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The writing is on the wall, and healthcare professionals are reading it. The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed many difficulties and changes that need addressing immediately or in the near future, and many across the healthcare field are scrambling to enact changes right now. But for those that aren’t in the field, it can be a bit concerning to hear about large changes to your healthcare. Know that each member of the industry is dedicated to ensuring quality healthcare and accessibility, but some recent events have forced innovation and advancement in unexpected ways.

Shifting More Patients to Remote Care

Telehealth has been used in emergency situations and routine care alike for years. It’s obvious to many that the utilization of these services has been accelerated and used among a large-scale population of patients. Telehealth has notable usage in triage assessment, routine monitoring, and supervision of care. Much like a future where remote-learning is a greater part of student life, it’s expected that remote care will grow in popularity for convenient and patient-centered care. Ideally, this will be used to smooth out the healthcare system flow-rate and capacity challenges.

Improved Health Surveillance Systems and Data Analysis 

The SARS-CoV-2 spread highlighted the greater-than-ever need for systems that can track infectious diseases as they are transmitted. Historically, sentinel clinical laboratories and networks were utilized to survey and report infection results during a spread. However, the rise of big data and AI modeling approaches to these crises may develop as these historic structures shift due to funding issues. Additionally, mobile-enabled technologies in healthcare are hotly debated, but their use is understandably attractive to the field.

Development of Cooperation and Collaboration

In the major rush to meet the demand of COVID-19 testing and treatment, many members of the healthcare field have had to change their work. This includes staff reallocation, funding diversion, and collaborative efforts re-focused towards disease management efforts. This massive mobilization has been incredible to watch in real-time, and it poses questions about the future of the field in general. Business models and networks have changed or shifted as well, showing how mobile and flexible the industry can be when faced with a public health crisis. The future will tell how much this flexibility will continue, but the sheer scale of this cooperation and collaboration has shown just what we are capable of when faced with a massive crisis.