2020 had been a hell of a roller coaster ride. From where I stand, I can see the healthcare sector at the epicentre of this global pandemic challenge that has had profound impact on the lives of millions across the world.
COVID-19 has made healthcare a perennial laggard in technology to accept digital transformation and disrupt itself. Telehealth, once laughed upon, has taken center stage and contactless consultation is the new norm. Right from work from home to consulting from home using portals, chatbots, and video calls, it has all become an inevitable part of our lives. More so with digitized payments, robotics, virtual care, and remote monitoring, there is paradigm shift within healthcare.
I strongly believe the future belongs to telemedicine, population health solutions, contact tracing and tracking applications using IoT (Internet of Things), use of AI (artificial intelligence) and ML (machine learning). This is not only for analytics and predictive modelling, but multiple research projects that are using them in different ways to speed up the search for a novel coronavirus vaccine. And you are spot on! It is all on the CLOUD.
It is riveting to see that the patient becomes the consumer finally with an ability to choose healthcare from the confines of the living room. Technology has come to the rescue of physicians and hospitals who can now virtually connect with their patients.
Healthcare is now at techno fast pace, and it is unlikely that it returns to its low-tech systems. Forced virtual consultations during COVID-19 have demonstrated to clinicians that patient care does not have to be high-touch to be highly effective. Rest assured this pandemic will go, but the tools will stay. Let’s not stop here as this could be ‘the’ opportunity of a lifetime for healthcare transformation.