Top 4 Trends Driving Demand for Healthcare Professions
Healthcare is poised to become one the fastest growing industries in the coming years, with five out of 20 industries projected to see rapid growth from 2019 to 2029 being in healthcare. This increase is mostly due to an aging population whose need for personalized care is growing due to chronic conditions and longer life expectancies.
This is just one among many industry trends that are driving demand across numerous healthcare professions. As the industry grows, here are some other major trends reshaping healthcare:
1. Shifting Healthcare Focus From Hospitalizations Towards Preventive Care Within Communities
While the need for dedicated hospital care hasn’t decreased, the financial cost of healthcare has been in the spotlight. Instead of waiting until someone requires hospitalization, there is a marked trend towards preventive care being delivered straight in the home and communities of patients.
This kind of shift means there will be a demand for various kinds of caregivers—from registered nurses (RNs) to licensed practical nurses (LPNs) to case managers. In the coming years, the need to train healthcare workers in these various fields will be evident and will continue to push industry growth.
2. Technology Will Continue to Significantly Impact Healthcare
The growth of technology and the evolution of healthcare are inherently linked. When new technologies are introduced, it’s only a matter of time before new innovations and applications will find their way into the medical field. Advances in technology open a lot of opportunities to develop intuitive and integrated health and social care systems. For instance, the rise of big data is allowing healthcare to be more efficient and accurate, which is essential for a quickly changing industry. On average, the volume of health data collected in healthcare doubles every three years; a projection that was expected to double every 73 days by this year according to a study by IBM.
Additionally, the Internet of Things (IoT) means the millions of connected wearable devices that are able to record sleep patterns, heart rate, calorie consumption, and other critical health metrics can be used to monitor and compile detailed patient records. These can prove very useful for delivering individualized treatment plans for patients, with more accurate diagnostics.
Improved mobile communication technology, along with advancements in video conferencing technology means patients and physicians can more fully realize the benefits of telehealth. This particular technology has proven to be exceptionally useful as the world responds to COVID-19 while keeping patients safe who are at high risk for infection. It also allows doctors to reach patients in rural locations and minimize the burden on medical facilities.
Other notable technologies that healthcare is poised to see more of in the near future include 3D printing, which can help lower the cost of prosthetics; blockchain technology, which can ensure more secure patient records; and quantum computing, which can open new opportunities in medical research and science.
3. Longer Life Expectancy Is Prompting Higher Expectations From Healthcare
The fact that Baby Boomers have longer life expectancy today means that they’re also expecting more from healthcare than any other generation. There are an estimated 3 million members of this generation that will reach retirement age by 2029. Their desire to stay healthy and mobile as they reach retirement means they will depend on reliable healthcare to achieve it.
This is also a generation that’s more open to adapting to today’s technology, knowing what it can do to help them achieve their health goals. As they become more familiar with available options, they become more willing to demand access to better care through innovations such as digitized record-keeping, telehealth options, and better health monitoring through wearable devices. In response to all this, they expect healthcare to keep up as well as quickly innovate.
4. Easier Access to Reliable Training and Education in The Healthcare Industry
Healthcare education is expected to adapt to how the industry is evolving, specifically in the context of digitized healthcare systems and catering to a generation of aspiring medical practitioners in a hyper-connected world. To that end, new programs will be designed to meet the emerging needs of today’s patients.
While many roads lead to a successful career in healthcare, expanding options for training will be critical to addressing the rising demand for people to fill jobs across different fields. Certificates can be a great way to improve your resume and gain more experience and training to make you more competitive in the job market. Employers may also require certain certifications to help demonstrate key competencies in various areas.
Associate degrees, which are a faster road to certain healthcare careers, give prospective healthcare employees a foot in the door in the industry. They also allow more students to enter the industry through entry-level positions and gain relevant practical experience with the option to concurrently further their training online or on-campus. The former allows students to complete their studies on any device at their convenience. While brick and mortar education options aren’t necessarily going to be obsolete, online options will become increasingly common and will be complementary to in-person training.
These trends are not only set to define the future of healthcare in the coming years, it will also set the stage for consistent demand for skilled and trained healthcare professionals across various fields. If you’re looking to explore what opportunities the industry has to offer, visit our website today and learn more about HCI’s healthcare programs.