As the baby boomer generation ages, the U.S. healthcare industry is preparing for what is being referred to as a “silver tsunami” of older patients. According to the U.S Census Bureau, by 2035, senior citizens will outnumber youth for the first time in U.S. history, with populations of 78 million and 76.4 million, respectively.
This wave of older Americans seeking age-related healthcare will affect almost all medical specialties, including radiology. Here are a few ways that radiologists and radiology practices can expect to see the impact of the silver tsunami.
Greater demand for radiology services
Thanks to medical advancements, more people are living longer, often with a higher quality of life than generations before them. Many of these individuals will develop, or live longer with, a number of chronic conditions, which may require additional radiology services.
More patients will be used to technology
The Baby Boomer generation may not be as plugged into technology as Millennials or Gen Z, but they are far more tech-savvy than their predecessors. As such, they may seek more options and better experiences when it comes to their healthcare. This will be an excellent opportunity for the use of telehealth, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and wearable monitoring devices, as well as the use of patient portals to manage their own health.
Increased demand for radiologists
For several years, the supply of radiologists in the United States has been enough to meet demand, but that could change soon. Many radiologists are Baby Boomers themselves who expect to retire in the coming years, creating demand for younger providers to step in. Medical imaging also continues to be necessary for many diagnoses, and as an aging population requires additional medical and imaging services, radiologists will be in higher demand.
Prepare yourself for an aging patient population
Novarad’s NovaPACS system helps make your radiology practice smoother and more efficient by letting you view patient studies from any computer within your facilities or a referring physician’s office. Our revolutionary workflow infrastructure was designed with expertise from radiology directors, technicians, and administrators to create a scalable solution that can be customized to your workflow.