The worldwide COVID-19 crisis caused a lot of changes in the habits of people. Hugs, schools, gatherings, office-based work have changed to virtualized approaches. How about medicine?
The industry of e-health has been evolving quite silently for the last few years, but it got a massive peak of interest in this COVID-19 period where people are under lock down and health workers are at high risk of infection.
The fear of going to the hospital and get exposed to the virus has prompted patients to explore other alternatives to access healthcare services.
Some of the offered solutions are as simple as providing platforms for doctors to conduct online consultations with patients from their own places, others are more sophisticated such as using artificial intelligence (AI).
The experience has shown that 90% of primary care consultations can be done remotely. Alex Turkeltaub, founder of Roam Analytics, a San Francisco-based health care analytics company said “the ‘in-person’ part just makes the patients feel better because they are able to look their doctor in the eye.”
Quoting Dr. Shivon Byamukama, the Managing Director of Babyl Rwanda; a digital health provider” People will use a product because they need it. If you invent a product that meets all the criteria you are suggesting but people have no real use for it or see no value addition, they will simply not use the product. Our product solves a real need – providing access to healthcare easily and conveniently. People access our service the same way they would access their mobile money accounts to buy electricity, pay school fees or send money. It is familiar and easy to use”
Today’s trend is technology development from the patient perspective whereby the patient should be able to understand the drivers that impact their chronic condition to be able to manage it. The aim being to keep people proactively well rather than react when they become sick.
After the COVID-19 crisis, the new normal will be the use of virtual approaches in different domains and the industry of healthcare will not escape.