2020 has brought more challenges than the world has known in generations. It has been difficult to find the positives in this new COVID life, with the restrictions of freedom and the changes to our lives that lockdown has triggered.
As a result, 2020 has also severely impacted the physical health of our global community and will create a lasting legacy that stems from:
Since COVID began, companies have seen computer literacy and learning accelerate between 500 and 3967%, boosted by the shift to remote work amid the pandemic.* (Source: Udemy)
There has been an increased dependence on digital technology for communication, learning, purchasing power, work, online fitness… and even fun. This new wave of automation will advance and shape healthcare provision in an equitable and wide-ranging way, to offer our world benefits that were unimagined just 12 months ago.
Here are some of the PhysioMedics™ predictions for 2021:
1. Healthcare accessibility
Leading authorities believe that COVID has fast-tracked digital health adoption by up to 5 years. This rate of progress will enable many healthcare and occupational health providers to personalise and simplify the widespread distribution of health services to their customers, members and workforces.
2. First-line digital
Online assessments will collate information to support clinicians' diagnoses and treatments, to provide early safe advice. This enables patients’ to be an active part of their own recovery journey and reduces clinical time, supporting already stretched face-to-face resources by quickly matching patients with the right healthcare professional or service.
3. Changes in patient’s expectations
With greater computer literacy and knowledge, there will be an expectation that digital services are offered to provide around the clock 24/7 care. This empowers patients to receive care at a time, place and pace that suits them, negating the need for travel time and waiting rooms.
4. Reducing human error and improving the patient experience
Consistent digital triage will lead to safer and more accurate referrals, based on a comprehensive digital assessment. Patients will be able to see the right clinician at the right time, meaning inappropriate referrals will be reduced.
5. Integration and interoperability
Interoperability can unlock the potential of digital health. At the point of care, clinicians and organisations want all patient data collected to be easy to access for monitoring and review. In 2021, leading digital health companies will prioritise integration capability to facilitate data collection and ease of access.
6. Modernisation of reimbursement models
Health insurance companies must adapt with the times to benefit from new and cost-effective digitisation of services. As we transition to digital systems, new pricing models will be required to adjust current traditional compensation practices to meet the needs and resource allocation of their customers.
7. Preventative services
The balance between sick care and healthcare will begin to shift as evidence of ROI is demonstrated. It is generally accepted that proactive and early intervention can create significant cost savings but tangible evidence is difficult to find. Implementation and usage of digital systems in 2021 will demonstrate the effect of prevention strategies like never before.
8. Insights and learnings from data
The collection of wide-ranging data will help organisations in numerous ways. Predictive models will help us to identify the probability of disease outcomes, enabling a new age of proactive management. Data related to need will assist us to direct the most impactful healthcare into the right geographical location and our understanding of MSK issues and their relationship to medical factors will bring new learnings to impact generations to come. Machine learning, followed by AI will help us to deliver healthcare more effectively than ever before.
Whilst it is impossible to replace the human touch and soft factors that face-to-face care offers, PhysioWizard® seeks to support clinicians in quickly delivering more accurate and effective care.
This is a fundamental change in healthcare delivery through digital, and regulations need to be aligned with this. It’s a fine line to tread between stagnating innovation and keeping our community safe. Whilst digital is here to stay, with the vaccine comes hope and we are entering a new era where every step forward to recovery will be celebrated.
Thank you for being part of our exciting journey. We look forward to taking you into the future of digital triage in 2021.
and the PhysioMedics™ team
PhysioMedics™ was awarded a grant by Innovate UK to provide PhysioWizard® to healthcare organisations, corporates, GP clinics, and direct to the public to help support individuals experiencing muscle and joint problems during the lockdown and alleviate the burden on health services.
Following a successful take-up of this offer, PhysioMedics™, in conjunction with Professor Paul Cameron, Head of Service & Clinical Lead at NHS Fife Pain Management Service and National Advisory Committee Member for Scottish Government will be publishing a white paper on the benefits that digital triage of muscle and joint problems can bring to individuals, organisations and the health services.
Founder and Chief Clinical Officer