Clinician shortages, telehealth demand and GLP-1 treatment will require innovative technology solutions

ST. LOUIS, Dec. 7, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Three care access and operational challenges confronting traditional and digital healthcare delivery models will intensify in 2024, but can be alleviated by embracing disruptive technology and strategic telehealth partnerships that ease clinician burden and ensure patients receive needed care.

Those are the findings of a new SteadyMD report, “3 Healthcare Trends to Watch in 2024,” which cites the growing clinician shortage, increased outsourcing of virtual care operations, and the blockbuster success of GLP-1 weight loss medications as drivers of this disruption.

The report breaks down the dominant trends of 2024 and details how traditional healthcare organizations and digital health companies are increasingly partnering with third-party clinician networks to meet patient demand, reduce overhead, dynamically expand clinician capacity, and rapidly scale their offerings.

The Clinician Shortage Will Intensify: The Association of American Medical Colleges estimates a shortage of 37,800 to 124,000 physicians by 2034, fueled by clinician burnout, retirement, and mobility restrictions from state licensing. As a result, patients face increasing difficulty accessing timely care.

In turn, many traditional brick-and-mortar and digital health providers are expanding the pool of care providers to include more nurse practitioners (NPs), physician assistants (PAs), nurses and pharmacists who can manage services traditionally delivered by doctors, SteadyMD’s report explains.

To further expand access, NPs and other providers who have prescriptive authority in their licensure states could be available through national telehealth networks, which would increase clinician capacity, access and productivity.

New Virtual Care Partnerships Driven by Telehealth Demands: Many brick-and-mortar and digital health companies have learned that building a digital health network from scratch or trying to add telehealth appointments to a provider’s already overbooked schedule is both difficult and expensive. That is why next year will see more healthcare organizations partnering with backend infrastructure providers to power virtual clinician networks, according to SteadyMD’s report.

More provider organizations and digital companies will find that outsourcing virtual care operations enables them to quickly scale their offerings without taking on the risks and costs of internal development, allowing them to focus on patient care.

GLP-1 Medications Will Disrupt Food, Travel and Consumer Goods Market: Weight loss medications like Wegovy and Zepbound will transform healthcare and society in 2024 by lowering obesity-related costs, estimated by the CDC to total $147 billion annually. GLP-1 drugs have also been shown to improve outcomes for patients with diabetes, heart disease and other chronic conditions.

The SteadyMD report describes how the impact of these drugs will be far-reaching. For example, demand for fast food and groceries is expected to decline. It is also estimated that United Airlines could save $80 million a year in fuel costs if the average passenger weight dropped by just 10 pounds.

While the current care-access concerns of the GLP-1 drugs involve shortages and costs, the more complex, important and long-term access and care quality challenge will be the ongoing management of the millions of patients on this uncharted care pathway.

Partnering with clinicians who are experienced in GLP-1 medication management, but also behavioral modification, nutrition and exercise, will be critical in 2024, according to the report.

“Next year in healthcare promises to be both exciting and challenging,” said Guy Friedman, co-founder and CEO of SteadyMD. “Advancements like artificial intelligence, precision medicine and GLP-1 drugs offer great promise, but healthcare also faces the serious challenges of workforce shortages, rising spending and health equity imbalances. Telehealth will be instrumental to healthcare transformation in 2024 and beyond, but traditional providers and digital health companies need to start building that infrastructure now as demand for care will also continue to rapidly expand.”

SteadyMD’s full “3 Healthcare Trends to Watch in 2024” complimentary report is available here.

About SteadyMD
SteadyMD is a B2B telehealth infrastructure provider that powers high-quality telehealth patient experiences for leaders and innovators in healthcare in all 50 states. Working shoulder-to-shoulder with healthcare organizations, labs and diagnostics companies, pharmacies, payers, and digital health brands, SteadyMD enables its partners to scale quickly and efficiently nationwide by offering a 50-state clinician workforce, clinical operations, legal and regulatory guidance, and world-class product and technology. SteadyMD’s carefully curated community of thousands of board-certified clinicians are passionate about improving access to high-quality care by utilizing state-of-the-art delivery modalities and serving patients across the entire care spectrum. To learn more, please visit

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Amendola Communications for SteadyMD
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