Will There Really Be Post-COVID Valuable Healthcare Change?

Will There Really Be Post-COVID Valuable Healthcare Change?

Will There Really Be Post-COVID Valuable Healthcare Change?

Everyone seems to think that there will be significant, long-lasting post COVID change in US healthcare. 

Here are some predictions:

There will be many implications for the digital health industry. According to the majority of participants of this impact assessment, the digital health industry will not radically transform during the pandemic. Yet the Corona crisis will have a significant impact on how the healthcare is delivered.

1. The impact that digital health solutions and services have on the pandemic management is rated as high. Digital health will be an important peace in the puzzle to fight the pandemic.

2. The impact will last. The expectation is that the increased awareness, acceptance, and usage of digital health services during the Covid-19 outbreak will not vanish after the pandemic is contained.

3. Some segments of the digital health industry are now in the focus, especially tele-health, remote monitoring, self-testing, and diagnostic tools. However, the development of the pandemic will highlight other segments, such as robotics, wearable sensors, and mental health solutions in the future.

4. Usage of digital solutions will go up. The majority of the industry is expecting a breakthrough for digital health usage. The first signs look promising but should be checked again after a few months.

5. There is and will be choice. The speed with which the (digital) healthcare industry has reacted on the outbreak is enormous. There will be no shortage of digital solutions for all phases of the pandemic management.

6. Governments and healthcare providers should create a portfolio of digital health solutions from existing services rather than build their own from scratch.

But, if you are a contrarian, you will be skeptical.

Whether things are different for sick care stakeholders in 5 years compared to now will depend on how you weigh the likelihood of the response by sick care stakeholders to the main environmental threats and opportunities post-COVID:

  1. Will premedical, health professional and graduate education become more entrepreneurial?
  2. Will expedited innovation last or revert back to more stringent oversight?
  3. Who will win the 2020 US elections?
  4. Will the rate of employed physicians continue to grow or will there be a resurgence of private practice and physician empowerment?
  5. Will practitioners and patients change their behavior?
  6. What will be the impact of huge budget deficits on salaries, investments, retirement planning and student debt?
  7. Will patients really keep using telemedicine instead of face to face visits?
  8. Which digital health products and services will scale and which will die? Which will be exposed as snake oil?
  9. Will the call for universal coverage and closing inequity gaps result in action?
  10. Will sick care really move to healthcare?
  11. Will artificial intelligence overcome the barriers to dissemination and implementation and help us practice more intelligent medicine?
  12. Will HIPAA and rules like it be repealed or reformed?
  13. How much privacy will people give up for security?
  14. What are the constitutional and legal limits of executive branch orders and decrees?
  15. Will fashionable face masks be the new little black dress of just a fad?

My gut tells me that most of the prophesized changes will be incremental, not radical and continue to be impacted primarily by politics, rules, regulations, laws and payment schemes. I'd say it's a COIN toss.

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs on Twitter@ArlenMD and Facebook page.

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  • Andy Temple

    Sick care won't be the same !!!

  • Lucie Bennett

    People are finally valuing doctors' work

  • Steve Barratt

    Thank you all for taking care of our lives

  • Luke Bennett

    Governments must give more funds to medical research.

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Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA

Former Contributor

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is a professor emeritus of otolaryngology, dentistry, and engineering at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Colorado School of Public Health and President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs at www.sopenet.org. He has created several medical device and digital health companies. His primary research centers around biomedical and health innovation and entrepreneurship and life science technology commercialization. He consults for and speaks to companies, governments, colleges and universities around the world who need his expertise and contacts in the areas of bio entrepreneurship, bioscience, healthcare, healthcare IT, medical tourism -- nationally and internationally, new product development, product design, and financing new ventures. He is a former Harvard-Macy fellow and In 2010, he completed a Fulbright at Kings Business, the commercialization office of technology transfer at Kings College in London. He recently published "Building the Case for Biotechnology." "Optical Detection of Cancer", and " The Life Science Innovation Roadmap". He is also an associate editor of the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology and Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship and Editor-in-Chief of Medscape. In addition, He is a faculty member at the University of Colorado Denver Graduate School where he teaches Biomedical Entrepreneurship and is an iCorps participant, trainer and industry mentor. He is the Chief Medical Officer at www.bridgehealth.com and www.cliexa.com and Chairman of the Board at GlobalMindED at www.globalminded.org, a non-profit at risk student success network. He is honored to be named by Modern Healthcare as one of the 50 Most Influential Physician Executives of 2011 and nominated in 2012 and Best Doctors 2013.

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