In 2023, the US healthcare industry is again facing several significant challenges, including ongoing high inflation rates, labor shortages, and the persistent impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite continued difficulties, leaders in the space are working to find innovative solutions to improve the current system while looking ahead at the promising future of medicine that appears to have already arrived.
From artificial intelligence-based medicine to breakthroughs in precision neuroscience, we outline key trends expected to shape the healthcare landscape in 2023 and beyond.
The 2023 Trend Report: Impactful Healthcare Innovations to Watch
Rapid Expansion of Artificial Intelligence-Based Medicine
As evidenced by the recent surge in headlines lauding artificial intelligence chatbots for their near-human performance, the rapid expansion of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) is one of the most prominent trends influencing the health industry. According to recent research, the global AI-in-healthcare market is expected to reach a staggering $187.95 billion by 2030. This rapid growth is primarily due to AI’s many benefits to healthcare systems, professionals, and patients.
Earlier this year, ChatGPT officially established the tremendous power and widespread influence of AI algorithms when they were made available to the general public. With the recent launch of MedPaLM, a large language model aligned to the medical domain by Google Research and DeepMind, the potential for easily accessible AI-based medicine has dramatically expanded, making it a crucial area to watch out for in 2023.
We expect AI and machine learning to significantly impact key areas: medical image analysis, drug research and development, diagnostics, neurological disorder interventions, task automation, and predictive analytics.
In the clinical setting, AI models can assist healthcare professionals in data interpretation, pattern recognition, and more, making predicting, diagnosing, monitoring, and treating patients more efficient, accurate, and effective.
As their technological capabilities grow, AI systems will support preventive medicine by leveraging powerful analytics tools to facilitate more personalized healthcare, allowing a more seamless shift from the current “sick care” model to one that prioritizes long-term health.
Longevity Takes The Stage
As 2023 begins, the aging population has become a pressing issue that will shape the coming year and perhaps the entire century. Longevity is taking center stage this year as we focus on the growing aging population, which existing healthcare, financial, and housing infrastructure is not prepared to serve, and the impact this will have on systems across the globe.
Despite incredible advances in longevity, current policies and societal models have not kept up with these changes and are still anchored in a time of shorter lifespans and younger populations. Geroscience, the study of aging, and longevity medicine are gaining importance and have the potential to elicit and inform future policy changes.
Marking a transformative moment for the longevity industry, the current conversation has shifted from elongating the “life span” to boosting the “health span” as we aim to live healthier for longer instead of just extending life expectancy. While this is a step in the right direction, and it is encouraging to see the public discourse incorporate such terms, a crucial piece is missing. The current discussion of extending the human healthspan does not encompass the individual and their understanding of this new reality – or our “longevity literacy.”
The ultimate goal of longevity medicine is to help people live longer, healthier lives. Yet to do so in a way to supports thriving societies in an aging world, there must be a greater emphasis on practical considerations. This includes financial planning, retirement preparedness, and developing a healthy and sustainable life plan that factors in the extra few years of well-being. This year could see a marked change in the tone in which we discuss delaying aging, focusing more on the required adjustments to standard processes.
Focus on Women’s Health, Female Reproductive Longevity
Poorly understood, underfunded, and understudied, women’s health is a critically important issue that has often been neglected but is finally drawing well-deserved attention. Growing awareness and research initiatives in the field lead to the introduction of novel perspectives and solutions to previously unexplored problems.
Advancements in female reproductive longevity are bringing the possibility of extending fertility indefinitely to improve women’s healthspan and quality of life much closer to reality. A small but growing number of scientists believe it’s time to “cancel menopause” altogether – or at least delay it substantially. The hypothesis is that extending female fertility can postpone the onset of age-related health problems, better understand longevity, and do wonders for women’s quality of life.
And women’s health experts are encouraging revisiting more long-standing therapeutics, like hormone replacement therapy (HRT), for its potential to keep menopause at bay while prolonging the lifespan. As more women begin to adopt hormone therapeutics, the awareness of their numerous benefits grows, drawing female patients in with the possibility of drastic reductions in menopausal symptoms and decreased risks of age-related disease.
Here too, the female patient population is met with a barrier: inexperienced and unaware providers who are reluctant to or completely against prescribing HRT. The result? A growing number of women are taking control of their health and educating themselves on menopause and hormone therapies rather than relying solely on their doctors.
“Gen X women have woken up to the fact that their doctors are not experts on menopause or hormone therapies and women’s long-term health, and are now educating and advocating for themselves,” Alicia Jackson, CEO of menopause relief startup Evernow, emphasized in a recent interview with NEO.LIFE.
Jackson predicts that in 2023, we will see the first generation of women who decide not to go through menopause. They will tackle the last remaining biological myth, following in the footsteps of previous generations of women who chose not to have their periods, not to get pregnant, or not to have natural childbirth.
For those interested in learning how to optimize hormone levels, solve endocrine imbalances, and prevent age-related diseases in women, we recommend the Everything About Hormone Health for Women A4M Masterclass in Boca Raton, FL, this February 16-18th. The course features lectures from leading experts, hands-on workshops, and the latest research in hormone health and aims to empower practitioners to lead the revolution in women’s health and improve the quality of life for women. Learn more about the upcoming event by clicking here.
Growth of In-Home Care Delivery Sector
Another growing trend in the healthcare industry as patients look for more personalized and convenient care options is the advent of in-home care delivery. With the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals quickly adapted to the “hospital-at-home” model to keep patients safe and reduce the strain on hospital resources. The success of this model has led many to believe that it could become a permanent fixture in the healthcare landscape.
