46 health IT leaders predict the future of healthcare delivery


July 8, 2024 4:50 pm

As healthcare evolves, the question of what the future holds is increasingly looming. Among a sea of innovations and challenges, forty-six health IT and finance leaders shared their predictions on how healthcare delivery will change in the coming decade. 

The 46 executives featured in this article are all speaking at Becker’s 9th Annual Health IT + Digital Health + RCM Meeting: The Future of Business and Clinical Technologies which will take place Oct. 1-4, 2024, at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago.

As part of an ongoing series, Becker’s is talking to healthcare leaders who will speak at our conference. The following are answers from our speakers at the event.

Question: What will likely be different about healthcare delivery 10 years from now?

Edwina Bhaskaran, RN. Chief Clinical Systems and Informatics Officer at Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minn.): Envisioning the future of healthcare, I see a landscape where patients are not just recipients of care but active architects of their health journey, being driven by their knowledge of their data. Empowered by access to their own data, patients can make informed decisions and engage proactively in their care. This knowledge-driven empowerment fosters a significant shift, propelling us towards a proactive stance on wellness and preventive care. In this future, data becomes a holistic lens, integrating psychosocial elements, genetic predispositions and clinical findings to craft personalized healthcare strategies that enable individuals to not only champion but drive their total well-being.

Michael A. Pfeffer, MD. Senior Vice President and Chief Information and Digital Officer at Stanford (Calif.) School of Medicine: In the next decade, healthcare delivery will undergo substantial transformation driven by technological advancements, changes in patient expectations, and shifts in healthcare policy. Treatments will be increasingly tailored to individual genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors, leading to more effective and targeted therapies improving health for all in an equitable way. Virtual consultations and telemedicine will become standard practice as remote diagnostic technologies become commonplace, offering patients convenient access to healthcare providers without the need for in-person visits. Remote monitoring will expand, allowing continuous tracking of patients’ health metrics through wearable devices and sensors. The shift towards a more patient-centered approach to care will accelerate, where patients are active participants in their care decisions facilitated by better access to their own health information and increased emphasis on patient education and engagement through digital health platforms. 

Artificial intelligence will be widely used for diagnostics, treatment planning, and administrative tasks, improving efficiency and accuracy. AI-driven tools will assist in interpreting medical images, predicting disease outbreaks, and personalizing treatment plans. More integrated and coordinated care systems will facilitate seamless transitions between different levels of care, and health information exchanges will allow better sharing of patient data across providers and systems. A greater focus on preventive care, with the use of predictive analytics to identify at-risk individuals and intervene early, will become prevalent. 

All in all, it’s a very exciting time to be in healthcare delivery, and I look forward to the ways we can use technology to deliver a highly personalized, deeply compassionate care experience for every patient.

Miguel “Mike” Vigo IV. Chief Revenue Cycle Officer at UC San Diego Health: Healthcare delivery in 10 years will be much different in a number of ways. For less acute conditions or healthcare needs, business to business delivery for products, materials, devices, etc., will be handled more and more by non-traditional healthcare partners such as Amazon, retailers, and even through joint operating agreements with providers, payers and an established delivery system. In addition, medical check-ins for chronically ill patients will be more telehealth powered along with video check-ins, which can be supported by supplying new devices specifically designed for security, validation, encryption along with looping in and integrating the patient’s information, both medical and insurance wise.

For medications, I do believe in the next 10 years there will be more government involvement given the increasing high pricing for newer drugs as well as unchecked mark-ups for current or existing medications so that the patients that need them can have them. For more acute patients, although multiple market analysis over the course of the last 10 years shows declines in the inpatient spaces, overall symptoms and patient acuity is proving to challenge those varying analyses. Although inpatients do require much more direct attention by care teams and physicians, I do see more virtual care options, potentially more investments and strategy around micro-hospital type set ups to offset those in the traditional healthcare towers or larger capital set-ups that exist today. 

ChatGPT and AI will of course play major roles in expediting tasks within the care delivery model to provide support for caregivers, and in addition, they will largely support and become more mainstream in supporting or automating non-clinical areas such as revenue cycle and finance, among other non-clinical divisions.

D. Matthew Sullivan, MD. Chief Medical Information Officer, Southeast Information Technology at Advocate Health (Charlotte, N.C.): Over the next 10 years, technology is going to allow us to personalize healthcare delivery. Instead of swimming in today’s ‘data soup,’ we’ll have deeper and faster insights around treatments, operations and more. Massive amounts of data will lead to the development of personalized treatments. We’ll be able to deliver healthcare in the way that fits your individual needs – whether that’s a virtual appointment, in-person visit or some other way we haven’t even thought of yet. And, thanks to data, we’re going to be able to personalize the experience of those providing the care. Standardization is the mantra right now in EHRs, and an absolute requirement to get to the next stage. The data from standardization will enable AI-driven personalization in the future.

