Every human living through these times will never forget the disruptions and devastations of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is indeed one of the most atrocious events in human history. Two hundred sixteen million people contracting the virus and 4.5 million losing their lives caused chaos in the world. It restricted every routine activity and damaged the global economy. According to the United Nations, COVID caused a painful loss of around $4 trillion to the worldwide economy. Waves after waves, the world has still not gotten rid of COVID.

Despite exhaustive lockdowns and the continued effect of COVID, the world has recovered quite a lot. Fortunately, we were able to produce the vaccine for COVID in relatively less time. It is assisting the global population in the fight against this disease and in creating resistance against the virus. Moreover, the global economy is getting back on its feet. Businesses are returning to operation, tourism is gaining traction, and education is restoring its normal pedagogies. Still, almost every field of life has absorbed some changes.

Similarly, healthcare is undertaking some transformations too. The medical industry was at the forefront in the war against the pandemic. Healthcare suffered the gravest impact in the wake of the pandemic. Healthcare professionals were the most vulnerable of all in catching this virus. Therefore, the healthcare sector has seen a noticeable change in the post-COVID era. You can gain more details about these changes in this article. It highlights five healthcare transformations in the post-COVID era.

Online Healthcare Education

The world faced an apparent shortage of healthcare professionals to aid the pandemic. That is where the healthcare sector realized the importance of online education. Now we have online medical science programs that we could not even think of in the past, like the epidemiology online degree. This degree allows aspirants to pursue public health education from the comfort of their homes and to assist in the fight against the epidemic. Healthcare institutions realized that they could produce a large number of healthcare professionals through online education.

Ironically, a medical emergency has introduced betterment in the medical field. Previously, the healthcare sector was not that welcoming to online medical education. The need for a physical environment predominantly ruled the medical education approach. However, once every other education went online due to lockdowns imposed by the COVID pandemic, healthcare education tasted this medium too. Fortunately, the success rate was motivating enough to mainstream this idea.

Digital healthcare inclusion

Digitization is taking the world by storm. Almost every field of life is undergoing extensive digitization. Healthcare is absorbing it at an incredible pace as well. COVID pandemic increased the inclusion of digital applications in healthcare. According to Ortholive, 90% of healthcare professionals quote that digital applications for providing healthcare are necessary. Moreover, the only point of interaction for outpatient medical services has become digital in many countries.

Switzerland launched the world’s first digital healthcare application system for COVID-positive patients. It connects patients who are in isolation because of COVID with caregivers who help them relieve their problems. It falls under the supervision of the Federal Health Department; therefore, they can supervise medical treatment on their level. All this became possible in a safe and secure distant environment only because of digitalization.

Rise of Hot and Cold Sites

The concept of hot and cold sites surfaced when a rising number of COVID patients disturbed other routine healthcare operations. These sites keep the two separate and more efficient on the operational aspect. Cold sites provide non-COVID healthcare since the regular patient inflow remains usual. In comparison, hot sites are dedicated to COVID-related cases only. The establishment of hot and cold sites aims to cater to the rising influx of patients effectively.

We can expect the same technique to become a regular part of hospitals. We have entered into the post-COVID stage, but we are still not free from it. There are still cases and patients of COVID coming in large numbers in hospitals. Countries like India are still suffering from overburdening of COVID patients. Therefore, this new healthcare segmentation will remain in place and operational for a long time.

Healthcare for the Aged Population

According to a report by Pasadena Health Centre, more than 80% of people above 65 years are battling at least one chronic disease. However, are there any dedicated healthcare institutions for the elderly? Well, the answer is simple, no, there aren’t any such healthcare units. Unfortunately, COVID proved more dangerous for the elderly population. World Health Organization also warned older people that they were more vulnerable to this disease.

Different countries realized the importance of dedicated healthcare services for the elderly. Ultimately, they created special healthcare services for older people. It provided better medical support and crisis management for the aging population. KPMG quotes Singapore and South Korea as the pioneers of such centralized control systems for the elderly population. Soon, it became prominent in other parts of the world too.

Investments in Crisis Preparedness

38.8 million people fell victim to the COVID pandemic in the USA, and around 700k people lost their lives. About 54 million people caught the disease in Europe, and more than 1.1 million died. The reason for quoting these regions is because these are the most developed regions around the world. The COVID pandemic showed that we were not ready for a medical emergency. We didn’t invest enough in crisis preparedness. The preparations were not enough.

Therefore, there is a constant buzz in the healthcare industry to prepare for such a crisis. It is a good initiative since we never know when something like this surfaces again. The healthcare sector absorbs the most severe impacts when this happens. Therefore, constant investment in preparing it for such emergencies is the need of the hour.

Final Thoughts

Humankind has faced many medical emergencies in the past. It has gone through these hardships in several instances in history. However, it has bounced back every time. But it was not easy to recover from COVID because we had become fonder of social interactions. The COVID restrictions were, therefore, too much to cope with for many people. Thankfully, we survived this and entered the post-COVID phase. The healthcare sector faced major transformations through this period which will remain with us for a while now.