Healthcare trends were already moving toward health technology with many eyes on the future of telemedicine and remote patient monitoring. However, COVID-19 moved many projects forward out of necessity.
The pandemic put the gas pedal on a lot of technologies, forcing healthcare providers to think quickly when it came to utilizing healthcare technology to track the virus, distribute tests and vaccines, and provide telemedicine care for patients who could not leave their homes. Reducing in-person visits was about protecting patients and healthcare teams from COVID-19, along with freeing up resources for those who needed emergency care.
Now that life is slowly returning to normal for those who are vaccinated, the challenge for organizations is to figure out how to integrate the latest in healthcare trends moving forward.
Technology is in place for healthcare providers to continue seeing patients via telehealth appointments, but the question remains as to whether policies and regulations will still support it. The pandemic saw a huge increase in behavioral health telemedicine appointments, with many providers saying they will continue offering it moving forward. Remote patient monitoring helps patients with chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart conditions, while also enabling patients to take control of their own preventative healthcare by monitoring their diet and exercise.
Some of the tracking and testing healthcare technology that was developed during the pandemic to monitor the spread of the virus and vaccine distribution could be used in the future to help track other chronic illnesses. This data also helped uncover disparities in who can access digital healthcare and who were most vulnerable to the virus. This can be used to make real changes in how we provide healthcare to communities.
While healthcare technology moved to solve problems during the COVID-19 pandemic, providers will find ways to integrate it into the way they take care of their patients in the future. Now innovators can build upon this progress and discover new best practices in standards of care. Healthcare has changed forever, and these are the trends to watch.