The impact of COVID-19 is heart wrenching. There have been records of tens of thousands of deaths since the start of the pandemic, with more being recorded each day. Economies have been decimated and world leaders are doing everything to stabilize and resuscitate economies that are hanging on by threads.
However, behind the tragedy, the virus escalation has sparked disruption in healthcare. A fantastic narrative is rolling out in healthcare innovation on the backs of healthcare startups and existing healthcare providers.
Henry Camacho, the founder of JOY MD, is at the forefront of reshaping how people find medical providers and healthcare for common illnesses. His proven leadership in branding, marketing and patient-centric communications strategies has given him the experience to successfully launch a new venture in healthcare. Henry and his company JOY MD are already helping patients find the best digital providers in healthcare amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
1. The Meteoric-Like Arrival of Telehealth
Technology is finally taking over the health industry, giving rise to telehealth. This technology incorporates digital information as well as communication technologies to access healthcare services.
Telehealth isn’t a new concept, but previously incumbent providers and payers were reluctant to use it at scale for a myriad of reasons. However, with movement restrictions and patients feeling safer at home, COVID-19 brought a surge in demand for digital healthcare services. With changes in regulations, patients have been able to now connect to their doctors easily and receive most of their health services such as checkups, prescriptions, and advice through digital platforms. COVID-19 has ignited telehealth usage across the country as people are getting comfortable with getting healthcare via their mobile phones and computers. Providers that were once reluctant now have no choice but to to use video chat to regularly provide healthcare to their patients. Telehealth is here to stay.
2. Health Awareness and Empowerment is Here
The COVID-19 pandemic has created awareness on how the virus spreads, its signs and symptoms, and preventive measures. The vaccine for COVID-19 is not here and until then, people have to be trained to look after their health. This education comes on both a personal and professional level, as government and media channels seek to educate the public and enforce health regulations, but most of all, how individuals take their own health and community’s health into caution.
Health awareness initiatives will go further than having to think about social interactions and how they can transmit viruses. Rather, they will look to online and offline ways to nurture one’s health and be highly attuned to any type of symptoms they have. Life is precious and COVID-19 has brought reminders that life can be taken away and one’s health should be looked after. Hundreds of platforms and mobile apps are rushing to the forefront of healthcare to empower patients to own their healthcare.
3. People and Providers are Becoming Comfortable with Healthcare via Video Chat
Patients want to have a conversation with their doctors about the possible symptoms of COVID-19 along with receiving care for common illnesses. Due to restrictions, their only option for the past few months has been telehealth. Today, many health systems are turning to self-triaging tools to help consumers check for signs before asking to be put through a doctor. The number of virtual visits has grown to 10-15 times more than pre-pandemic levels. Couple that with people seeking digital alternatives for life’s basic necessities, and what you’ll see is a drastic change in behavior. People that never tried video chat or even ordering a pizza online are now doing so. These experiences will also lift the expectations that people have on digital communication. This includes healthcare.
4. Digital Transformation in Health is on the Rise
Under the current situation, many health systems are accelerating their digital transformation roadmaps. The arrangements are encouraged by the success of telehealth in responding to the crisis and also sensing a fundamental shift in health care delivery. Healthcare organizations are tightening their focus on strategic planning for a digital future and are getting organized to launch new initiatives immediately. An example is telehealth. Many hospitals had it on the backburner until revenue was impacted. Hospitals had to scramble to get something up and running quickly.
Digital healthcare clinics, tech enabled medical groups, and mobile apps are rushing to help people get healthcare. There is an opportunity to make an immediate impact to people’s lives and get them the healthcare they need in the environment of their choosing.
COVID-19 and the Future of Healthcare
Seeking positives in turmoil is challenging. However, it is encouraging to see innovation in healthcare. It’s needed desperately as the entire healthcare system is in need of disruption with health care solutions that are quicker, transparent and affordable.