Change is eminent following this global tragedy that has forced several if not all business to rethink their approach or come to a complete standstill and await the green signal to begin their habitual operations. The healthcare sector on the other hand is set for a complete revolution and is under the scrutiny of governments, experts and the public. This crisis has left them speculating the answer to one question – Where is healthcare headed after the conclusion of this crisis?
Mainly this speculation was triggered by the world witnessing governments across the globe leveraging the assistance of IoT, AI, telemedicine, remote monitoring and chatbots, among other automation technologies, to successfully respond to the challenges posed by this pandemic. Exposing the public to this underused side of technology in healthcare has given many the first taste of its convenience and effectiveness.
Before the onset of this pandemic, these technologies were unknown to a majority of the population and countries. Any knowledge of them remained mostly among the healthcare-related circle of businesses, experts, and institutions. These technologies had barely penetrated the healthcare practices of countries such as the U.S, China, U.K, Canada and India which are considered world leaders in the development of healthcare technology.
While there is no concrete answer to the future of healthcare one thing is certain, the public is ready for a healthcare revolution. The implicit mass shift towards the remote evaluation of the viral infection across the world has given us a glimpse of the new future awaiting the healthcare industry. In fact, most hotlines and virtual monitoring systems saw an overload of enquiries. Governments can no longer deny the benefits of digitisation in the healthcare sector nor stall the regulation and law needed to build the digital infrastructure to aid its accessibility and commercialisation.
So far, this transformation has stagnated at fitness trackers which count steps and measure heart rates, telemedicine for virtual check-ups and remote monitoring technology for chronic care management. In the weeks following the Covid-19 crisis, the world saw a burst of advanced technology used to detect and track possible cases and clusters of viral spread. AI and chatbots were launched for the public to self-triage symptoms of the coronavirus infection, this data was further used to predict and track possible spread in the vicinity of any positive cases. Along with this set of medical tech advanced detection devices were used at public spaces to identify early symptoms through facial and body scans. The containment of this virus is largely aided by healthcare technology. The integration of manual and automated strategy has seen the most success in controlling the spread of the disease.
A healthcare revolution in the wake of the present crisis is not just eminent but has proved to be inevitable. It is certain that technology-driven shifts in healthcare practices across the world will be witnessed in the aftermath of the current tragedy. This technological revolution may manifest on different levels in each country. Healthcare systems in some countries may see a complete overhaul for a complete digital integration whereas others may implement systems as per their regional needs and some countries that have kept in step with the healthcare developments over the years may merely update their existing practices.
These uncertain times may not clearly answer the way forward for healthcare businesses but have definitely created a range of technological demands for digitisation. Regardless of the varying levels of change and technological adoption, healthcare businesses will be required to design services and products tailored to suit the distinct customer and regional demands. This uncertainty will prove to be the fuel that drives business leaders to build teams to help them usher the future of healthcare, create opportunities, and deliver hope.