A paradigm shift is now rearing its head in healthcare: Rather than you going to your healthcare services, they need to come to you. Thomas Friedman coined this shift years ago in “The World is Flat” as “mobile-me.” Our team at Welldoc has believed in this for many years and it’s at the core of what we do. And we now face a new reality that demands more self-management than ever before.
COVID-19 has uncovered underlying problems and challenges in healthcare, the service chain and physical supply chain. In many ways though, these challenges are creating opportunities for innovation leveraging technology and critical data. This “foundational innovation” will scale our ability to be agile, to be prepared for the unknown. And while we’re here, let’s give a shout-out to our fearless front-line who are leading us forward through these difficult times.
When we look at those who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the US, we must pause and consider the facts as presented by Lester Holt and NBC News – 57% have hypertension, 41% have obesity, and 34% have diabetes. Just FYI, 34% diabetes is nearly three times the normal rate of diabetes in the US. Chronic conditions must be a part of this conversation.
People living with chronic conditions are forced to stay at home like everyone else. Face-to-face appointments with doctors are limited, and everyday behavior and lifestyle decisions are even more important than usual, whether that’s work, exercise, medications or food.
Digital health solutions offer hope and can help us address this conundrum when a doctor’s office is empty and patients can’t leave home. And real-time data will be key during this pandemic and beyond. We must sense what is happening, predict what may happen, and use this data to adapt on the fly.
We can do this together. We knew the revolution was coming. But I don’t think Thomas Friedman imagined it in such circumstances.
Dr. Anand K. Iyer, PhD, MBA
Chief Strategy Officer, Welldoc, Inc.