How the coronavirus will transform healthcare in the USA
Healthcare stats from the first view
- To avoid pollution and congestion in hospitals, more and more consumers are adopting untypical and innovative digital B2C care models. We can predict that these role models will stay unchanged.
- Faced with significant improvements in the U.S. healthcare system, companies can take six steps to navigate this issue.
In addition to the strong virus effects, the epidemic has harmed regular medical activity. Routine preventive care has reached an impasse, as other patients avoid highly contagious hospital facilities and resources for fighting the epidemic.
How will the U.S. healthcare be like, when the coronavirus outbreak goes down? While lessons learned from SARS can guide how government companies can behave, the impact of coronavirus is much more comprehensive. We expect to receive the accelerated reform, digitalization, and patient empowerment in the healthcare field.
The U.S. government has called for a combination of different areas: artificial intelligence, telemedicine, online pharmaceutical retailing, and more. This is to support the global direction of technology improvement. However, healthcare is still lagging behind other industries in the digital revolution. The coronavirus epidemic is opening up areas of development in various spheres, as well as pointing to existing problems that need to be corrected. As a result, some technologies are indeed rapidly being introduced due to circumstances, and they can significantly improve the efficiency of the digital system and unlock its potential.
This will strengthen the immunity of the State in the event of more similar epidemics. Only this time will there be a stable digital base that will not allow, at minimum, existing problems to arise again. Electronic documentation, digital prescriptions, and other IT infrastructure will systematically monitor and analyze extensive patient data. These technologies will make it possible to improve diagnostic accuracy and increase the range of resources used.
Digital technology is our near future
Even though most consumers are at home, it is they who, strange as it may sound, is driving digital progress. The market works according to their needs. Traditional models are no longer so popular due to the outbreak of the epidemic, now creating innovative delivery models. What is most curious is that quick solutions to optimize business for customers will remain after the removal of government restrictions. In general, because the attitude of people to the online sphere in all its manifestations will change.
Online healthcare services
The number of Internet platforms in the health sector is increasing with the number of coronavirus cases. It happens mainly for two reasons:
- people avoid contact with other people and stay home;
- at home, closed indoors, they look for information about the diagnosis and treatment of diseases.
Since the beginning of the epidemic, it happened in December 2019, in just one month, the number of users of the medical platform Ping An Good Doctor has increased almost nine times.
Accordingly, people have physically visited hospitals if they had any questions or concerns about their health. Now, this possibility has been reduced. Frankly, the only obstacle is that all people are not prepared to pay for digital health care, but today the prospect of such changes has increased. The main task of the companies providing such services is to help the user to enter the digital communication mode and to provide him/her with any other related support.
As for pharmacies
Due to an increase in the number of infected people and a decrease in the possibility of physical purchase of medicines, various pharmacy chains that specialize in the online drug trade have been activated. In the long term, the demand for remote purchase of drugs is not expected to decrease even after the outbreak. The more drugs are available in large-scale networks, and for online shopping, the more demand will be for them. The main thing is to set up service and maintenance in the most comfortable way for clients. And one of the most expected solutions is to work remotely with chain pharmacies via hospitals offline. That is, there will be some joint base of pharmacies and hospitals, where there will be data on prescriptions for specific people. Thus, it will make life easier both with the purchase of drugs and with unexpected situations, if someone has lost a prescription.
During any unexpected virus outbreak, the health insurance business is experiencing an improvement in its business position. Agree that medical expenses require significant financial investments, so one of the options is to contract with insurance companies. Predicting something about the future for the same insurance companies is problematic. Still, one thing is for sure – it can develop the habit of monitoring your health regularly, and more profitable when you have insurance. Of course, there are limitations associated with illness. Because of this, some insurance companies have added viruses to their insurance event lists. This is how the customer focus and mobility of businesses are checked. This way, they acquire more customers even after the pandemic is over. And most likely, large hospital networks will cooperate with such insurance companies.
Healthcare reforms after coronavirus
During the pandemic outbreak, the American government has invested in disease surveillance and reporting systems, as well as in prevention and control. Also, public insurance programs were significantly expanded in order to provide affordable healthcare to rural populations.
Afterward, the transformation has highlighted two key factors: efficiency and quality. But the coronavirus outbreak exposed the remaining cracks in the country’s health system. We expect that, after COVID-19, the government will again undertake significant reforms to ensure access to quality treatment, cost management, product innovation, and digitalization.
Quality treatment accessibility
No one will be surprised by the fact of resource-poor in public health. So, the private institutions and third-party diagnostic and treatment services have provided much-needed help.
Meanwhile, the high demand for specialization will remain. Hospitals will increasingly outsource to private and external institutions with scale, technology and price advantages.
Nonetheless, soon we will receive a high demand for specialists. Hospitals will increasingly outsource to private and external institutions with scale, technology, and price advantages.
Numerous measures have been taken to control health care costs and reduce user fees. Including centralizing procurement, bulk purchasing of medicines, and implementing a policy of two invoices to eliminate distributor layers.
In comparison with other diseases, coronavirus will do more damage to the economy and health care system. So, how can we fight with the possible coronavirus consequences? For sure, the government will take some intensive actions to reduce costs and raise productivity.
Healthcare product innovation
Chinese health authorities have teamed up with the American company Gilead Sciences to seek treatment for the COVID-19 virus. Their main activity is to test various antiviral drugs in hospitals. But their activity doesn’t stop exclusively at coronavirus. Pharmaceutical companies that are somehow or other associated with medical technology have faced the challenge of delaying scheduled operations. Now it’s become a challenge to deal with that problem as well.
How can it affect our future?
There will be an optimization of time for approval of the use of medicines and medical devices. This process will be significantly accelerated. Technology companies involved in pharmaceuticals and medicine will continue to invest large sums in innovation. Artificial intelligence and partnerships with digital organizations are the minima we can imagine. We have a case study about the telemedicine project. It clearly shows how it can improve our daily medical treatment.
Necessary actions for medical organizations
Regardless of the location and size of the healthcare enterprise, each organization must respond quickly to the situation. Decisions must be clear and without delay. We have compiled a list of six actions for the nearest and further chronological period of time.
- Situation analysis and its implications for business;
- Searching for optimal solutions to the problem and creating a unique offer for large organizations;
- Flexibility to solve possible problems.
Activity for the future (up to two years)
- The ability to calculate the budget both for the time being and to make a financial cushion;
- Set the course for innovation and understand what you can offer the market;
- Work with digital technologies and develop them in your business.