10 healthcare technology trends for 2023 – Philips

8. Circularity as a climate action strategy for healthcare providers

The combined burden of growing, aging populations and the rising incidence of chronic disease has created the huge need for sustainable models of care, which has been compounded by the energy crisis. Paradoxically, the world’s health care systems account for 4% associated with global CO₂ emissions [6], more than the aviation or shipping industries, while also generating excessive levels of waste. Sustainability-minded health leaders are increasingly looking to healthcare technologies to help them break out of this destructive cycle.

In healthcare technology, ‘circular’ is widely associated with closing the loop on hardware. But the adoption of smart digital tools is also enabling health systems to ‘dematerialize’, delivering maximum value with minimum resources. For example , by supporting the particular shift from resource-intensive clinical facilities in order to networked lower-cost settings and the home. And the trend towards cloud-, service- and software-based solutions will save on the materials needed for on-site enterprise hardware plus reduce  CO₂ emissions, whilst further optimizing efficiency.

Similarly, usage- and outcome-based business models enable hospitals to access a system’s functionality ‘as a service’, without significant upfront capital expenditure, plus support multiple reuse and recycling. What matters to hospitals is to be able in order to offer patients the best possible imaging and analytics to support precision diagnosis plus personalized treatment – not owning scanner X, Y or Z.

The trend is clear: circular practices , such as designing for refurbishment, serviceability and upgradability, will become an integral part of the health care industry’s climate action toolbox. All the more so as circular innovation can also help hospitals address financial and budgetary constraints, as well as reduce their environmental footprint.