Next Gen Tech Tools for the Next Generation of Physicians
In the next ten years, medical technology will look and feel completely different.
Here are 8 key data-science areas with the highest trending growth, change, and impact:
- Cloud integration
- Deeper artificial intelligence infusion
- Personalized predictive machine learning
- Process automation
- Deeper infrastructure integrations
- Efficiency optimizations
- Natural language processing
- Hyper-personalized medicine
There is an obvious connection when discussing the technological aptitudes of the next generation of acute care, rehab, and step down hospital and facility-based physicians with the exponential advances of the medical technology landscape.
The next several generations of med students, residents, early (and mid) career physicians preparing to take the next steps in their careers all have several inherent advantages in their lifelong familiarity with a variety of complex software and digital systems.
Stages of the Digital Age: Current and Next in Line
Present: We are living in what many IT tech trend reports label as the mid-digital era (the second stage of the digital age) and the associated technologies of this era are reshaping economies, industries, and even societies.
Medicine is moving to the forefront of the digital movement and will continue to expand in evolving leaps and bounds as we transition from the mid to the post-digital period.
Future: The post-digital era following this period will be a time of digital normality, where technologies that seem new and perhaps overwhelming to learn and use with simply fade into the background of ordinary life.
An advanced technological understanding will be the mean and the emerging population of doctors born and raised with digital as their normal will see complex software and AI-driven tools as a fact of daily life to be navigated, organized, and utilized to their fullest capacity without much thought involved.
Millennials and Gen Z Physicians are Extremely Tech Savvy
Survey data shows that the current population of middle and late career physicians reveals that only 25% consider themselves technologically savvy.
Only 1 in 10 consider themselves fluent in their current digital technologies including mobile apps, software systems, voice technology integrations, personalized shortcuts, and streamlined workflows.
This is not the case with the next two generations of doctors who are self-reporting their technological fluency at a 90% rate.
“When millennials go to work at a hospital, we are asking doctors, nurses and care teams to step back 20 years and use landline phones, fax machines, pagers, and overhead calls – all of which downgrade and add complexity to our millennial workforce. They carry a heavy burden every day working with patients in stressful hospital environments, and the very basic technology they’re using only adds to the stress,” says Rhonda Collins, DNP, RN, Chief Nursing Officer at Vocera, and founder of the American Nurse Project.
“Furthermore, we are adding to cognitive loads by forcing them to remember procedures and how to use outdated technologies they are not naturally accustomed to using. So, over time, antiquated technology that doesn’t mirror what is used in our personal life and is not secure will be eliminated. As younger people continue to enter the workforce, many hospitals will be forced to modernize.”
Insights from Academic Events in Physiatry and Internal Medicine
Having just completed our attendance at AAP Physiatry 23, a conference hosted by the Association of Academic Physiatrists, we are now preparing for SHM Converge and the American College of Physician’s Internal Medicine Meeting.
I will update the list above with the results from the surveys and conversations held at ACP and SHM.
These events always provide a perfect high-level look into the future of two key segments in the hospitalist and physiatrist physician specialties.
Data Gathering: At AAP we spoke with and surveyed thousands of residents, medical students, and early career physiatry physicians hungry to learn, grow, expand skill sets, incorporate digital solutions, and take big leaps in their career.
At ACP in San Diego we expect to speak to a similar array as AAP but in the internal medicine field. Based on the results of our initial surveys I expect to find many of the same trends.
The next gen doctors show extreme aptitude in digital solutions and an advanced understandings of the technological capabilities of the industry solutions that the current array of mid and late career doctors are utilizing with varying degrees of effectiveness.
9 Notable Insights Gathered from Emerging Physicians
- Digital is the given rather that the exception
- Nuanced software usage and maximized capabilities will be key metrics
- UI/UX will leap 10x forward as the average user will start at an advanced level
- Ethical technology will be a prevalent topic
- High efficiency app understanding and user software optimization comes naturally
- Processing and filtering speed is going to be critically important
- The usage of technology happens on autopilot, enabling focused thought elsewhere
- Automation is welcomed and expected
- Shortcuts and personalized systems with customizable rules engines are critical
- Full-service billing and coding was preferred to do-it-yourself manual versions
Hospitalist and PM&R Growth Expectations and Trends
An illustration of the current geo-allocation of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Hospitalist physicians in America.
Top 7 States with Highest Growth Rates for PM&R Physicians
- North Dakota (+48.8%)
- Hawaii (+40.58%)
- New Hampshire (+35.5%)
- New Mexico (+24.5%)
- Arizona (+22.8%)
- Vermont (+20.88%)
- Illinois (+21.2%)
PM&R Demand-line Trend Projection
The trendline for physician demand in the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation specialty projects upwards with an expected growth of nearly 80k new physician employment opportunities within the next 5-6 years.
Top 7 States with Highest Growth Rates for Hospitalist Physicians
- Louisiana (+172.6%)
- Montana (+133.4%)
- North Carolina (+112%)
- Tennessee (+74.5%)
- South Carolina (+66.16%)
- Texas (+64.5%)
- California (+43.3%)
Hospitalist Demand-line Trend Projection
The trendline for physician demand in Hospitalist specialties projects upwards with an expected growth of between 174-212k new physician employment opportunities within the next 6 years depending on the specialties included.