Coronavirus outbreak has redefined “normal”. As the virus tore through the world, overwhelmed healthcare systems struggled to provide care to those who needed it. The healthcare industry, aided by technology, quickly got over the shock to rise to the challenge.
Like all other sectors, technology has changed the way healthcare is delivered. Digitalisation has helped caregivers to stay in step with the demand arising out of the coronavirus pandemic.
This is perhaps best illustrated by telehealth that has made it possible to offer medical advice without in-person meetings but that is not all. There are many more benefits that the confluence of technology and healthcare has brought.
How does technology help?
Technology has taken healthcare to places with little or no infrastructure. A large part of the world’s population still doesn’t have access to proper healthcare and this is where technology and digitalisation can make a difference.
Available through the internet, telehealth eliminates the need for physical proximity for medical consultation.
Interviews with prominent people in the space reveal that technology has been transforming healthcare for the past decade. It is visible in how records have been digitised. Increasingly, the emphasis is on delivering a personalised healthcare experience to patients by going digital and utilising their medical history.
Another benefit is the merging of wearable technology with medical alerts through activity trackers. The Apple Watch is an example, with its reliable heart rate data.
Some popular brands have come up with tentative tracking of oxygen levels in the body, while others are experimenting with glucose level detectors in wearables. These data sets help in delivering better care.
Wearable technology is getting increasingly accessible and popular as people become more aware of their health and want to have important medical information ready.
The global number of connected wearable devices is projected to exceed one billion by 2022.
On a broader spectrum, technology dictates the ease and efficiency of healthcare delivery to the needy, even at the back-end—diagnostics, rapid testing and digital delivery of test results, virtual clinics, self help and more.
The future is here
Though the world learned about the benefits of technology in healthcare the hard way, it is finally here—a care regime backed by solid data delivered digitally through innovative technology platforms.
Virtual clinics, mobile application-based medical advice, digital health insurance claims delivery, emergency care, etc—this mode is in perfect synergy with the “new normal”.
The value of healthtech startups in Europe alone has grown to $41 billion in 2021, Statista
has said. A clear indication that healthcare is finally warming up to be the “new normal” and is constantly evolving with the help of technology.