The COVID-19 outbreak undeniably became a catalyst for change for everyone. Almost all industries worldwide are currently reevaluating their respective business models, trying to patch up the damages brought about by this crisis. Surveys show how the healthcare sector was significantly impacted by the pandemic, including unemployment, burnout, decrease in patients, independent owners’ concern for their future practice, and retired physicians coming out of retirement to help out.
The industry has been placed under a global microscope, unintentionally revealing its strengths and weaknesses. Despite this, they were able to show their resilience by quickly adapting to the new normal of healthcare. Here’s how technology became a tool for survival at the forefront of the fight against this unseen opponent.
Amplified the need for digital adaptation
To prevent the spread of the virus and safeguard its employees, hospitals are maximizing digital solutions. Portable ultrasound systems played an integral role in treating and diagnosing life-threatening diseases associated with the virus.
Since hospitals became the battleground for this deadly virus, disinfection robots are being used to clean and sanitize high-traffic areas. Several companies developed these high-quality machines to satisfy the demands of the industry. Artificial intelligence is also being utilized to rapidly decipher medical records, translate scans and prognoses, and effortlessly analyze potential outcomes. COVID-19 accelerated digital innovation in healthcare, an aspect once overlooked and taken for granted by a formerly brick-and-mortar industry.
Highlighted the value of digital data exchange and interoperability
It is essential to have a transparent and secure flow of information across health platforms during these crucial times. This outbreak placed a spotlight on data sharing and how important it is to have a centralized system to provide a more efficient and swift response in treating these harmful diseases. Healthcare institutions, pharmaceutical companies, research organizations, and concerned authorities should create an ecosystem that can operate and interact harmoniously.
One risk factor of a virtual health environment is cybersecurity. For the past decades, data breaches have been prevalent, and they significantly increased amid this pandemic. Cybercriminals are taking advantage of this dire situation and demonstrating how vulnerable the health sector currently is. Therefore, these institutions need to design a better digital infrastructure to protect their medical records and prevent more financial losses.
Redefined the doctor and patient experience
Providing virtual care is one of the emerging trends in healthcare, as many individuals are hesitant to see their physicians for fear of contracting the virus. Remote patient monitoring and wearable devices to track symptoms are popular alternatives to reduce the need for non-essential hospital visits. Health providers are adopting these telehealth services to provide sustainable and quality care while limiting the risk of exposure. Existing and new patients need to maximize these viable options to ensure their health and safety.
This pandemic produced unparalleled demands to the health sector, but the industry swiftly shifted its protocols and adapted strategies to counteract the disruption. The future of healthcare does not depend solely on technology, but it is a combination of innovation and dedicated health professionals that places human welfare at its center.