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Knowledge Hub.

Our 2024 Predictions: What Changes could be Awaiting Health and Social Care this Year?

23rd January 2024

There have been an overwhelming number of predictions across multiple different sectors about the outcomes for this year. Many of the predictions suggest an incredibly challenging 12 months. However, there are reasons to believe that not all is doom and gloom. With that in mind here is a list of five predictions which we believe will allow positive progress across Health and Social Care throughout 2024.

1. Health and Social Care will Face Progression and Expansion 

We predict that in 2024, there will be a larger focus on building on pre-existing investments which have been made by the government across health and social care services, rather than the often disruptive ‘rip and replace’ approach which we have seen over these past couple of years. With a focus on maintaining the best possible outcomes with existing investments whilst delivering value for money, this should allow organisations to do more within their respected spaces without discarding the significant investments already made. This has the potential to ensure the long-term viability and security within the health and social care sector that we want to protect especially as we expect to see increasing financial pressures particularly in the NHS, through the course of 2024.

2. AI will be Deployed within Mainstream Health and Social Care 

There is no doubt that AI will be a huge part of 2024 and System C’s CEO, Nick Wilson has made a thoughtful prediction on the prospects of AI within the new year:

“We are on the brink of seeing advanced tools, such asAI, deployed in mainstream healthcare to boost operational efficiency. Integrated care systems, driven by joined-up data, will be crucial, particularly in coordinating health and social care. IT will play a significant role in this, ensuring the smooth transition of patients and preventing harm by standardising care and maximising efficiency.”

In the coming year, the UK Government is expected to share further guidance and support on the regulation of AI applications. As a result, many professionals within the space are anticipating a huge insurgence of AI. It is becoming clearer as time progresses that AI will eventually develop into mainstream healthcare. 2023 has already been labelled as a positive benchmark for AI as we have already seen some limited applications of the technology.

But in 2024, we predict that we will start to see AI being lightly applied to help push operational efficiencies within the Health and Social Care sector, and ahead of the more widely reported clinical applications of the technology.

3. ‘Soft Skills’ will become more Important than Ever in 2024

People, process, and culture will still be the biggest factors in the success of deploying modern technology. 2024 will be a year where user adoption, especially clinical is critical, and as we move into the new year, there will be an influx of digital natives across the workforce, which will become a major consideration for any implementation strategies. As the workforce is now home to five generations who are working together, we believe that soft skills are going to become more important within 2024. However, the future is still uncertain, and we could even see an emergence of new techniques which could help bridge the gap between the pool of young talented workforces and the industry.

4. Developments in Data Flow will Begin

During 2024, we should start to see early developments in the flow of data across health and social care, which represents a significant proportion of the overall transfer of care with the remainder transferring between across trusts. This year we have the potential to witness how IT can support the flow of patients from healthcare to social care despite the barriers which existed in 2023. Whether this is through information flow developments or an infrastructure rework, these advancements within 2024 could be of significant help to ICS’s as it would introduce efficiencies that have been, to date, somewhat elusive.

5. Pre-Existing Investments and Cost Management Successes are Achievable

We also predict that there will be an acceleration on time to value ratios due to ongoing cost pressures. As a result, the financial viability of all investments will be more important than ever, with a focus on making best use of clinical and operational data. Successes will then ensure that trusts get paid properly for the work done. In our social care spaces, there could potentially be a development to allow the transparency and predictability of costs due to unprecedented financial pressures. 

“In social care, the increasing financial pressures highlight the importance of transparency and predictability in cost management. Both health and social care must prioritise optimising existing investments and adopt a gradual approach to integrating technologies across local systems, with demonstrable business cases directing spend.” - Nick Wilson, CEO at System C 

System C and our 2024

With all these exciting predictions for the year, System C remains committed to connecting care and delivering a timely return on investment through technology. We will continue to meet NHS standards, ensuring patient safety and maximising efficiency, alongside facilitating the flow of data across an ICS, speeding up safe discharge and freeing up beds. Our mission remains the same: delivering technology with the power to connect and transform health, social care, and education outcomes for all.  

So, this year, lets truly connect health and care.