The impact of COVID-19 can be felt at every level in healthcare. In a short period of time, the pandemic has had a profound effect on patient care, provider well-being and technology deployment, signaling that healthcare delivery may never be the same.
The Physicians Foundation’s 2020 Survey of America’s Physicians found that the majority of doctors believe COVID-19 won’t be under control until January 2021, with nearly half not seeing the virus being under control until after June 1, 2021. Moreover, many doctors believe that the virus will severely impact patient health outcomes, as many people delayed routine care during the pandemic.
This data shows that stress associated with the pandemic on healthcare providers may only increase. Fortunately, our nation’s health systems are recognizing the toll it’s taking on the mental and emotional health of those on the frontlines and taking action. Last week, Fierce Healthcare reported that Brigham and Women’s Hospital has tapped mental health startup Rose, which uses AI and natural language processing to detect early warning signs of mental health conditions including anxiety, depression and trauma, for early intervention.
Technology vendors are doing their part in the fight against COVID-19 too. Fitbit launched a study to determine whether its wearable activity trackers could pick up on the early signs of COVID-19 and enrolled over 100,000 participants from the U.S. and Canada. Preliminary results from the study show its devices have been able to detect nearly half of COVID-19 cases at least one day before reported symptoms. While the study has not yet been peer-reviewed, early findings show potential for lightening the load of our already stressed system.
While COVID-19 rages on, healthcare stakeholders from across the continuum are lending helping hands and innovating at faster rates than ever to combat its negative effects.