Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Future of health care: innovation and personalized medicine

The health care industry last year underwent a dramatic change as it weathered through the integral stages of the most historic piece of federal health care reform since Medicare in the 1960s.

The health care industry last year underwent a dramatic change as it weathered through the integral stages of the most historic piece of federal health care reform since Medicare in the 1960s.

Known as the Affordable Care Act – or Obamacare – the 2010 law brought on its most significant reforms at the beginning of 2014, when millions of Americans enrolled in mandated federal or employee-sponsored health care coverage. And as the nation continues to adjust to the ever-evolving health care landscape, it brings hope to health care leaders in the Greater Lehigh Valley for what the health care industry might look like in the next 25 years.

With a switch to a “fee for value” model, hospitals and health networks already have begun adopting a coordinated-care, team-centered business model with the goal of a cost-effective and efficient health care system. Consumers are doing their part by becoming more proactive in their health care, focusing on prevention and early detection, while health systems continue to use technological advances and await the next innovations constantly being developed.

“It is an exciting time in health care to see the advances being made in research and technology,” said Daniel Ahern, senior vice president, strategy and business development for Reading Health System. “The changes we see over the next two decades will redefine care as we know it, providing more personalized medicine to all patients.

“Providers will be able to deliver immediate care to patients with chronic disease and improve the overall health of their communities.”

Because of the switch to “fee for value,” hospitals and health care facilities are focusing more on prevention and early detection, according to Greater Lehigh Valley health care officials.

With the increased use of genomics, also known as genetic mapping, physicians in the future may be able to predict, prevent and personalize medical treatment specific to each patient and disease, before symptoms begin.

The next few decades of surgical technology also are looking bright for the health care industry, with more procedures that leave minimal scarring and faster recovery. In the years ahead, technology will focus on disease prevention and early diagnosis so that patients may not need surgery or inpatient hospital stays.

“Health systems will emphasize evidence-based processes in order to support the best possible clinical outcomes,” said John Zidansek, CEO of Easton Hospital.

Also, nanobots may be used to treat cancer, Ahern said. These customized implants could be injected or swallowed like a pill and would move through the body to fight disease specifically targeting unhealthy cells.

Jennifer Glose
Reporter Jennifer Glose covers health care, Berks County and other topics. She can be reached at jenniferg@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 111.

Business Journal Events

Reader Rankings Awards

Monday, October 10, 2022
Reader Rankings Awards

Leaders in Construction and Real Estate

Tuesday, November 01, 2022
Leaders in Construction and Real Estate

Best Places to Work in PA

Thursday, December 08, 2022
Best Places to Work in PA

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Summit

Wednesday, March 29, 2023
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Summit
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]