We’re not in a post-COVID-19 world yet, but with billions of people having had their vaccine, we’re on our way.
However, there are a lot of healthcare problems which the industry - and the world - need to catch up on.
Here’s our Top 10...
10. Decreasing loneliness
The impact of working from home is causing a loneliness epidemic.
In a nationwide study by Marmalade Game Studio, nearly 29% of adults said they suffered from being lonely and 26% said that it has a seriously negative impact on their mental health. Work must be done to decrease this.
9. Vaccine catch-up
Due to the pressure on medical centres during the pandemic and the danger of being in such a facility, many people have missed what would have been compulsory healthcare checkups. While parents get over the joys of home-schooling, they must catch up with the standard childhood vaccinations. If not, another disease could break out.
8. Improving food hygiene
Research shows that the COVID-19 pandemic started in a wet food market in Wuhan, China. Experts had previously predicted that these markets could be a source of disease.
Now the food sector and the hygiene industry must work together along with consumers and food retailers to make sure that food safety is maintained.
7. Supporting healthcare workers
Healthcare workers have had a tumultuous few years and many have left the professional from sheer exhaustion.
Prior to the pandemic, the occupation was known as one which was tiresome and emotionally draining. Work must be done to ensure that the health of healthcare workers is prioritised.
6. Post-COVID-19 anxiety
After years of repeatedly washing our hands and surfaces, not forgetting your mask, minimal trips from the house and maintaining a distance from others, getting back to normal will be difficult for many who suffer from anxiety.
But fear and anxiety are totally normal and those who are anxious should not be made to feel abnormal - but should have someone they can talk to about their feelings.
5. Post-COVID lasting effects
Many people recovering from COVID-19 suffer from long-term symptoms, such as lung damage, breathlessness, continued coughing and fatigue, including a limited ability to exercise. Although inflammation in the lungs may improve over time, research must continue into how to support those recovered from COVID-19, who still suffer from it.
4. Decreasing health inequalities across clinical trials
Clinical research helps healthcare workers find the cures and solutions for health problems, by testing them on members of the population. However, in order to find a cure for everyone, diverse participation in clinical trials is essential. This has not always been the case - and this is an area which needs to change.
3. Digital transformation
For overworked healthcare workers, relying on their sturdy desktop is a way of life. Medical staff know the system, the format, the passwords - but this doesn’t mean using tried and tested methods are the most efficient way for them to process their work. A digital transformation is often costly, but saves time and money in the end.
2. Uplifting digital healthcare
The pandemic has shown the world the value of digital healthcare and data resources in better predicting healthcare outcomes.
“Healthcare is catching up,” said Dr Monika Gratzke is the Global Medical Director for Kry, Europe’s leading digital healthcare company. “The need to source better ways to connect with patients and peers, reduce administration and pressure on over burdened systems, along with managing spiralling costs, is driving demand for better technology.”
1. Facing healthcare disinformation
One of the biggest lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic is the power of chaotic misinformation and cruel disinformation (the former is to unknowingly spread untrue facts, while disinformation is the deliberate spread of falsehoods).
Both have damaged the public’s trust in healthcare, especially for those in the world who are cut off from unbiased information and may look to free social media instead.
Now, work must begin on answering the questions of the confused masses and cutting off the source of the disinformation.