The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how woefully unprepared the healthcare community was for conducting a global emergency. However, aside from the massive amount of sacrifice and perseverance that healthcare workers displayed, there have also been rapid advancements across the industry in response to the pandemic. Now that these industrial disruptions are well in hand, the University of Central Florida describes some advancements in technology and current trends in the healthcare industry today.
COVID-19 saw a surge in workers transitioning from office-based positions to home offices, and healthcare workers are no different. Telemedicine has become an efficient and convenient way for people to stay on top of their health. Virtual visits not only help healthcare providers keep their costs low by cutting down on overhead, but they also give many people much-needed access to services that are otherwise cost or distance prohibitive. People who live in rural areas or need the care of specialists can now make an appointment with their physician right from the comfort of their own homes.
The internet not only allows patients to access doctors but for physicians to access other healthcare workers. Technology advancements like electronic health records and remote monitoring allow doctors to better assess a patient’s wellbeing without the patient having to come into an office for weekly checkups. There’s even AI technology available that can alert doctors of medical emergencies.
Besides software such as Bluetooth monitoring and cloud-based health records, new devices have paved the way for people to take control of their health. Development and sales of step-counters and calorie trackers have soared recently. People with pre-existing conditions can monitor diabetes and blood pressure with at-home devices and apps that send alerts with updated blood sugar and heart rate readings.
As more and more people take better care of their health, the Affordable Care Act has become a critical policy. The ACA has granted healthcare benefits to 20 million Americans, many of whom are part of vulnerable, uninsured groups like children and young adults. The ACA also provides better coverage for prescription drugs and people who have pre-existing conditions.
COVID-19 necessitated the need for advancements in medical technology, and the medical sector responded in kind. More and more people, patients and physicians, are turning to digital healthcare as the industry continues implementing this new technology.