Richard Zane, MD. Chief Innovation Officer at UCHealth (Aurora, Colo.): Ten years feels like a lifetime.  Nonetheless, one quote sometimes referred to as Amara’s law comes to mind: we overestimate the impact of technology in the short-term and underestimate the effect in the long run. Perhaps overly aspirational, in the next decade given the exponential embracing and understanding of AI, we will see dramatic improvements in efficiency, quality, access and (going out on a limb) cost directly attributable to technology and intelligence. Fingers crossed that the FDA and other regulatory bodies can evolve as their current paradigm substantively impedes progress.

Cynthia Salisbury, RN. Enterprise Executive Director of Nursing Operations at Providence (Renton, Wash.): The application of technology and AI in healthcare will not be viewed as a threat, but rather embraced and appreciated as valuable tools that allow caregivers to practice efficiently at the top of their scope, expanding access to care across communities and populations. 

Use of technology to support virtual care across disciplines and care settings will enable provision of high-quality specialty care in all communities. Rural and critical access facilities will thrive as expanded access to clinical experts allows patients to receive specialty care without the need to travel far from home.

Hospital readmissions will decrease as virtual technology, including wearables, allows virtual nurses who were caring for a patient in the acute care setting to follow the patient home in the immediate post-acute time, facilitating continuity of care and effective adjustment to health at home.

Functionality of courier robots in healthcare will expand, enhancing value to caregivers and operations. The presence of robots in healthcare facilities will be common as they serve as runners, assist in supply tracking and management, expedite the flow of care, and add efficiency to operations.

Nurse-to-patient ratios will be a term of the past. Staffing will no longer be based on the misaligned principle of equality, but rather on equity – ensuring that resources are allocated effectively to meet patient needs. Patient assignments will not be driven by number of patients per nurse, but rather determined by the care needs of the patients and capacity of the caregiver team, ensuring high-quality, safe care for all patients while facilitating joyful and fulfilling work environments for all caregivers. 

Healthcare education across disciplines will adapt to prepare caregivers to practice effectively in this new model of care delivery. The career span of nursing will expand as virtual nursing allows highly experienced nurses to continue to lend valuable expertise to patient care and to mentoring newer nurses, thereby enhancing the confidence and competence of the nursing workforce overall. Virtual Nursing will be fully recognized as a nursing specialty with enhanced availability of advanced training and certification.

Benjamin Hohmuth, MD. Chief Medical Informatics Officer at Geisinger (Danville, Pa.): Consolidation will continue producing larger but fewer health systems. Workforce challenges will continue to play a major role in constraining capacities and accelerating automation. Digital front doors will improve and friction for patients related to interacting with healthcare will decrease, but access will remain a major issue despite decanting to virtual care and self care. Use of AI to assist with documentation and summarization will be routine and in line with standard workflows, as will be the ability to easily act on discrete data and predictions queued up from disparate data and free text. AI will assist with diagnosis in providers’ clinical workflows and may start to provide some substitute provider services rather than simply augmented services. Epic will continue to displace vendors with new products but will also continue to partner with other vendors where Epic provides the workflows and the other vendor provides underlying capabilities.

Kipum Lee, PhD. Vice President of Innovation and Product Strategy at University Hospitals (Cleveland): In 10 years, more attention and investment will be made to care delivery outside of the four walls of the traditional hospital. The venues of healthcare would not be limited to “sick care” but will include and perhaps even begin to prioritize “well care.” Instead of hospitals as the sole delivery vehicle for care, other sites and industries such as hospitality and transportation will have begun to offer superior and sustainable innovative solutions. Most importantly, the home environment – especially through AgeTech and passive monitoring – may become even more central to care delivery.

Nolan Chang, MD. Executive Vice President of Strategy, Corporate Development, and Finance at The Permanente Federation (Oakland, Calif.): The next frontier of value-based care will focus on patients engaging with healthcare outside the traditional medical office building. Today, both disruptors and traditional players are still figuring out the right mix of virtual and face-to-face care. Virtual options allow easier access to care but can create strain in a world where provider supply is limited. The future will rely more on asynchronous care, powered by big data, AI, machine learning, and more while also creating capacity for providers to be available to those who need a higher level of care. Over the next decade, social determinants of health, AI, and technology will converge, create new opportunities, and redefine what caring for a patient looks like.

Omkar Kulkarni. Vice President, Chief Transformation Officer and Chief Digital Officer at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles: Through the convergence of personalized data, artificial intelligence and digital access, patients in 2034 will be more empowered, knowledgeable and in control of their health and healthcare than they are today. They will be more informed about how to maintain and manage their health and the health of the ones they care for (e.g. their children). Healthcare services will be conveniently offered in the home, in schools, and on devices and when required, in clinics or hospitals.

