3 Data Trends that Will Drive the Future of Healthcare

Learn how Healthcare & Life Sciences leaders plan to harness data and technology to spur innovation, deliver improved outcomes, and remain agile.

Healthcare and Life Sciences (HLS) saw accelerated technology adoption during the pandemic, according to a Forrester study in February, 2024. The report found that HLS leaders are bullish on using AI to improve efficiency and customer experience, the top focus areas outlined in last year's HLS Insights Report. The majority of respondents in the Forrester study of 500 HLS leaders state they have or are currently implementing AI investments, yet 60% say their organization is not moving fast enough.

Here are 2024’s top 3 data trends:

1. AI as a differentiator

Eighty-six percent of healthcare leaders agree that the ability to leverage technology, data, and AI will define organizational success over the next five years. When you dig deeper into top AI HLS use cases, this is not surprising;improved diagnostic accuracy, supply chain efficiency, and scaling personalization are some of the promising attributes of AI. Freeing up valuable clinician time by up to 15% is another. Then there is competitive complexity. This year kicks off Inflation Reduction Act negotiations. IDC predicts that 75% of US Health Systems will be ‘Payviders’  by 2026. And there will no doubt be more boardroom mandates for strategies that lean on technology, data, and AI for differentiation, innovation, and improved operational efficiencies. 

2. Data architecture and governance

Although there is genuine urgency around AI adoption, HLS leaders understand the criticality of sound data architecture and governance. Sixty-four percent of HLS leaders surveyed cited inadequate data being a large or very large barrier to AI adoption, more than any other category. With 30% of the world’s data volume generated by the healthcare industry, data volume isn’t the concern. Rather, HLS organizations are notorious for siloed data, and with the sensitivity of PHI and proprietary R&D data, designing and deploying data architecture and governance initiatives in a secure and trusted manner is paramount. Selecting and working with a technology partner experienced in AI, data governance, security, and analytics is therefore a top priority for 2024 and can help ensure desired speed and scale once AI programs are deployed. 

3. Expanding accessibility and improving retention with data

Patients today have expanded choices, including virtual care, retail clinics, online pharmacies, and an expanding number of alternate care facilities. Couple this with demographic considerations: There is a 3% YoY growth in the 65+ population and 70% of younger generations state a preference for the convenience of telehealth. Savvy HLS organizations are leaning into data and analytics to improve the experience of virtual and remote care; they see this investment as a way to both attract and retain new patients. Using data to identify customer preferences, improve adherence, and be more proactive in outreach is a top trend in 2024, where customers have already realized significant benefits. 

Although the ecosystem is complex, there is strong enthusiasm to harness data and technology to spur innovation, deliver improved outcomes, and remain agile. Tableau has been serving leaders across Health and Life Sciences for more than a decade, recognized each year for being the top Analytics provider. We continue to invest in AI and our analytics capabilities to ensure we are helping our HLS customers deliver world class care and innovations that enable global communities. Thank you to all of our healthcare #DataFam.  

Access the full research report on Applications of AI in Health and Life Sciences and dig in deeper with this visualization.