COVID-19 has suddenly changed the way we live. Healthcare systems are finding it tough to respond to and match the suddenness of this change. Though digital health was evolving in the pre-COVID period, this health emergency has accelerated the use of technological tools in medicine, wellness, and public health. The public has responded with equal concern and brought the use of mobile apps, wearable gadgets, and AI into practice.
Innovation in the field of healthcare is also picking up pace. One thing is sure that data-driven digital tools and holistic technology are delivering greater control to patients over their medical and health outcomes. However, the question here is, how will digital health enhance the data/work handling capability of hospitals in the post-COVID-19 period? Let’s see what our future will look like.
Post COVID-19 Trends
Once the world strengthens its position post-COVID-19, there’s a high chance that strategies of public health will involve the use of digital tools. Against the backdrop of a post-COVID-19 world, technology-centered companies will be better able to benefit from consumers’ growing reliance on digital health for care and safety.
Innovations and tools that ensure inexpensive consultations with the doctor also serve a major purpose such as providing an accessible medium that connects doctors, patients, pharmacies, and diagnostic clinics comprehensively. People in rural areas and tier-2 towns such as women and children, marginalized and vulnerable groups, and economically backward groups will have access to healthcare. This would be very different from what the current e-health is all about. The focus will be on affordability, quality services, and accessibility.
Apart from that, it also signifies that more focus will be on the development of robotics, data tools, Al, and analytics to strengthen the digital infrastructure. Mechanisms would allow patient tracking, identification of disease and viral loads, citizen’s movements, etc. to improve containment and monitoring measures.
What COVID-19 has taught us?
Here are some of the key points that COVID-19 has taught us:
- With 200 countries under shutdown, citizens, healthcare providers, governments, and civil societies around the globe are now rapidly shifting to the online space and digital media. Several stakeholders in the healthcare industry are looking forward to reducing the rapid spread of COVID-19 through contact tracing and community-driven technologies. Also, these are aimed at ensuring citizens use and adopt digital services and tools to get information and get access to medical support and assistance even after COVID-19.
- Another thing that several governments need to do is to encourage and support private entities to produce innovative tools such as drones, recognition cameras, and sensors, which can help in preparing a report of a person’s medical condition and temperature. Authorities can quickly identify COVID-infected patients, verify their identity, and track other people who have come in contact with them.
- Preventive healthcare remains the center of attention for countries that are struggling to deal with the virus. Countries with massive and diverse populations, uneven infrastructure, and poor hospital management software are changing their approach. Healthcare strategies are being modified to enhance mental and physical productivity and the overall well-being of individuals, families, and communities and to ease the burden of failing economies on marginalized and underprivileged groups.
- The new strain of COVID-19 is now threatening us with the second wave of the pandemic. Technology is the only way that can save us from the devastating effects of this new strain. Doctors and patients would equally benefit as connecting virtually will help us break the spread of COVID-19.
People are aware of how healthcare providers offer a range of creative solutions to ensure better patient care quality with the use of digital health. Thanks to advancements in technology! Starting from smart healthcare technologies like hospital management software to physical devices like robots, the latest technologies are making it easier for patients and doctors to connect, transmit essential information, treat as well as identify deadly diseases quicker than ever.
Robots seem to be the future of digital healthcare as they could be useful in assisting patients and doctors. Robotic surgeries would enable doctors to carry out several complicated procedures with much more control, flexibility, and precision. It took a decade or even more to finally acquaint ourselves with telemedicine. Therefore, the robotic approach would take time to mark its importance in the industry of healthcare.
Over the past few years, mobile technology and artificial intelligence have widened their base across the world. Apart from ensuring that healthcare services are extended smoothly, bringing the latest technology into use will also reduce costs, improve accessibility, and enhance treatment. Another major advantage of digital health is that now data can be recorded without any error. People with disabilities, senior citizens, and patients who are geographically very far away can always consult doctors virtually, in real-time. Thanks to the hospital management software delivering healthcare services virtually will continue to benefit people even in the post-COVID-19 world.