Mark Townsend, MD. Chief Clinical Innovation Officer at Bon Secours Mercy Health (Cincinnati): In 10 years, healthcare must be prepared for the overwhelming majority of our patients to ‘believe that they know more about their health than physicians or healthcare experts do.’ Empowered by consumer-mediated technology that will ingest hundreds, if not thousands, of data-points per individual, patients will have tools at their disposal that will be more convincing than ever. How will we as health systems ingest that data to partner with our patients? What privacy and compliance related concerns will exist about storage of that data, let alone monetizing that data? How will we convince patients that technology is, at times, wrong? If healthcare delivery has not stayed ahead of the technology-trust curve, I can only imagine that we will have growing populations of patients who believe they no longer need a traditional physician relationship, let alone traditional healthcare delivery. In 10 years, the sickest of the sick will still need an ICU, but the era of technology-mediated ‘autonomous healthcare delivery’ will be upon us.

Ebrahim Barkoudah, MD. System Chief of Hospital Medicine at Baystate Health (Springfield, Mass.): 

My predictions for 10 key ways healthcare delivery is likely to be different 10 years from now:

  1. Telemedicine and Virtual Care: Telemedicine and virtual care will become mainstream, with many routine visits and check-ups conducted remotely via video or AI-powered chatbots. This shift will increase accessibility and convenience for patients.
  2. Wearable Devices and Remote Patient Monitoring: Wearable devices and remote patient monitoring systems will enable continuous tracking of vital signs, allowing for early detection of health issues before they become serious. This proactive approach will improve patient outcomes.
  3. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: These technologies will play a much larger role in diagnosis, treatment planning, and clinical decision support. AI-driven tools will enhance accuracy and efficiency in medical practice.
  4. Precision Medicine: Precision medicine, based on genetic profiling and other personalized data, will allow for more targeted and effective treatments tailored to individual patients. This personalization will improve treatment efficacy and reduce adverse effects.
  5. Shift to Outpatient and Home-Based Settings Instead of Inpatient Care Delivery: Hospital care will increasingly move towards outpatient and home-based settings. Only the most acute cases will require inpatient stays, reducing healthcare costs and improving patient comfort.
  6. Robotics and Automation: Robotics and automation will handle more routine clinical and administrative tasks, freeing up healthcare clinicians/workers to focus on higher-value activities such as patient care and decision-making.
  7. Interoperable Electronic Health Records: Interoperable EHRs and health information exchanges will facilitate the seamless sharing of patient data across the care continuum, improving coordination and continuity of care.
  8. Predictive Analytics Beyond AI: Predictive analytics will be used to identify high-risk patients and intervene proactively before health issues escalate. This will lead to better management of chronic conditions and preventive care strategies.
  9. Virtual and Augmented Reality: Virtual and augmented reality will be extensively used for medical training, surgical planning, and patient education. These technologies will enhance learning experiences and improve procedural outcomes.
  10. Consumer-Driven Healthcare: Enabled by digital tools, consumer-driven healthcare will give patients more control over their health data and care decisions. This empowerment will foster greater patient engagement and self-management.

Karen E. Hunter, RN. Chief Nursing Informatics Officer at Adventist Health Roseville (Calif.): Healthcare delivery is poised for significant transformation driven by advances in technology and data integration over the next decade. One of the most impactful changes will be the automation of data and information intake, reducing the cognitive burden on clinicians and allowing them to focus more on patient care.

Here are some details in my vision of how healthcare delivery will evolve through automated data collection:

  • Wearables and Remote Monitoring: Patients will routinely use wearable devices that continuously monitor vital signs and other health metrics. These devices will seamlessly transmit data in real-time to healthcare providers, providing a comprehensive view of a patient’s health outside of clinical settings.
  • Ambient Listening and Observation: Smart environments in homes and healthcare facilities will use ambient listening and video observation to gather data on patient behaviors, symptoms, and interactions, enhancing the accuracy of health assessments without requiring patient or clinician intervention.
  • Interoperable Diagnostics: Medical diagnostics will be fully interoperable across different platforms and devices. This means that diagnostic data from various sources, such as lab tests, imaging, and genetic profiles, will automatically integrate into a unified patient record.
  • AI-Powered Data Synthesis: Advanced AI algorithms will process the vast amounts of data collected, identifying patterns and correlations that might be missed by human observation. AI will provide clinicians with synthesized reports, highlighting critical insights and trends.
  • Actionable Knowledge: The information presented to clinicians will be refined to surface actionable knowledge. AI will offer decision support, suggesting diagnoses, potential treatment plans, and predicting patient outcomes based on the latest evidence and data analytics.
  • Focus on Patient Care: With the automation of data collection and initial analysis, clinicians will have more time to engage directly with patients, understanding their concerns, and providing personalized care. The reduction in administrative tasks will allow for deeper patient-clinician relationships.
  • Holistic View of Health: Clinicians will have access to a holistic view of a patient’s health, combining real-time data with historical records, lifestyle information, and social determinants of health. This comprehensive perspective will enable more precise and effective healthcare interventions.

