Five Healthcare Trends to Watch in 2022


Hybrid care models combining virtual and in-person services

The pandemic and the need for physical distancing was responsible for a major acceleration of the adoption of virtual care over the last two years. While virtual care and “telehealth” is undoubtedly here to stay, it will not eclipse in-person care. Instead, we can expect to see more of a hybrid of the two, as healthcare providers seek to offer patients the best of both worlds. 

Patients can expect to be encouraged to do more initial consultations via video call, where they describe symptoms to a doctor, nurse, or physician’s assistant, who can then assess their needs and schedule a visit or tests accordingly. Likewise, patients with common conditions like, say, sinus infections or the flu can go over symptoms with the doctor and be issued a prescription. Prescription refills for asthma, allergies, and other ongoing conditions can mostly be done by simply sending an email through a patient portal.   

For the many healthcare issues where a doctor needs to conduct a physical examination, or where tests need to be performed, in-person care will remain as usual. The hybridization of the two will save a lot of time for both patients and healthcare professionals, making the processes involved in healthcare (from making appointments to doing follow-ups) much more efficient and convenient. 

Related: How Virtual Care Can Close Healthcare Disparities

“A version of this article was originally published in Entrepreneur on January 5, 2022.”


Digitization of healthcare specialties

Doctor’s visits aren’t the only thing that have gone online. More and more healthcare specialties are coming into the digital age, and that is a process that will continue as we go into 2022 and beyond. 

Digital pathology, for example, is the result of the discipline of pathology becoming more digitized. Whereas pathologists once had to do much of their work crouched over a microscope peering at slides, those slides can now be digitally photographed and viewed more easily on a large computer monitor. The information gleaned from the examination of the slide can also be digitized, making that data more readily accessible and available for other purposes of scientific study.

Similarly, radiologists are embracing the digitization of medical imaging, which includes the use of many different digital tools and approaches. Digital scanning makes it possible to transmit an x-ray from a rural clinic so that it can be reviewed by a radiologist hundreds of miles away. Digital programs can help with organizing, prioritizing, and even reading images. Virtual reality programs can allow a surgeon to “practice” an upcoming procedure using the patient’s medical images.

Many other specialties, too, are discovering how digitization can improve workflows, expand access to care, and possibly even provide better health outcomes. 


Increased AI adoption

Artificial intelligence is ubiquitous across all industries today. Healthcare has been a little slower than some in adopting and integrating AI and machine learning, but the floodgates are open. AI is being used in healthcare in ways ranging from scheduling and administrative tasks to identifying abnormalities in images. 

So far, AI has been functioning as a kind of assistant, helping on the backend to make the work of healthcare professionals a bit faster or easier. As AI programs grow more sophisticated, computers will be able to perform more complex tasks. They may even graduate to being more like an experienced colleague than just an assistant.

Patients are gaining trust in AI, which will be a key factor in speeding up its adoption. Patients are especially open to the use of AI in their care when it is in conjunction with an actual doctor, which is how many people in the field ultimately view the prospects of AI. It has the potential to be extremely valuable, sometimes even demonstrating a keener eye than the doctor – but its greatest value will be in partnership with a doctor who has a human brain and hands-on expertise. 

Related: AI Innovations Continue to Revolutionize Healthcare


Health systems moving to the cloud

All of the above-mentioned trends – virtual care, digitization, and AI adoption – rely on a complex technological foundation. That’s why another continuing trend is health systems moving to the cloud.

The healthcare industry has many sprawling networks, such as big university and hospital systems. Many different stakeholders must be able to communicate with one another and share records – doctor’s offices, radiology labs, pharmacies, health insurance companies, patients, etc. 

Cloud-based platforms can help make many solutions possible — such as patient portals — offering interoperability and a secure way for important data, imaging, and other information to be transmitted quickly and easily from anywhere, at any time.

Related: The Future of Healthcare Is in the Cloud


Advanced precision medicine

The final healthcare trend that we should expect to see expand significantly in 2022 is precision medicine. Precision medicine is healthcare tailored specifically for you, and it is a product of our technologically-advanced, digital world – one in which genetic testing is readily available and wearable technology like Fitbits can read your vital signs in a flash. The easy availability of this kind of personal health data enables healthcare providers to create more customized treatment plans, ensuring you receive the care best suited to you. 

Patients are experiencing the wonders of precision medicine through treatments like immunotherapy for cancer, or drugs specially formulated for cystic fibrosis patients with particular gene mutations. People who need medical devices are increasingly being able to get ones that are designed and sized for them, thanks to digital imaging and 3D printing.

The increased adoption of AI is only accelerating the advances in precision medicine and the ability to offer individualized healthcare at a larger scale.  

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Year In Review

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December 2020

Intelerad acquires Digisonics

February 2021

Intelerad acquires LUMEDX

July 2021

Intelerad acquires HeartIT

September 2021

Intelerad acquires Insignia

September 2021

Intelerad partners with Strategic Radiology

October 2021

Intelerad acquires Ambra Health

December 2021

Intelerad Achieves 70% Revenue Growth,
More Than Doubles Customer Base
in Past Twelve Months


With our acquisition of Ambra Health, Best in KLAS PACS & Image Exchange come together under one vendor

RADequal opens nominations for the fifth annual awards program recognizing outstanding leadership in medical imaging informatics


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