This year, experts forecast a rise in alternate care delivery sites, particularly in the home. McKinsey estimates that up to 25% of the total cost of care could shift from traditional facilities to patient homes within the next three years.
Advances in technology, specifically in remote patient monitoring (RPM) and remote therapeutic monitoring (RTM), have made it possible for patients to receive near real-time monitoring and care from clinical professionals from the comfort of their own homes.
This new way of delivering care can also improve health equity by making care more accessible for vulnerable populations such as the elderly, homebound patients, and those living in remote areas. However, there are challenges to implementing this new model, such as infrastructure, accessibility, and feasibility. Consumers must ensure proper power consumption, stable internet connectivity, and data protection. To ensure continuous real-time monitoring, device reliability is crucial.
Despite the unresolved data security, privacy, and transparency issues, patients’ increasing adoption of care delivery at home is driving the ability to transition more complex forms of care to the home.
The Debate Over Laboratory Developed Tests (LDTs)
Another industry innovation poised to influence healthcare this year, laboratory developed tests, is gaining traction and excitement among researchers and consumers alike. With the advent of ultrasensitive assays, the number of LDTs for Alzheimer’s disease is increasing, and they can now test over a dozen biochemical markers for Alzheimer’s in the blood and cerebrospinal fluid. Some of these tests are being developed for clinical trials, while others aim for treatment.
Unlike conventional tests, LDTs can be developed and deployed rapidly without the need for FDA approval. Despite their innovation potential – in epigenetic and microbiome testing especially – the use of laboratory developed tests (LDTs) has raised concerns about their regulation and risk of harm to patients. This has opened the door for situations akin to the Theranos scandal, where patients may be exposed to unreliable diagnostic tests which could have life-threatening consequences. The regulation of LDTs, to ensure safety and quality is a highly debated topic in Congress and one worth watching closely in the coming year.
Surging Investments in Longevity Research
The field of aging research is poised for significant advancements in the coming year, mainly due to record-breaking investments and market funding.
Martin Borch Jensen, the Chief Science Officer of Gordian Biotechnology, is one of the leading investors working to unravel the complex nature of aging. Gordian’s platform currently focuses on in vivo therapeutic screening for drugs that target aging-related diseases. Meanwhile, Borch Jensen spearheads Impetus Grants, a non-profit science funding organization dedicated to advancing longevity research fast. This initiative provides funding up to $500,000 for researchers working on the most pressing issues in aging biology – as soon as three weeks after application submission.
A growing number of investors in longevity research are making bold predictions for the coming year, and it will be exciting to see what breakthroughs will be achieved. 2023 could be the year several innovative longevity strategies enter clinical trials, including mTORC1-targeting compounds, epigenetic clocks, and their ability to predict the effect of anti-aging drugs. The longevity community is also optimistic about rapamycin or rapalog phase 2 clinical trials and anticipates some potentially groundbreaking findings this year.
Whether it is the discovery of new therapeutics, the proper testing of drug candidates, or the advancements in our understanding of aging, the future looks bright for longevity research.
The Emergence of Precision Neuroscience
With the advancement of technology, we now have the ability to observe the brain with incredible accuracy. This has led to the development of more precise diagnostic tools, enabling us to identify issues in the brain much earlier than ever before. As a result, the field of neuroscience is shifting towards a new era of precision, where the questions being asked center around the optimal timing for intervention and which tools are best suited for the job.
The emerging field of precision neuroscience is also marked by a shift toward combining advanced diagnostic methods with targeted treatments, including psychedelics, electrical, magnetic, or ultrasound neurostimulation. Every brain is unique, and this combination of treatments will enable personalized approaches to brain health and wellness.
One area where precision neuroscience has a significant potential impact is in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders, such as dementia and Parkinson’s. Early identification of these issues allows for less invasive, less damaging therapies to be administered, potentially leading to better outcomes and fewer side effects.
Although still in its earliest stages, precision neuroscience has the potential to revolutionize neurological health with continued research and development in the field.
The Year Ahead: Entering a New Era of Longevity-Focused Ideology
2023 will be an exciting year for the longevity, health, and healthcare industries as they continue to tackle significant challenges, adapt to new trends, and employ innovative solutions in practice. As the collective’s focus shifts from simply extending life expectancy to improving the human healthspan and promoting healthy aging, meaningful developments in personalized, integrative medicine can be expected.
The rapid expansion of artificial intelligence in medicine and advancements in medical technology, such as remote patient monitoring devices, offer health professionals the novel tools needed to diagnose, treat, and manage patients more effectively. At the same time, the widened adoption of these instruments promotes preventive care and is revolutionizing care delivery making it more efficient, personalized, and increasingly home-based.
This year we expect a profound shift in the discussion surrounding women’s health as the growing field of female reproductive longevity begins offering new solutions to improve health and fertility, empowering women to control their health and reproductive choices.
Driving the longevity and healthcare industries even further forward, innovations in testing methods, investments in longevity, and new frontiers in neuroscience will lead the way toward a healthier future for all.
These advancements offer healthcare professionals the opportunity to provide more comprehensive and effective care while encouraging individuals to take an active role in improving their healthspan. Staying current on the latest developments and progression of these emerging realms is essential to capitalizing on their full potential and maximizing the health of both patients and medical businesses.