In summary, the future of healthcare delivery will be characterized by seamless data integration and intelligent analysis, enabling clinicians to focus on delivering compassionate, patient-centered care. 

Tarun Kapoor, MD. Senior Vice President and Chief Digital Transformation Officer at Virtua Health (Marlton, N.J.): To be honest, I’m having trouble figuring out what things look like in the next three to four years, let alone 10 years from now. That stated, people will continue to get sick 10 years from now and they will reach out to organizations they trust to help them get better (and ideally reach out to those organizations before they even become ill). Some of those organizations exist today and will still be successful in 10 years, and some of those organizations will not. And a number of those organizations who will be amongst the most successful in 10 years haven’t even been created yet.

Garrett Olin. Chief Information Officer at Shasta Community Health Center (Redding, Calif.): AI maturity will see utilization increase in many areas, providing better insight into diagnoses, treatment, prescribing and health management, which will improve delivery and outcomes. Continued improvement in mobile technology will also see increased utilization for delivery. Virtual encounters with integration of remote monitoring and imaging will allow for easier access and engagement. Last, the EHR will be more automated and streamlined, reducing the stress and burnout of clinical staff. The production of orders, referrals, scripts and documentation will be integrated with automation and voice commands for ease of use.

Komal Bajaj, MD. Chief Quality Officer at NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi/NCB: My hope is that in the next decade, healthcare delivery will be revolutionized by advancements in personalized medicine, bolstered by artificial intelligence and breakthroughs in therapeutics.  The proliferation of digital technologies and delivery of care wherever patients are should allow for more proactive management and improved diagnostic safety. Integrated health systems and value-based care models will lead to improved coordination as well as higher quality, planet-friendly care. 

John Donohue. Vice President, Entity Services at Penn Medicine (Philadelphia): Other than the obvious changes driven by technology advancements, a few things come to mind that will impact the delivery of healthcare in 10 years. I see a world where telemedicine and remote care are even more prevalent. Providers will routinely leverage data analytics and AI for improved outcomes.   Healthcare organizations will need to continue to shift towards a more personalized patient centric care. Lastly, I think the headwinds on patient facing staff will require an evolution of healthcare professionals.

Muhammad Siddiqui. Chief Information Officer at Reid Health (Richmond, Ind.): Healthcare will transform with personalized treatments using genomics and data analytics. Telehealth will integrate remote monitoring and AI-powered diagnostics for early disease detection. Seamless interoperability of electronic health records will improve care coordination, while smart infrastructure will enhance operational efficiency and patient experience.

The focus will shift from reactive treatment to proactive prevention, using predictive analytics to reduce chronic disease incidence and promote overall wellness. This transformation will lead to better health outcomes, improved patient satisfaction and a more sustainable healthcare system. 

Rosemary Ventura, RN. Chief Nursing Informatics Officer at University of Rochester (N.Y.) Medical Center: In 10 years, I see a few key differences: we will have a much more informatics-savvy and educated workforce. Graduates of today’s clinical programs will learn differently and integrate AI and other advanced technical tools to develop their professional practice skills. Additionally, the way we provide healthcare will be different. We will see exponential growth in the telehealth space, along with computer vision and generative AI for better decision making and tailored healthcare delivery. 

Brian D’Anza, MD. Division of Rhinology, Sinus, and Skull Base Surgery and Lead, Innovation and Digital Health, University Hospitals Ear, Nose & Throat Institute (Cleveland): Digital health technologies and AI in particular will be more mature and embedded in healthcare. If we do our jobs right for the next decade (along with some permanent legislative changes) we will have more data on how these technologies improve the actual wellbeing of our patients (and where they don’t). Instead of seeing AI as a replacement for providers or most caregivers, we will realize that care delivery works best when a human connection is augmented by AI whether it be diagnostic, therapeutic, procedural or administrative tasks.

Neel Butala, MD. Medical Director of Structural Heart Disease and Intervention at VA Eastern CO Healthcare System: I think the biggest change in healthcare delivery 10 years from now will be the use of AI to automate tasks to enable strategic workforce enhancement. Clinicians will be able to spend more time with patients if AI scribes can help with medical documentation. Similarly, non-clinical staff will be able to engage in higher order and innovative activities if AI helps streamline routine manual processes.

Nabil Chehade, MD. Executive Vice President and Chief Clinical Transformation Officer at MetroHealth (Cleveland): By 2035, healthcare would be influenced by the rapidly aging population in the US, the personalization of medicine, advances in regenerative medicine and the democratization of health care:

By 2035, the aging population in the U.S. will significantly impact healthcare, necessitating an evolved focus on chronic disease management, aging in place, and end-of-life support at home. This transformation will be driven by the integration of smart AI and machine learning technologies into homes and wearable devices, facilitating comprehensive and personalized care. Personalized medicine, empowered by advanced genomic technology integrated with electronic medical records, will enhance preventive care and enable curated treatment plans. The progress in regenerative medicine will further provide new treatments for previously incurable diseases. The democratization of healthcare aims to eliminate health inequities by shifting care from hospitals to outpatient settings, homes, and communities. This approach empowers care everywhere by removing barriers to access and making healthcare more affordable. It emphasizes healthcare consumerism and provides effective, accurate, and personalized self-service tools at minimal or no cost to the individual.

