It’s very likely that 2021 will be the year that the pandemic subsides. And very soon, a health industry that found itself struggling during the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis will have to readjust, consolidate the emerging trends and pursue new synergies and opportunities for growth.
Indeed, the pandemic revealed the need to adopt new, innovative ways of thinking so that adequate treatment is provided and patient needs are met.
The following list is far from comprehensive, but it highlights several important steps that the industry should consider taking:
– Engage the patient more: The pandemic reinforced the need for patients to have greater control over their own care. Clearly, they should have an active role in managing their disease, as well as an overview of their overall well-being. Redesigning the current approach to healthcare provision will empower patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals. As such, patient engagement is bound to become a primary concern for the healthcare industry.
– Capitalize on digital and innovating technologies: All new technologies that emerged and were deployed during the pandemic must be capitalized upon; furthermore, digital experiences must be established to bring healthcare directly to patients through digital platforms and applications. This way, all players will interact more efficiently with each other and the data generated can be used to improve healthcare and minimize spending.
– Formalize partnerships: In the previous 12 months, significant public–private partnerships were created which helped to address issues that emerged as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. The cumulative effect of these partnerships will now need to be further examined, in order to forge a new bond between state and private players, in the interest of efficient healthcare.
-Minimize red tape: The acceleration of formal processes, such as drug approval, vaccine development and imports, national vaccinations etc, should be institutionalized so that all delays witnessed before the pandemic become a thing of the past.
– Enhance international collaborations: The pandemic helped to emphasize the importance of cross-border collaboration and sharing of know-how and best practices in handling Covid-19 cases. As the pandemic subsides, this emphasis should remain in order to address the treatment and prevention of other rare and life-threatening diseases.
Undoubtedly, the healthcare industry learned many valuable lessons in 2020. There is an obvious need for robust but flexible processes in order to manage healthcare provision in a more efficient manner.
In the years ahead, the industry’s major task will be to reinvent the way of doing business, substantiate the new forms of interaction and continue to adopt innovative approaches and treatments.