The Rapid Acceleration of Digital Health
The COVID pandemic of 2020 has had a drastic and lasting effect on the way we operate in the healthcare sector. Whether you’re the physician, patient, or even pharmaceutical sales representative, many of the methods that worked just a couple of years ago are no longer viable. It’s been a rough road with many inconveniences and lots of devastation along the way, but the bright side is that digital health allowed us to keep moving forward with most of the things we need to accomplish in the medical realm.
Where previous pandemics sometimes completely cut off access to common medical necessities and practices, such as routine doctor visits, in 2020 we’ve been able to adapt much more quickly to the “new normal” largely due to the advancement and use of health tech.
In a survey of 500 doctors, post-COVID, those who were high adopters of digital health reported very favorable outlooks for the future of healthcare. Seventy-one percent believe digital health tech enables easy access to information; 62% say it will enhance their ability for remote care; 61% expect an increase in doctor/patient engagement; and 59% believe digital health tech empowers creative approaches to treatment. Not only that, but these doctors who embrace digital health are far more likely to recommend things like smart gym equipment (211%), smartwatches (200%), fitness wearables (182%), smartphone apps (167%), and disease related devices (146%).
One thousand surveyed patients also agree that healthcare in the digital space is improving healthcare. They report easier access to health records (75%), empowerment to manage their own health (71%), increased access to new health information (67%), streamlined appointment scheduling (64%), and improved interactions with physicians (63%). For those with chronic conditions, 1 in 3 report a preference for telemedicine over in-office visits. These patients are also high adopters of digital resources such as websites related to their condition, and health-related smartphone apps.