Thomas Maddox, MD. Vice President, Digital Products and Innovation at BJC HealthCare (St. Louis).: I believe (or at least hope) that care will be much more personalized, proactive and oriented to helping patients stay healthy. Health systems should evolve towards truly knowing a patient’s background, needs and risks, then designing a care plan with them that proactively provides the health care and education needed to maintain optimal health. To achieve this, health systems will need to continue to invest in their data and engagement capabilities, merging digital and physical touchpoints. In addition, healthcare reimbursement policies need to continue to move towards a value-based position, so that health systems are incentivized to maintain a patient’s health in an effective and cost-efficient manner.

Kerri Webster, RN. Vice President and Chief Analytics Officer at Children’s Hospital Colorado (Aurora): My hope is that technology will have a huge impact on the healthcare delivery of the future. I envision a landscape where we can leverage technology to deliver safe, equitable care for all. I see the personalization of healthcare delivery expanding to be responsive to individual clinical/physical needs, preferences and values. Whether through telehealth, wearables, remote monitoring, integration of data, access to information or advanced AI capabilities, I believe there will be a deepening in partnership of the patient with healthcare providers in shared decision making and collaboration. New technology will support more automation and direct feedback that will empower the patient to be more informed and responsive to their own health needs. I believe we will make inroads in data sharing practices that make it seamless for the patient when seeking care across the healthcare ecosystem, regardless of system or location. 

Betty Jo Rocchio, RN. Senior Vice President and Chief Nurse Executive at Mercy Health (St. Louis): Healthcare will have a change in delivery model that is partially driven by opening up different sites of care. With the developments in AI, our most precious resource, people, will have information delivered in ways that assist with their critical decision making for patients helping to reduce workload on the care team and improve outcomes for patients. 

John V. Prunksis, MD. Medical Director and Principal at DxTx Pain & Spine (Elgin, Ill.). In 10 years, artificial intelligence will be transformative in healthcare, making some specialties virtually obsolete as well as changing the healthcare delivery model in all medical specialties.

Zafar Chaudry, MD. Senior Vice President, Chief Digital Officer and Chief Information Officer at Seattle Children’s: The future of healthcare is likely to be much more patient-centered, accessible, and preventive. Artificial intelligence will play a bigger role in diagnostics, treatment plans, and even early disease detection. I expect widespread use of AI powered remote patient monitoring devices and telehealth consultations. Wearables and sensors will collect health data that AI can analyze to identify potential problems before they become serious. More advancements in genomics and treatments will be increasingly personalized based on an individual’s unique genetic makeup. There will likely be a greater emphasis on preventive care to keep people healthy and avoid costly interventions later. Managing and securing patient data will be crucial. Expect robust data security measures alongside increased transparency about how patient information is being used.

Robert Poznanovich. Chief Growth Officer at Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation (Chicago): Tech enable healthcare, well-being and care delivery will be the norm in 10 years with more in-home and whole patient care being drivers. Behavioral health, including substance use disorders, will be truly integrated (not siloed as it is today) into our health systems to realize the promises associated with treating the patient’s physical health, behavioral health, and social services needs. 

Data will be used more strategically across the continuum to improve and reward outcomes. Of course, virtual reality and generative artificial intelligence will play a greater role in health education and well-being and in ways we can’t yet even imagine today. I expect the efforts we are making today to enhance/adopt consumerism and patient choice to be the expected norm and that we will continue to remove health equity barriers and further reduce waste efforts to adopt consumerism and patient choice, alleviate equity barriers and harness efficiencies while reducing time wasted.

Chris Rucker. Chief Strategy Officer at Valley Health System (Las Vegas): I believe we will continue to see advances in personalized medicine and personalized experience, largely driven by the advancements and proliferation of artificial intelligence. This work will ultimately converge to improve access, improve disease management and support patient driven self-care.

Stephen Parodi, MD. Executive Vice President, External Affairs, Communications, and Brand at The Permanente Federation (Oakland, Calif.): Adoption of value-based care has accelerated in recent years, and we expect this trend to continue as health plans, physicians, employers and the government continue to embrace this model. Value-based care emphasizes and rewards preventive care, effective management of chronic conditions and positive health outcomes while making care more affordable. Innovative technologies and processes will play critical roles in this transition as healthcare organizations move to providing greater access and delivering more care into patients’ homes, shift to team-based care models, and increasingly focus on data-driven, evidence-based medicine. I fully expect that the healthcare workforce’s efforts will be amplified and augmented by artificial intelligence whether it is ambient or generative applications.

