Report reveals top trends driving Australia’s health sector in 2019
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Report reveals top trends driving Australia’s health sector in 2019

The end of March marks national Australia Healthcare Week, and as part of the week’s campaigns, a new report has launched revealing the top trends driving Australia’s healthcare sector in 2019.

1. Infrastructure investments

According to the report, by 2050 there will be an estimated 36 million people living in Australia – an increase of approximately 12 million people over the next 32 years. With more headcount and an ageing population, the report predicts hospitals will become an increasing priority for governments and healthcare providers -if they wish to continue supporting a healthy population.

2. Healthcare technology

The report uncovers the future of healthcare being driven by two main factors: the search for economic sustainability, and ‘digital disruption.’ Technology is emerging as a major trend, with 87% of surveyed respondents indicating that healthcare digitisation is the way forward.

The report highlights EMR, cloud solutions and big data as priority investment areas for healthcare, while innovations like artificial intelligence and robotics will be making a splash in the coming years.

3. Patient experience

Patient-centric care remains a top trend in healthcare, the report revealing patients demand more sophisticated, convenient, transparent, affordable and personalised service. The survey showed 80% of respondents say patient experience play an important role in operations.

At the same time, patients are also welcoming the flexibility that modern technology brings to their care. The report showed patients are now more willing to be monitored wirelessly for their conditions, and to consider receiving traditionally hospital-based medical treatments, such as chemotherapy, at home.

In order to deliver these personalised services, the report stressed healthcare operators will need to continue to transform their traditional business models and ways of working to become more patient-centric. In fact, the report found 81% of organisations have already recently invested patient-centric processes to optimise experiences.

4. Culture change and workforce optimisation

The report highlights how a culture of engagement and accountability is essential for health systems to succeed in an era of population health management. In particular, the report recommended harnessing strategies like workshops training days, peer learning networks and collaborating with solution providers to engage and upskill employees.

5. Ageing population

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics in Australia in 2017, there were 3.8 million Australians aged 65 and over, and the report forecasts this proportion of older Australians will continue to grow. In fact, the report revealed that by 2057, it is projected there will be 8.8 million older people in Australia (22% of the population).

This trend towards an older population brings with it a number of challenges including the rise of chronic diseases and a growing need of serviceability. While it’s still early days, the report recommends government policy reforms like the Aged Care Royal Commission, digital technologies, wearable devices and smart modular housing will provide the biggest opportunities to revolutionise aged care in 2019 and beyond.