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Innovations in Healthcare

2020 Was a Year of Innovations in Healthcare

by Heidi Bullman

2020 has undoubtedly been a turbulent and tumultuous year but these upheavals have driven innovations in healthcare. The pace of innovation not only demonstrate the industry’s quick and radical response to the pandemic, but also the resiliency of healthcare professionals. What nurses, doctors, and other healthcare workers and administrators have shown this year is an incredible capacity to adapt in the face of adversity.

To learn about the biggest healthcare trends of the year, continue reading below.  

TREND #1: THE DEPLOYMENT OF REMOTE WORKFORCES

The pandemic required hospitals across the country to deploy remote workforces in a matter of weeks, if not days. Sentara Healthcare was one that did this without missing a beat. “[When the pandemic hit, the organization] moved their entire non-clinical workforce to remote work in the fastest and most efficient way possible. Prior to the pandemic many healthcare systems, including Sentara, were embarking on patient-focused initiatives, but when the pandemic came many couldn’t manage to deploy a remote workforce while keeping these initiatives going. For Sentara Healthcare, this was possible — all thanks to interconnectivity.”

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TREND #2: THE EVOLUTION OF VIRTUAL HOSPITALS

Virtual hospitals – also necessitated by COVID-19 – have started to appear across the country, led by some of the biggest names in healthcare including Mayo Clinic and Intermountain Healthcare. “It’s undeniable that the pandemic has served as a catalyst for virtual care,” explained industry expert, Tim Waters of Equinix. “However, virtual hospitals and hospital-at-home initiatives also come as a result of increased digital capabilities and the power that comes from interconnectivity.

This summer, Mayo Clinic announced a pilot program with the goal of treating patients in need of hospitalization at their homes, via virtual capabilities. In partnership with Medically Home, [the Mayo Clinic program] goes well beyond the traditional house, and even video calls. It allows Mayo Clinic doctors to, virtually, work alongside clinicians – including nurses and paramedics — visiting with patients in their homes to provide services typically performed in a hospital setting. These services include infusions, imaging services, and even laboratory work.”

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TREND #3: THE GROWING POPULARITY OF WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY

Healthcare isn’t just remote or virtual. Now, it’s wearable, too. With today’s wearable devices, providers are better able to generate valuable public health insights. “These wearables are doing more than just understanding individual trends –  they’re working to benefit the population as a whole. Devices like Fitbit are now aiding in the fight against COVID-19. In March, the Scripps Research Translational Institute in San Diego launched a study using Fitbits to pick up on the smallest physiological changes – including sleep patterns, heart rate, and activity levels – to encourage users to get tested prior to the appearance of COVID-19 symptoms.”

Read the full story here.

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