Jason M. Raidbard. Executive Administrator of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at UChicago Medicine and Biological Sciences: Healthcare delivery in the next 10 years is likely to significantly transform the industry with the advancements in technology, key policy changes, and patient/market expectations.

Technology specifically will continue to change and grow the healthcare delivery process. Telemedicine will continue to grow providing patients greater access and convenience to care. Technology will also have a heavy influence on patient outcomes. Remote monitoring will increase allowing a care team to evaluate more than one or two diagnostic measurements performed at an office. As this technology expands and becomes more widely accepted the costs will go down for the consumer making the use of remote monitoring more appealing and accessible.

AI will continue to assist in helping a healthcare team diagnose patients, both on an acute, but also on a preventive basis, customizing suggestions and options based on the patients health history and family history. We will also see unified electronic medical record systems evolve ensuring seamless access to patient information and transitions of patient care between healthcare organizations.

Lifestyle medicine will also become a more integrated part of primary care, giving patients more healthcare options for their care, specifically in preventive care. We will also see the lowering of age ranges with various preventive tests (colonoscopy and mammogram as examples) to ensure diagnoses are caught earlier.

Policy changes will occur as we completely evolve from the paper medical record systems of 10-15 years ago to completely electronic healthcare systems. Federal and state policies will need to be updated to better ensure both patient privacy and security of their health information. Patients will also demand their healthcare insurance plan expand the provider network, which coupled with the integration of electronic medical record systems, should improve patient care coordination.

These changes will hopefully create a more patient centric healthcare delivery system, improving both healthcare outcomes and accessibility, in turn reducing the burden on our valuable healthcare providers and healthcare teams.

Novella W. Thompson. Administrator of Population Health and Post Acute Care at UVA Health University Medical Center (Charlottesville, Va.): In 10 years, healthcare delivery will be more technologically advanced, with AI and big data supporting predictive analyses to identify at-risk populations and provide targeted interventions, as well as diagnostics, treatment planning, and personalized medicine. Preventative strategies will be tailored to genetic profiles and improve efficacy while reducing adverse effects. Integrated and value-based care models will increasingly focus on value and quality, incentivizing providers to coordinate care facilitated by advanced health information exchanges and interoperable electronic health records. These substantial changes bring much to celebrate as we aim to enhance patient outcomes, improve access to care, and manage costs effectively.

Kaitlyn Torrence. Executive Director at MUSC Health Solutions (Charleston, S.C.): With the rapid transformation our industry is undertaking, it’s a challenge to know what our future holds in one year, much rather 10! I envision the healthcare delivery ecosystem as a whole to look much different, with a few key components:

Care will be constant, on-demand, and provided in a holistic manner focused on patient/consumer demand with greater focus outside of our hospital walls. This will be initially driven by virtual care, RPM and telemedicine, but quickly advancing beyond this to a variety of modalities, which will require both new technologies and an up-skilled workforce ready to embrace the changes (i.e. all medical training schools should and will have courses on telehealth, AI and tech adoption).

As a result of our shrinking workforce and access challenges, every role across healthcare will look different and (hopefully) be optimized by automation, AI and top of license policy changes.

Sicker, chronically ill and aging populations will drive us toward greater expansion of value-based care and enhanced focus on population health for capacity management, if nothing else (although we know the incentives are much bigger than this!). Precision medicine and genomics will have widespread clinical application both for treatment and research. They will be equitably deployed to create a new level of advanced care delivery and patient-driven decision making.

Reed Smith. Chief Consumer Officer at Ardent Health (Nashville, Tenn.): Tech will empower consumers to control their care journey, leading to significant changes in care delivery over the next 10 years. Care is already shifting to the home, enabled by technology. Healthcare providers must understand how the consumer journey will evolve, how technology will create new friction points, and how it will solve today’s needs. The consumer experience will differ with each visit, and looking 10 years ahead, it’s hard to imagine that today’s practices will remain unchanged.

Reid Stephan. Vice President and Chief Information Officer at St. Luke’s Health System (Boise, Idaho): In 10 years, healthcare delivery will likely be transformed by advanced technologies such as AI and machine learning, enabling highly personalized treatment plans and predictive analytics for disease prevention. Telemedicine and remote monitoring will become standard practice, enhancing access to care, especially in rural and underserved areas. Additionally, the integration of electronic health records with interoperable health data systems will streamline patient care and improve outcomes through seamless information sharing across providers and institutions.

Edward Lee, MD. Director of Clinical Informatics at California Northstate University College of Medicine: Bill Gates once famously said, “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten.”  This underscores the challenge of predicting the future of healthcare. Up until a couple of years ago, most had never heard of generative AI, much less predicted the explosion of activity surrounding this emerging technology. The breakthroughs that will transform care delivery in the coming decade likely haven’t been invented yet. However, with focus on the quintuple aim, my hope and expectation is that care will become increasingly person-centered, with diagnoses and therapies tailored specifically to the individual patient, leading to personalized, high-quality experiences. Additionally, the clinician burnout crisis will see significant improvement through the optimized use and mastery of digital health technologies, including generative AI and other augmented intelligence tools.

