COVID-19 has impacted all of us and all industries in different ways, but one of the industries that has suffered a major impact has been Health care
Health care industries have shown how innovation in products and services is vital to face major challenges such as a Pandemic. During 2020 and 2021 we have seen plenty of innovative ideas come to life, but how has Health care changed during the on-going pandemic? Firstly, we have seen an explosion in telehealth. As Washington Correspondent for Stat news, Lev Facher says, “leaders across the ideological spectrum agree that Covid-19 has pushed the inevitable telemedicine revolution forward by a decade, if not more.”
A major problem that COVID-19 has exposed is that people of colour, especially Black people, are at most risk and being killed by the disease in a “staggeringly disproportionate rates”, as Facher puts it. Nevertheless, “there’s hope among some experts that the tragedy could prompt a long-overdue reckoning about health disparities and the social determinants of health”, adds Facher. These imbalances could change the dynamics soon and create a better and tailored health care provision for people of colour.
A report from Deloitte, 2021 Global Health Care Outlook 2021, mentions “how low-income families and people of colour tend to be less healthy than other members of the population and are more likely to have more than one chronic condition.” This should lead to the creation of better accesses to traditional care and other social services.
In the same vein, a report from McKinsey suggests that “providers could consider establishing or reinvigorating “command centers” to support agility in operational decision making.” This will build up and make a stronger workforce by having a centralized view on challenges before it is too late. Similarly, Deloitte has called mainly for accelerating industry change by tailoring services to personalized health solutions and treatments.
New digital tools should be deployed to help consumers monitor their health while organizations should be more transparent when managing individual data. As Deloitte further explains, patients are expected to receive “care available when and how it’s more convenient and safe for them.” This has translated into virtual care, at-home prescription delivery, remote monitoring, or digital diagnostics. Health care organizations begin to transition to IT systems with cloud and data and analytic tools, and are applying virtual care, AI, and other technologies to personalize medicine.
Not only are we seeing more digitalised industries, but also the combination of disruptive technologies with ecosystems to create change. This combination could produce “a framework of actions and commitments that can empower individuals to proactively manage their health and well-being and foster a sense of community and belonging”, says Deloitte. Likewise, collaboration between organizations, industries, academia, and governments have been crucial so more “interesting alliances are expected to rise between health care incumbents and technology giants, each bringing distinct strengths to the arrangement.” For Deloitte, many could be based on “creating value by combining and analysing datasets and converting them into interventions that save costs or improve quality and the user experience.”
The pandemic has accelerated major changes in all health care industries, and we should expect more rapid and disruptive changes soon. For now, health care has been resilient and has been able to adapt to the enormous challenge that the virus has represented.
Catherine Carey, Communications Manager at baMa