2021 Healthcare Trends
04.05.2021 09:20

2021 Healthcare Trends

We manage finances online, shop on the Internet, and the healthcare system is also becoming digital. That is why today we often speak of digital health. In order to provide an overview of the diverse trends and developments behind this term, the Winterthur Institute of Health Economics (WIG) has designed a model. Digital health is a generic term for the four fields of Trend Health, eHealth, Tech Health and Data Health. Trend Health deals with current lifestyle trends, while eHealth focuses on medical benefits. Tech Health focuses on technology, especially hardware, and Data Health is all about the generation and analysis of health-related data1.

Healthcare Industry Trends

  • Online appointment
  • eMedication
  • EPR
  • Telemedicine

Online booking  

In the Digital Trends Survey, FMH Swiss Medical Association studied, among other things, digital services. Patients showed particularly high interest in the offers “automatic appointment reminders and waiting time notifications”, “online submission of administrative information before the appointment” and “online appointment with calendar function”2. Offering this to patients is an opportunity that can be used with little effort. Online booking tool by Medicosearch provides such functionalities. Medicosearch calendar is synchronized with the surgery agenda and free appointment slots are calculated automatically. 


The e-prescription, for instance, belongs to this area. This enables prescriptions to be written out and submitted electronically. An electronic medication plan or reminders to take medication are also examples of the eMedication trend1. Medicosearch recognized this trend early enough and started developing a corresponding function. Soon it will be possible to issue prescriptions directly via Medicosearch app. Medicosearch has completed the development and plans the first test runs. 


The abbreviation EPR stands for electronic patient record. The digital patient record contains patient’s health information in electronic form. This means that healthcare providers have access to the files regardless of time and location1. The introduction of the EPR is also being promoted in Switzerland at the political level. In 2017 a federal law came into force that regulates the introduction and distribution of the EPR3. Medicosearch is also prepared for this trend with our own MedicoFolder. Patients can already manage their data via MedicoFolder which in future will feature communication with EPR.  


Consultations no longer take place only in the medical provider's office, but are instead conducted by phone, video chat, or mail1. Telemedicine is a comprehensive field of application that extends from prevention and diagnostics to decision support and aftercare. Today, the main focus is on the provision of medical services independent of space and location, while the interest of telemedicine was first focused on the care of patients in remote and underserved areas2. In a study, PwC investigated which "pain points", i.e. problems and negative experiences, patients experience in their contact with the healthcare system. One of the four central triggers for patient dissatisfaction is the time factor8. Thanks to telemedicine, this trigger can be counteracted. Patients save time and money thanks to the location and time independence of telemedicine. Telemedicine can also prevent the transmission of infectious diseases between doctor and patient. This is an advantage that plays an important role in the current Covid19 pandemic. In order to enable medical providers to take up this trend, Medicosearch offers the MedicoVideo function. The spread of the telemedicine trend is currently accelerated by the Covid19 pandemic. The use of Medicosearch Video function has increased dramatically during this time.  

Healthcare Technology Trends

  • Wearables
  • AI


Wearables are devices that can use sensors to generate various measurement data. Thanks to their small size, these “mini computers” can be carried on the body, connected to the smartphone and transfer data. When it comes to wearables, most people think of smartwatches or fitness trackers. Wearables can do much more than just count steps. They enable continuous real-time or remote monitoring, which means recognition of previously undiscovered diseases or better management of chronic ones. Among them are nano plaster measuring oxygen level, heart rate and body temperature, intelligent shoe soles which detect incorrect loads and freezing2, and silicone patches tracking movement, sleeping behaviour, and rehabilitation progress.

Researchers continue to work on even more sophisticated wearables. A wearable monitors breathing and heart rate, for example, to alert asthmatic patients to an impending asthma attack at an early stage. An artificial pancreas could help diabetic patients by automatically controlling the treatment using algorithms. With an artificial kidney, a dialysis machine in a portable small format, to be exact, patients can gain more mobility again. Researchers have also developed a pill that contains microprocessors. This allows doctors to monitor whether patients are taking the medication correctly and whether the desired effect is being achieved. 


Artificial intelligence, or AI refers to a subfield of computer science that automates intelligent behavior and deals with machine learning1. AI can reduce the burden on physicians and improve patient care. Medical professionals spend up to 60% of their working time on administrative tasks. AI can relieve them of these. For example, AI can perform repetitive processes automatically or eliminate unnecessary procedures. This leaves physicians more time for more complex diagnoses and patient care. In addition, AI can be used to detect rare diseases earlier, make diagnoses faster and develop innovative preventive measures. 

Not a hype but a megatrend 

Anyone who dismisses the entire development around digital health as short-term hype is probably mistaken. According to the Zukunftsinstitut, digital health is part of the "health" megatrend. Megatrends are long-term in nature, have a far-reaching impact on society and the economy, and drive change7. The topic of digital health will therefore probably be with us for a while as we move into the future. So it is advisable for medical service providers to increasingly rely on digital solutions providing online booking or video consultations. This benefits not only the patients, but also the medical service providers themselves. According to PwC, the key advantages are more time for patients, improved treatment quality and cost savings8.

For more information about Medicosearch digital solutions for healthcare industry, read this page.