Rahul Kashyap, MD. Medical Director, Research at WellSpan Health (York, Pa.): By 2035, there will be a major shift in healthcare economics. The value-based care models will continue to evolve with even higher focus on quality outcomes and cost-effectiveness. The use of technology such as virtual reality and augmented reality will be increased for medical training, patient education, and therapeutic interventions. Blockchain technology will be adopted to enhance the security and interoperability of health records and transactions. To address holistic patient needs, mental health services will be more integrated into primary care.

Jessica Schlicher, MD. Chief Medical Officer of Virtual Care and Digital Health at Providence (Renton, Wash.): In the near future, every human will have access to democratized medical knowledge, woven together with curated, human-in-the-loop AI. We will create a world where health disparities due to inequities in healthcare access will decrease. That’s the future we’re working to build with MedPearl at Providence.

Lisa Stephenson, RN. Chief Nursing Informatics Officer at Houston Methodist: I’d like to believe that the digital evolution and growth of AI within healthcare will improve the current issue of equitable access to healthcare. Increasing virtual care and remote monitoring trends will enable consistent care to those unable to physically get to healthcare facilities either due to geography, transportation or financial limitations. AI models will help to provide early detection for at risk populations and provide recommendations on care paths to ensure we reach patients more proactively and no one falls through the cracks.

Yoemy Waller. Chief Information Officer at Lake Health District Hospital (Lakeview, Ore.): The healthcare industry is poised for transformative changes over the next decade, driven by advancements in technology, data analytics, and personalized medicine. As a healthcare data scientist, envisioning these future trends is necessary for preparing and adapting to the evolving landscape. The integration of genomic data into healthcare will revolutionize how treatments are tailored to individual patients. By analyzing genetic profiles, healthcare providers can develop personalized treatment plans and preventive strategies that are highly specific to each patient’s genetic makeup.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: AI-powered diagnostic systems, treatment delivery and prevention will become commonplace, providing faster and more accurate diagnoses, prevention, and maintenance of wellness. These tools will analyze vast amounts of data to identify patterns and anomalies that may not be immediately apparent to human clinicians.  Machine learning will play a huge role in predicting disease outbreaks, patient deterioration, and treatment outcomes. Predictive analytics will enable proactive healthcare interventions, improving patient outcomes and reducing costs.

Big data analytics will enhance clinical decision-making and operational efficiency. By analyzing large datasets, healthcare providers can uncover insights that improve patient care and streamline hospital operations. The use of apps and online platforms for mental health assessment and therapy will expand, making mental health care more accessible. Regulatory frameworks will adapt to keep pace with technological advancements, ensuring patient safety and the efficacy of new treatments and devices. These advancements will collectively transform healthcare delivery, making it more efficient, personalized, and accessible. As healthcare data scientists, staying at the forefront of these changes will be essential for driving innovation and improving patient outcomes in the coming decade.

Amy Zolotow. Director of Operations at Mercy Personal Physicians: Over the next decade, healthcare delivery will increasingly focus on personalization, leveraging advancements in genomics, digital health technologies and artificial intelligence. Genomic medicine will enable tailored treatment plans based on individual genetic profiles, predicting disease risks and optimizing medication efficacy. Wearable devices and continuous monitoring tools will gather real-time health data, providing personalized insights and early intervention strategies, even in the comfort of patients’ homes. AI algorithms will analyze extensive patient data to offer personalized recommendations for lifestyle modifications, preventive screenings, and treatment options. Virtual reality and augmented reality will further enhance patient education and rehabilitation programs, tailored to individual preferences and needs. Ultimately, these personalized approaches will empower patients, improve health outcomes, and redefine the standard of care across diverse healthcare settings.

Khurram Mir. Director of Innovation and UCI Health Ventures at UCI Health (Irvine, Calif.): The healthcare industry is on the brink of significant transformation, driven by innovative solutions that promise to reshape the delivery of care. Emerging trends are providing a window into what the future of health could look like in the near future.

Artificial Intelligence will be a critical enabler in both the front and back offices of healthcare. AI-driven systems will assist in managing logistics, from patient flow to supply chain management leading to creation of smart hospitals and clinics. Telehealth has rapidly evolved, especially during the pandemic, and will continue to find its place within the spectrum of care delivery. Advances in home health technologies will enable the safe delivery of more complex care at home. From hospital-at-home programs to home-based diagnostics and treatment devices, patients will receive high-quality care without leaving their homes. Seamless integration of health data across various platforms will allow for a holistic view of a patient’s health history.

