Medical experts around the world are saying that the coronavirus pandemic will change the landscape of healthcare. We have already seen an increase in virtual office visits and other aspects of telemedicine, but there are other ways the COVID-19 era will transform the medical profession as well as our personal perspective on healthcare.
Fast Company asked global leaders in the field to share their opinions on what the epidemic has taught us and what we can expect to see in the future.
James Merlino, chief clinical transformation officer at the Cleveland Clinic, said, "We've learned a couple of things. One is that this has reemphasized the importance of safety. We're doing thermal screening for healthcare providers and testing any patient who is coming in for surgery or ambulatory care."
The second thing, Merlino told Fast Company, is that virtual visits have exploded. At the Cleveland Clinic before COVID-19 hit, there were 3,000 virtual visits a month. In March, there were 60,000.
Dr. Gianrico Farrugia, CEO of the Mayo Clinic, said that COVID-19 has created a new normal in remote monitoring. "For example, electrocardiograms can be done on a smartwatch to diagnose heart failure or to measure potassium," he said.
According to The Medical Futurist, the medical field will have to make drastic shifts in the treatment of healthcare workers, many of whom are now suffering from PTSD, and changes in point-of-care for patients.
"The overburdened hospitals will need an upgrade on every level from their infrastructures to their processes,” according to The Medical Futurist. In terms of how the public will change, the healthy habits recommended by authorities will become our new daily habits. Hand washing with soap and water for 20 seconds, social distancing, and even wearing masks when going to the grocery store will likely shape our post-pandemic future.
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