Healthcare in 2024: Challenging and Transformative

Particle's Director of Clinical Strategy, Dr. Carolyn Ward, shares her take on the next year of advancements in healthcare.

The healthcare industry stands at a crossroads in 2024, facing a daunting array of challenges as well as transformative opportunities. Soaring costs continue to strain budgets, chronic diseases burden populations, and access to care remains unequal. Yet amidst these shadows, there are signs of real progress: precision medicine is unlocking personalized treatments, enhanced data access is improving clinical outcomes and operational processes, and artificial intelligence (AI) is accelerating time and accuracy of diagnosis. 

At Particle, we see some significant healthcare trends developing in the coming year. Read our Director of Clinical Strategy Carolyn Ward, MD’s predictions below:

AI's Strategic Integration

AI's role in healthcare in general is set to expand, with generative AI taking center stage in operational workflows and clinical pathways. The key focus will be on resource allocation to specific patient cohorts, identifying those at the highest risk and directing resources efficiently. Understanding the potential impact on patient outcomes is only valuable if organizations can translate that understanding into actionable strategies. In 2024, the healthcare industry will witness a surge in the use of AI to develop and optimize operational workflows, maximizing the impact of interventions and resource allocation.

Precision Medicine to Primary Care

In recent years, precision medicine driven by advancements in AI has made significant strides, particularly in the oncology space with genomics and targeted therapies. The exciting prospect for 2024 lies in the expansion of AI-led personalized clinical insights into primary care, with a specific focus on weight management and cardiometabolic disease management. Primary care physicians currently face challenges in predicting complications from obesity and determining the most effective treatments. The integration of personalized medicine in primary care has the potential to revolutionize predictive diagnostics and targeted therapies, offering a paradigm shift in how we approach and manage these common chronic diseases.

The Evolution of Value-Based Care

The momentum behind value-based care (VBC) and risk-sharing models will continue to grow in 2024. We have witnessed the extension of "patient risk" into the digital health space and "wraparound" services, indicating a broader integration of patient care elements. However, the challenges of profitability within VBC contracts persist, and some companies may face dissolution. Despite the difficulties, the industry's commitment to outcomes-driven care models remains steadfast. In 2024, we can expect innovative approaches to carve paths to profitability within the VBC framework. These endeavors will require creative solutions to strike a balance between improving patient outcomes and maintaining financial sustainability and will look like new innovative care delivery models. We will also likely see provider organizations leveraging their data to better negotiate VBC contracts instead of a one size fits all approach.

The Pivotal Role of Healthcare Data

The importance of data in healthcare cannot be overstated, especially as organizations strive to enhance outcomes while minimizing costs. Access to comprehensive clinical data across the healthcare ecosystem is crucial for accurate risk stratification. Understanding the severity of illness within a population, identifying those who need more resources, and predicting potential complications demand a holistic view of patient profiles. In 2024, we will see healthcare organizations intensifying efforts to leverage data, creating operational pathways to effectively manage patient cohorts. The ability to seamlessly navigate this data landscape will be a defining factor for success in the evolving healthcare environment. 

Data Scientist - Physicians

As the use of AI becomes more and more prevalent in healthcare, we will see medical schools adopt a data science track into their curriculum in order to best equip the next generation of physicians with the know-how to understand, build, and manipulate data models. Knowing how and when to apply certain data schemas, evaluate predictive models, and understanding drawbacks and pitfalls of certain AI applications will be necessary and likely table stakes skills for physicians of the future, and shifts in training need to start now.

As ever, the evolving landscape of medical advancements and technological innovations will continue to challenge and inspire us as we strive to achieve a brighter and healthier future for all. Interested in chatting with our Director of Clinical Strategy on the future of data in healthcare? Reach out to our team!