The entire world is desperately trying to cope with the devastation and disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Barring just a few industries that have emerged as beneficiaries, the overall impact of this outbreak for businesses has been catastrophic.
While it would be very difficult to seclude the single largest affected industry from this crisis, the healthcare industry finds itself amidst the center of this storm. USA has quickly become the worst hit country by Covid-19 in terms of affected people.
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The affected people are just one segment of this crisis. Similarly, the frontline health workers and first responders are also yet another key element of the coping mechanism. Let’s not forget there are many other key elements of the whole picture.
At the moment, the healthcare system of USA in particular and other countries in general is over burdened to the extent of a breaking point, at the verge of tipping over. In these times of need, technology powered healthcare facilities are saving the day for us.
Telemedicine and Covid-19
After the rapid spread of the virus in almost all countries across the globe, the number of people who are suspecting they have contracted the deadly virus is rising at an exponential rate. These people are seeking immediate medical counsel.
However, the biggest challenge is the non availability of qualified doctors, consultants and clinicians who can act as the first person of contact to ascertain whether a person in question has actually contracted the deadly Corona virus.
Most doctors, regardless of their department or area of specialization, are busy saving lives of Covid-19 patients. In this situation, they are simply not in a position to deal with queries of people who suspect they also have contracted the disease.
This is where telemedicine, the delivery of medical and healthcare advice by leveraging information and communication technology platforms, is acting as a game changer. Before a patient is formally admitted as a Covid-19 patient, this is a critical step.
Heightened Demand for Telemedicine
While the concept of telemedicine is not at all new, the Corona virus pandemic has really acted as a major catalyst for explosive demand of such services. Healthcare companies are rapidly scaling up the induction and training of clinicians.
By leveraging the concept of telemedicine, these clinicians are acting as the single most vital source of determining whether someone is actually in need of Corona virus treatment. Since the outbreak, telemedicine sessions across USA have skyrocketed.
Healthcare providers are working tirelessly to increase the number of experts or clinicians which will play a key role in keeping the actual burden across hospitals down to a reasonable level.
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Chat-bots and Tele Health
Another technology powered tool that is greatly helping the fight against Coivd-19 pandemic is chat-bots. Instead of wasting the time of precious healthcare providers in this time of crisis, these bots are doing a wonderful job in terms of awareness.
Most healthcare providers across USA are at different stages of developing a very intelligent chat bot that will answer all your questions in a highly structured and prerecorded way, based on what you answered.
Cyber Security Risks on the Rise
While most hospitals are trying to cope with heightened demand at every cost, there are still some nefarious actors who are furthering their petty interests by hacking or intruding into some major healthcare sector institutions.
Granted that this is a time of extreme need and valuable time cannot be wasted on making these telehealth solutions perfectly safe but still, cyber security is one area where there should be zero compromise.
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However, as more healthcare providing institutions roll out their tech powered telehealth solutions in such record timespans, there are bound to be vulnerabilities and gaps in the system that need to be plugged.
Still, we can expect that there will be cyber security concerns around these solutions but this will be a short term trend. Given the inherent benefits, telehealth that is powered by world class and secure virtualization technologies is the future of medicine.
Telehealth is Here to Stay
While the Covid-19 pandemic has acted as a catalyst for this revolution, it will indeed change, rather reshape the way healthcare is delivered across the globe in the near future. We can expect the scope of telehealth spread far and beyond the borders of countries.
The addition of telehealth to the wide array of technology driven platforms for healthcare has the potential to become the norm, rather than exception. What we need to do is leverage this technology in the short term and exercise security measures.