How will healthcare systems adapt to
the Post-COVID-19 World?
Last Updated 12 June, 2020. Cellspect Co., Ltd.
BIO Digital took place entirely online from June 8-12, with virtual BIO One-on-One Partnering as well as expert-level educational content. One of the sessions, entitled " How will healthcare systems adapt to the Post-COVID-19 World?", invited many world-renowned biotech company directors and experts, including Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, IGES Institute GmbH, CSL Behring and Crowell & Moring International LLC (CMI) to share their precious opinions.
The Covid-19 pandemic has created unprecedented disruption for the global health and development community. Organizations fighting infectious disease, supporting health workers, delivering social services, and protecting livelihoods have moved to the very center of the world’s attention. But they find their work complicated by challenges of access, safety, supply chain logistics, and financial stress like never before.
Alan F. Eisenberg, vice president of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals pointed out that the epidemic has led to a reduction in taxation and economic activity, coupled with the aging population, which has embarrassed the US health care system. This problem has existed since the beginning of the epidemic. The national health insurance program in the US (Medicare) expects that by 2026, the reserves will be exhausted, and will even face a crisis as early as 2023. It’s time to start thinking about options for the next few years, and how the US health care system works in private and public (medical insurance).
Fabian Berkemeier, director of IGES Institute GmbH said that in Europe, especially during the economic depression, medicines are often the main goal to reduce healthcare costs, thereby saving money. But COVID-19 is an economic crisis that eventually evolved into a healthcare crisis. Under the epidemic, the connection between hospitals and doctors and medicines is indispensable, because the public is not clear about innovative pharmaceuticals. It is essential to work together to maintain patients’ visits, especially for expensive and highly innovative treatment methods. Both patients and the industry want patients to receive treatment.
Stefan Neudoerfer, senior director of CSL Behring said that Europe is divided into compulsory insurance and government-provided medical care. To cope with the epidemic, the European Union is expected to launch a stimulus package of about 700billion euros to help the government and industry get back on track. (The European Commission will assess the needs of countries to allocate funds) In fact, the European health care system should learn from this pandemic so that it can better take relative measures in the future. This is a cooperation opportunity between the payers and the industry, especially after the "priority rescue" happened. He emphasized that COVID-19 is a new infectious disease that will put pressure on the advancement of the health care system.
China is the country with the earliest outbreak. Helen Chen, China Partner of L.E.K. Consulting said that during the outbreak, people will not go to the hospital and instead seek online consultation. Therefore, the use of telemedicine in China has increased significantly. For example, “Ping An Good Doctor” is a medical service application operated by a large insurance company. In addition, Alibaba Health registered 9 times more registrations than the previous year. She said that these emerging network platforms are very important for the expansion of digital health. Automated AI and public health, clinical trials and digital platforms will attract attention. In addition, China and the world are discussing the safety and supply of Covid-19 drugs and vaccines, which is the future trend.
Recently, Kois Caring Finance also concluded investable models of healthcare in a post-COVID-19 world.
They concluded 6 most promising models including telemedicine, point of care diagnostics, affordable medical devices, electronic health records (EHR) and analytics, patient education and awareness platforms and self-health management enablers. In brief, Telemedicine and digital platforms help people find curated health-related information and get connected to their doctors or medicine treatment “anytime, anywhere”. Point-of-care (POC) devices will be very useful in the coming days as governments conduct contact tracing, screening at entry points like airports, and mass screenings for high-probability populations. These devices can also be connected to a central monitoring facility to track, validate, analyze and archive test results.
All in all, COVID-19 will continue and the changing of life and healthcare continues as well. People tend to use technologies that make healthcare more personalized, accessible, and affordable. The government, payers and biotechnology companies all need to take innovative and flexible emergency measures to face the harsh reality together.
1. BIO Digital: https://www.bio.org/events/bio-digital/sessions#2020-06-08
2. Healthcare in a post-COVID-19 world: investable models: https://koisinvest.com/
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