Digital Health

How has the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the evolution of healthcare?

Waracle
3rd June 2021
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https://waracle.com/blog/digital-health/how-has-the-covid-19-pandemic-accelerated-the-evolution-of-healthcare/
Fitness tracker app and personal device

Healthcare apps are revolutionising the medical industry – and not just in a post-pandemic world. Doctors and patients, hospital staff and pharmacists can all reap the benefits as healthcare apps are used for online consultation, diagnosis, appointments, and medical supply delivery. Technology is providing physicians with access to drug information, the latest medical research and online learning practices on-the-go.

Healthcare software solutions are being developed to improve patient satisfaction rates and streamline communication between hospitals, patients, and third-party suppliers. Another significant impact is the easier collaboration between physicians and labs. Test results and lab reports can be delivered directly to the care providers’ devices the minute they are available. Digital health solutions are making it easier, quicker and more responsive to adjust a patient’s therapy according to the results and discuss it directly and virtually, in real time.  

And let’s not discount the benefits to users through the empowerment of patients as well as individuals to take care of their own health through technology. Health trackers, wearables and sensors allow us to know more about ourselves and retake control – a trend that has seen a sharp rise in the past 12-months in the advent of Covid-19. 

Whether to manage your weight, stress levels, emotional and cognitive capabilities or reaching an overall fitness state, health apps and trackers fulfil the need, with a firm focus on making patients the point-of-care. 

The ability to monitor one’s health at home and share the results remotely with physicians (as well as our friends and colleagues through health and wellbeing scoreboards, step count competitions and fundraising), empowers people to take control of their health and make more informed decisions.

Mobile Health Apps in the Post-Pandemic World

Mobile technology has opened channels for faster, more direct communication between physicians and specialists regardless of their location. This is particularly important in emergency situations, chronic conditions monitoring, post-operation recovery at home and even crises like the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

In fact, video conferencing and remote consultations have been of the utmost importance since the beginning of the Covid-19 lockdown, allowing doctors to provide diagnosis, counselling, and interactive services electronically, all in a bid to avoid the spread of infection further and protect front-line workers and patients alike. 

Mobile health apps have emerged as a new saviour during the Covid-19 pandemic; driven primarily through smartphones and remote monitoring, they have become a lifeline for consultation, offering many healthcare professionals a new approach to treating patients. 

Future Opportunities for Mobile Health Apps

Covid-19 has presented a rapid increase in mobile health app usage in the short term; however, in the long run, this situation will result in the acceleration and wider adoption of digital solutions, especially those with remote care components. Before the pandemic, technology had been largely on the back-foot in most hospitals. This is an opportunity to get in front and lead by example by embracing a hybrid approach to healthcare. 

Below are a few examples of healthcare technology that we think is revolutionising healthcare, both for patients and practitioners: 

Streamlined workflow and practice management process 

Services such as DrDoctor for example have created a platform which catalyses technology led change in hospitals and healthcare systems which work for everyone, and reduce the friction in day to day care delivery so that people can focus on caring for people, not filling forms or chasing dates. 

Better-informed medication and therapy decisions  

Vinehealth is a mobile app to support cancer patients and their loved ones through treatment by allowing them to easily track, manage and understand their care; supporting people to understand their symptoms and side effects, and helping them communicate quickly and easily with their care team. 

Faster patient-physician communication 

Covid-19 has changed how the UK thinks about healthcare. PushDoctor has partnered with the NHS to build powerful tools to help clinicians, patients and healthcare leaders by offering video consultations online and via smartphone – providing  quick, easy and convenient access to NHS-trained, GMC-registered doctors.

Greater transparency of patient insurance claims

The WPA Health App allows customers to make a Health Insurance claim and receive an instant decision – a first in the UK Health Insurance market.

Real-time remote monitoring of post-operation recovery

Current Health has created a solution that is removing the complexity of delivering healthcare at home. Their enterprise platform aggregates patient data, allowing health systems and pharmaceutical companies to tailor services, care management, and interventions for each individual patient – all done remotely in the comfort of the patients own home. 

Reduced costs through automation and data-driven operational insights

Huma has a virtual clinical trial solution that connects trial participants, investigators, and research teams, accelerating recruitment while driving participant engagement and protocol adherence. The technology significantly reduces participant burden and improves the visibility of patient-generated data collected in the real-life setting.

Conclusion 

Without a doubt, mobile health applications have become a significant part of the healthcare industry over recent years and will continue to grow as we create a new hybrid approach to everyday life and work; with technology at the forefront. 

Advanced mobile healthcare apps and devices are going to play an even more significant role than today, helping researchers gain valuable insights and develop efficient preventative strategies. 

All in all, healthcare systems are embracing the potential of mobile technology to provide greater transparency, more accurate diagnostics, and highly effective targeted and personalised treatments.   

At Waracle, we collaborate to create mobile products and services that make life better, whether it is through patient engagement, therapeutics, diagnostics, connected health or software-as-a-medical-device.

Our passionate technologists are waiting to hear from you, get in touch today!