For us to truly harness the potential of these and any future innovations in the next decade, it is imperative to rethink our current processes and policies. We cannot yield optimal returns if built on outdated or inefficient processes. Addressing the underlying issues, such as the interoperability of health records, data privacy, and the integration of new technologies into existing workflows, is crucial for realizing the full benefits of these advancements.

Brendan Lloyd, MD. Chief Administrative Officer at Providence Clinical Network: The shortage of physicians, and primary care physicians in particular, is a concern that keeps me up at night and is a problem that all of us in healthcare need to think through for the years to come. We are already starting to experience this shortage, and we are all having to do more with fewer physicians. We must test, refine, and scale alternative care models and technologies that extend the reach of each physician to more patients. Team-based care, telehealth, inbox management tools, and remote patient monitoring will continue to improve and have a positive impact on how we provide care a decade from now. Force multipliers such as these for physicians will be key to improving quality and patient experience without burning out physicians.

Benjamin Kummer, MD. Director of Clinical Informatics in Neurology at Mount Sinai Health System (New York City): I anticipate that in 10 years, face-to-face encounters with physicians and other healthcare providers will be no more, or virtually non-existent. Healthcare will have a fully connected suite of constant-monitoring, asynchronous technology products that will enable much more frequent communication between care teams and patients/families. Also, the “Uber/Amazon experience” will come to patient care. Patients and families will engage with technology platforms first and foremost much like they interact with Amazon and ChowNow for those services – and these will connect patients to care teams. There will also be a much more robust objective measurement technology for poorly quantified clinical states like neurological disorders using sensors, video, and geolocation. And LLMs and AI will have automated most of the rote, administratively taxing tasks like billing, documentation, prior authorization, and screening in electronic health records. 

Walker L. Dupre. Director of Virtual Care Center at Ochsner Health System: Healthcare delivery will see a significant shift with the increased adoption of telemedicine, virtual nursing, and remote monitoring, providing more accessible and continuous care. There will be improved access to healthcare in underserved and rural areas and policies will evolve to address disparities in healthcare access and outcomes. These changes will lead to a more efficient, patient-centered healthcare system, improving overall outcomes and quality of life.

Paul Capello. Corporate IS Project Manager at Shriners Hospitals for Children: Predicting the future of healthcare delivery is complex given the rapid pace of technological advancements, shifting demographic landscapes and evolving regulatory environments. However, several trends and innovations are on a likely path to significantly transform healthcare delivery by the next decade. Here are some of the key areas that are expected to change:

  • Digital and Remote Technologies: Telemedicine will likely be far more integrated into routine care than it is today. This includes remote consultations, monitoring, and even some forms of treatment. Wearable health devices will be more advanced, allowing continuous monitoring of health parameters like heart rate, glucose levels, and even stress markers, facilitating proactive healthcare management.
  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: AI could transform diagnostics, treatment planning, patient monitoring and management. AI systems might assist in diagnosing diseases more quickly and accurately, predicting patient risks and personalizing treatment plans. Automation and AI could also streamline administrative tasks, reducing costs and increasing efficiency.
  • Genomics and Personalized Medicine: Advances in genomics may lead to more personalized medical treatments that are tailored to individual genetic profiles. This could improve the efficacy of treatments and reduce side effects, particularly in fields like oncology, where cancer treatment could be specifically designed to match the genetic makeup of a patient’s tumor.
  • Healthcare Accessibility: Innovations such as mobile health clinics, enhanced telehealth services and distributed healthcare teams could improve access in underserved areas. Healthcare delivery might become more equitable as a result of both policy initiatives and technological democratization.
  • Integration of Mental and Physical Health: There will likely be a greater integration of mental health services with physical healthcare, recognizing the interdependence of mental and physical health. This could involve more screening for mental health issues in primary care settings and better access to mental health specialists.
  • Regenerative Medicine: Advances in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, including stem cell research, could lead to breakthroughs in healing or replacing damaged organs and tissues, potentially offering cures for previously chronic or debilitating conditions.
  • Aging Population: Healthcare systems will need to adapt to the needs of an aging global population. This could include more focus on chronic disease management, palliative care and geriatric specialties.
  • Policy and Regulation: Changes in healthcare policy and regulation could shift how care is delivered. This might include new models for healthcare funding, insurance and patient data protection, especially as digital health data becomes more pervasive.
  • Collaboration Across Sectors: Increased collaboration between different sectors such as technology companies, healthcare providers and academic institutions could lead to innovations in healthcare delivery. This might also involve more cross-border health initiatives due to global health challenges.
  • Consumer Empowerment: As individuals gain access to more information and tools to monitor and manage their health, they will also have greater expectations and demands regarding healthcare services. This empowerment can drive a more consumer-focused approach in healthcare, which emphasizes convenience, quality, and customization.

Overall, the future of healthcare is likely to be more personalized, accessible, and integrated, leveraging technology to meet the challenges of global health needs and evolving patient expectations.