As the COVID-19 crisis looms over the world, it is also magnifying the shortcomings of the healthcare systems of countries. In the case of the United States, the lack of affordable care is proving to be a serious cause of concern during this pandemic.
Americans have been known to put off medical treatment because of the exorbitant costs involved. Of course, having insurance in the U.S. means that you can access cutting-edge treatments, but for the uninsured, nothing can be scarier than a global outbreak of a disease.
While exposing the lack of ICUs, protective gear and ventilators, the COVID-19 outbreak has overwhelmed the entire healthcare system. With the rise in the number of cases even in sparsely-populated areas, the crisis is making policymakers take a hard, long look at the barriers set up and the precedence given to profit-making — all of which are preventing people from accessing high-quality healthcare.
In addition to the above-mentioned outcomes of the spread of the virus, the overall impact of it has been so huge that it is changing the course of the healthcare sector. Let’s look at some of the big changes that the healthcare institutions have adopted to deal with the contagion:
As time is of the essence, hospitals are turning to AI tools to diagnose COVID-19 symptoms in people who walk in with complaints. Artificial Intelligence is on the frontline, along with healthcare providers, to tackle the epidemic.
Temperatures and fitness tracker information are being analyzed and individual cases are being recorded. Moreover, AI tools are being used to track the spread of the virus in a particular area as well as to identify high-risk individuals and clusters. Hospitals are also turning to AI to track their inventories along with the supplies that healthcare providers would need to treat their patients.
It is important to note that the use of AI in OPD units and in the ER room was not a common sight, until now. The pandemic has fast-tracked the adoption process and there is no doubt that these tools are here to stay.
The Rise of Telehealth
Amid this global crisis, people are hesitant to visit their primary healthcare providers for routine checkups and are turning to mobile applications offering telehealth services instead.
The current U.S. administration has relaxed rules due to the ongoing pandemic that allows insurance providers to waive any cost-sharing with their clients for virtual visits. So, people are turning to telehealth services like never before for minor health issues.
If telehealth companies are able to cater to this sudden surge in demand, it will become an integral part of healthcare models in the days to come. Because of this, what once received a lukewarm response in the U.S is now one of the most in-demand fields. This new development will be taken up for discussion at the major healthcare summits of 2020-21.
The global pandemic is reshaping healthcare services and delivery models with every passing day. Owing to this sudden overhaul, healthcare events and conferences will focus on its impact on the existing healthcare services and delivery models around the world. Among them is IFAH, one of the top healthcare events in Las Vegas, USA, that will be looking at these developments and their repercussions in great detail in 2020-21.