the pandemic. Over half of the primary care will occur via telehealth. Reports indicate providers who do not offer virtual options will lose patients. To adapt, providers must consider various issues: flexible scheduling, new work models, improved patient access, and maintaining outcome quality, among other shifts.
CHALLENGE 3: In-home and community care over hospital care
Most patients preferred to move towards at-home or community care and away from the hospital or hospital-related settings for consideration. Additionally, an increase in remote patient monitoring, as well as an increase in virtual care, enabled such a shift. Growth in telehealth also contributed to home preference.
However, this change comes with challenges. Specifically, biotech and pharma will need to consider the shifting application setting of their devices, therapies, and drugs when designing future distribution and legal. In addition, legal, regulatory, and reimbursement frameworks risks need to adjust to the shift to home and community.
CHALLENGE 4: Acceleration of science and technology
Following the efficacy of mRNA vaccines for Covid-19, the field will likely see a surge of such therapies and innovation moving forward. In particular, they anticipate future mRNA vaccines for other viruses as well as the usage of mRNA for oncology and both chronic and acute diseases. Venture funding in this area is also fueling the growth.
CHALLENGE 5: Recruiting and retaining talent
Even before Covid-19 hit, hospitals and healthcare faced staffing issues. These issues impact hospitals even more now. In practice, those shortages translate to decreased quality of care. Companies have to face the challenge of offering technology to lighten the burden when possible, such as automating data entry.