Trends To Shape The Future Of Gastroenterology

The gastroenterologist of the future will face great changes in the scope and delivery of health care, driven by significant economic and demographic pressures, social trends, and technological innovations and scientific advances.

The changing economics of health care is a major driver of change. Because health care costs have been rising at unsustainable rates for businesses and families, payers and consumers are increasingly demanding demonstrable transparency, quality, and value. In addition, rising consumerism and competition within the health care system will demand that gastroenterologists add demonstrable value to health care through differentiation of skills, innovation, and demonstrable quality, defined as both traditional measures of morbidity and mortality and through measures of patient access and satisfaction as well as cost efficiency.

Future gastroenterologists will have substantial opportunities to add health care value because advances in genetics, proteomics, and related fields hold the promise of improved disease prevention and targeted pharmacologic interventions. Advances in information technology, imaging, and endoscopy will make data increasingly available and will facilitate improved disease diagnosis and management. Gastroenterologists will play important roles in both clinical arenas, providing advanced endoscopic procedures and managing broad-based health care teams caring for individuals with complex gastrointestinal (GI) problems, and in management areas, such as creating and administering wellness programs that address costly chronic diseases such as alcohol abuse, obesity, and other common problems

Trends

Robotic surgery

Revolutionary treatment procedures: Antiviral therapy

Developments in imaging techniques and instrumentation

Increase in use of biologics

Healthcare-driven structural changes

Awareness and improvement programs

Use of electronic health records and support technology