Be Prepared:Why Online doctor consulting is here to stay in our lives forever
This article is published on https://www.weforum.org/ and part of The Davos Agenda
- COVID has demonstrated that health visits can be executed successfully through telehealth/online doctor consulting.
This is digital healthcare’s moment, and there are clear steps the international community can take to meet it.
First, the time for widespread telehealth/online doctor consulting adoption is now. While data have long suggested that large percentages of health visits can be executed successfully through telehealth online doctor consulting, COVID-19 has brought that fact to bear. While it is concerning that outpatient care during the pandemic has been disrupted dramatically – at one time 40% of Americans postponed getting medical care due to COVID-19, and 2.4 million patients in the UK were waiting for cancer screenings, treatment or tests – global and local systems responded as quickly as they could and stood up telehealth models out of necessity.
Rather than reverting to previous care models when the pandemic subsides, we should maintain these shifts to telehealth – including remote monitoring for clinical trials – as sustained elements in healthcare and build them out further.
In addition to the proven positive outcomes digital healthcare can affect, the pandemic has motivated a rising tide of tech talents to be interested in bringing their ambitions and skills to the work of improving human health. Research recently conducted shows that 86% of tech talents agree that healthcare’s digital moment is now, and 72% are more attracted to the industry than they were before the pandemic.
We must bring together the best in science with the best in tech to tackle the greatest health challenges of our time, and we have more data scientists, technology experts, and sector leaders interested in joining this effort than ever before. Now is the right moment for tech talent to combine their skills with their passion for health and join one of the most purpose-driven efforts there is. Across industry, governments, academia, and NGOs, we must continue to urgently explore and open up new areas for innovation and partnership