The COVID-19 pandemic brought much-needed change to healthcare delivery practically overnight, as the increased risks from hospital visits saw many healthcare professionals move care from clinics to the comfort of patients’ homes.
But corona virus was merely a spark that accelerated a movement that was already well underway. Policymakers across the world had already been pressing ahead with legislation to allow doctors to prescribe digital treatments and administer solutions at home. The reasons driving them to act are bigger, more systemic, and longer-lasting than the current pandemic: put simply, poor access, a lack of flexibility, and a dependence on bricks-and-mortar facilities have made the costs and processes of traditional healthcare delivery unsustainable.
Recent events have shone a light on the issues facing healthcare, and we now have the opportunity to significantly increase the pace of change. Areas like banking and online shopping have proven they are able to adapt quickly to lock-down and the rapid changes to everyday life that resulted from COVID, no doubt facilitated by sustained past investment in internet technologies and connectivity. While healthcare is a very different setting, it could benefit from a similar approach: further investment in connectivity could take the pressure off hospitals and hospital-based care, allowing clinicians to meet the needs of many more patients in any similar scenario in the future.
The further proliferation of connected devices and full-service healthcare offerings that enable home-based care will be key to helping us adapt and thrive in this new reality; driving significant benefits for medical device companies, health systems, and the general public for the foreseeable future.
In his latest article for MD+DI, Piotr Sokolowski discusses how digital health solutions offer better flexibility and reactivity to real world scenarios, why medical device vendors should be creating connected solutions – not just devices, and what happens what happens post-COVID-19. He includes some examples of solutions adapting to the new normal from Fresenius, ResMed, and Starkey.
Read the full article on MD+DI
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