How disruption is shaping the future of healthcare and its impact on medical real estate

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If you were able to go back half a century and suggest that in 2023 you will be able to have your hip replaced with a prosthetic and be home the same day you would be guided quietly to the Mental Health ward for “re-orientation”. But it is here, now, and the impact on the way we consume healthcare is changing rapidly as various technologies converge. Especially in open competitive market like the USA. With the current buzz across the world now that AI has been commercialised, we look at key trends that are pushing patients out of the hospital systems, increasingly into more customer centric out-patient facilities.

Technology

Telemedicine and remote healthcare have experienced significant growth since the Covid-19 pandemic which has mostly impacted General Practitioners’ or behavioral health professionals. Telemedicine was a powerful enabler over the period of the pandemic providing doctors with the tools to consult remotely, continue to service their patients while still receiving a fee for the service. While the number of patients using true telemedicine is still higher than pre the lock downs most consultations are back to “in person”. Quite simply many consultations require a physical exam, treatment, small procedures drawing of samples for pathology analysis and more. But Telemedicine is now regarded as a supplementary service and being adopted by many larger family practitioners to be more efficient and reduce the cost of servicing the patient. But why would they be motivated to be more efficient?

Business model is changing

The healthcare industry has been plagued by the inefficiencies of the “fee per visit” system costing insurance companies (Medical aid) millions of dollars for overservicing. Technology is enabling doctors to charge the medical insurance companies a success-based fee where the practice can charge a flat fee to “cure” the complaint. This has only become possible through a convergence of technologies and the ability to process data to ensure that the correct tariff is applied that will enable the doctor to provide the service at a quality and fee that keeps all parties happy.

Artificial Intelligence is what is on everyone’s mind at the moment. While the possibilities are endless, we are still very much in its infancy stage and even though accuracy has dramatically improved, doctors cannot rely on AI for 100% accuracy, and need to mitigate any negative consequences. Artificial intelligence is already being used to analyse medical images such as X-rays, CT scans, and MRI scans to diagnose diseases more accurately and quickly. It is being used to analyse large amounts of data to discover new drugs and treatments for disease, and to analyse patient data in EHRs to help doctors make better treatment decisions and to help doctors diagnose diseases by analysing symptoms and medical records. AI is also being used to analyse patient data to create personalised treatment plans based on a patient’s genetic makeup and medical history.

AI will also assist doctors in automating administrative tasks and better assess the fee to charge the insurance company for the fee per “cure” as that model takes over. It can follow up on unpaid bills, maintaining records and assisting in running their practices at optimum efficiency, ensuring timely rental payments. 

From a high level, AI will assist healthcare practitioners to do more with less, also enabling patients to receive specialised services remotely. 

Read also: OrbVest secures prime medical office building in Albuquerque

Aging population 

In America, people over the age of 55 are 30% of the population and are the biggest consumer of U.S healthcare services. This age group is forecasted to grow 16.9% by 2025 and the 80+ segment forecasted to grow nearly 50% in the next 10 years. This older population will require more healthcare than the younger population and will drive the demand for outpatient facilities due to affordability, convenience, and accessibility. 

Shift to Outpatient Locations 

As healthcare costs rise and patients seek more affordable care options, there is a growing trend towards outpatient care. This is a trend that has continued to increase, with the revenue of outpatient facilities overtaking inpatient facilities, as can be seen from the graph below. As mentioned earlier, technology is one of the primary drivers enabling this shift.

This leads to importance of location for these outpatient facilities. Demand is going to be higher where there is a fast-growing population and economy. Access to reliable transportation, freeway systems and ample parking can also play a crucial role in the success of a medical facility. Proximity to schools, work, hospitals, and other medical facilities are all important in today’s world of busy individuals.  Patients and medical professionals alike need to be able to easily access the building and both prefer the convenience of having healthcare options in close proximity to where they live. But it is also important to remember that Hospitals also are part of the eco-system and refer the post hospital support to the outpatient facilities in that area. Demographic analysis is also a key factor in location and it’s important to conduct research and analysis on the age, income, and health status of the population.  

Orbvest’s new building in Duluth, Atlanta, ticks all these boxes. Duluth is an affluent city located in Gwinnett County, Georgia, approximately 30 miles northeast of downtown Atlanta. Atlanta has the ninth largest MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area) in the United States with over 6.14 million residents. The Atlanta MSA has the third highest concentration of Fortune 500 headquarters in the U.S. Nestled in between I-85 and Georgia 400 with two major state highways within the city limits, Duluth provides excellent access to the suburban community of more than 80,000 residents and is part of the Metro Atlanta area, the fastest growing metropolitan region in the US. The county is just 45 minutes from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (the world’s busiest airport), and 30 minutes from downtown Atlanta. The property is also roughly 4 miles from Northside Hospital Duluth. The tenant mix is a perfect synergy of dentistry practices all with different specialisations, providing a flow of referrals between them. Averaging 8% per annum cash on cash yields with 100% occupancy in a great location, Lakeside Professional Center is a fantastic income generating investment that offers capital preservation and quarterly returns for investors in USD. 

For a flythrough of the Medical 42 Lakeside Professional Building, view this short video:

You can get more information by clicking here.

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