How has the crisis boosted the e-health sector?
The Covid-19 crisis has propelled telemedicine and e-health directly into the daily lives of consumers and patients.
In this article, we are going to be addressing the following questions:
- Is this a new era for telemedicine?
- Will it remain the same after the pandemic?
- How has the pandemic accelerated the widespread adoption of remote consultations by communities?
Before Covid-19, telemedicine or ‘e-health’ was only in its infancy. So how has the pandemic allowed this sector to develop further?
Let’s start by looking at the reasons for the adoption of e-health during the pandemic:
- Reason 1: The needs of patients. Confined to their homes, they had very few other means of obtaining medical evaluation.
- Reason 2: A growing confidence in the tools and efficacy of remote consultation, which in many cases can produce more or less the same results as a physical consultation.
- Reason 3: Accessibility: telemedicine is easy to access from a computer or mobile from wherever a patient may be. All that is needed is an internet connection.
An unprecedented surge of confidence in medical professionals has also taken place, due to their sacrifice and hard work during the crisis.
Every day, we are reminded of these sacrifices, and communities around the world pay homage to them with ritualized rounds of applause. This newfound awareness of the importance and integrity of medical professionals is present among all parts of society: individuals, businesses and institutions.
As social distancing has emerged as the most potent weapon against the spread of Covid-19, treating at a distance has also turned into a necessary palliative for non-urgent medical conditions. The answer: remote consultations.
Since the beginning of the crisis, doctors’ offices have been shuttered across the world. Almost all but completely necessary consultations were canceled by patients and/or the practitioners themselves. To compensate for these closures, many web and mobile applications have started to be widely adopted, in order to meet patient demands.
Remote consultations between patients and doctors have been widely and easily adopted as a substitute for physical medical consultations. And this new method of “online medical visits” seems to be working well.
Doctolib, Medaviz and Qare.fr have all increased the number of remote consultations on their platforms 6-fold since the start of the lockdown in France.
The most important point for patients is to be able to continue to be evaluated by their doctors.
Remote, video-based consultations have become the natural go-to resource for many patients, and this has happened in a very short amount of time.
This is not surprising. Remote consultations have the following advantages:
- They are accessible,
- They are simple to use,
- They keep people safe, within the context of social distancing.
It’s safe to bet that in the coming months, remote consultations will become an integral part of the daily lives of doctors and hospitals. Video consultation will go on to complement physical consultations once we return to some kind of normality.
Patients of all ages are using remote consultations. All generations are doing it.
The breakdown of age groups is as follows:
- 13.5% are between 0 and 17 years old,
- 25% between 25 and 34 years old,
- 21% between 35 and 44 years old,
- 28% over 55 years of age.
Obtaining health advice via mobile apps is also on the rise
Users have turned to mobile apps that provide advice and specific support to patients. The Feelat application, for example, provides advice and help in the area of eating disorders for patients suffering from them. This app uses artificial intelligence and provides personalized support for the user, establishing a continuous patient / practitioner relationship.
Regarding another aspect of mental health, the MonSherpa application is dedicated to supporting and relieving people suffering from anxiety and/or depression. Offering free access, the app has seen an increase in the number of downloads by more than 250%.
E-health, what will remain after the crisis?
The need for psychological support will persist after the crisis. The period of confinement and isolation has produced some very difficult moments and emotions that people will have to deal with for a long time. These include:
- Painful bouts of bereavement,
- Anxiety of re-normalization,
- • Etc.
It is very likely that remote consultations will continue to serve people suffering from such ailments for a while.
Digital health has a bright future ahead of it and many organizations are already making a difference in a diverse range of areas.
For example, Hy-Result supports patients with hypertension. Other initiatives are used to manage several cases of disease, such as type 2 diabetes, autism, addictions… and the list is only growing. And along with its growth and adoption, so too is the awareness and confidence that people now have towards digital therapy and telemedicine.
Bocasay has carried out projects in e-health: digitizing the maternity department of the Foch Hospital, for example. Do you have a project or development planned? Let’s discuss it and see how our fabulous team can help you realize your dreams.