COVID-19 PANDEMIC - 3 YEARS LATER
How Has Healthcare Changed?
As we enter year 3 since the COVID-19 pandemic spread worldwide, we wanted to take a look at what has changed and what came out of such a monumental and historical event.
Looking back, no one knew how long COVID-19 would be prevalent, relevant and the long-term effects it would have on the world. From stay-at-home orders, travel restrictions, the toilet paper shortage/hoarding fiasco, to Q-tips in our noses becoming a “normal” way to test. The world changed fast, and healthcare systems and companies did all they could to keep up.
One thing is for certain, while the healthcare system tried to keep up with the ongoing and ever-changing orders and Public Health Emergency – going to the doctor for regular visits and more were few and far between.
With the risks of getting sick in addition to the social distancing protocols, some doctors' offices were limited regarding visits and more, keeping up with your health beyond COVID-19 infection was in the back of many minds.
- At-Home Testing
- While there were companies already offering at-home testing, it wasn’t as prevalent as it is becoming.
- Testing ourselves wasn’t something many of us were used to – until the rapid antigen tests came onto the market and everyone was able to know their COVID-19 status in twenty minutes or less.
- Now people are turning to at-home testing to know more about their health beyond COVID-19 infections.
- When you got sick or had other health concerns, if you needed immediate assistance many people would take the time to head to their general practitioner or urgent care. However, telehealth services have become a widely used method of receiving care.
- Telehealth is still a growing practice with many private insurance companies having their own system and availability for their carriers. The same also goes for Medicare and Medicaid.
- The use of telehealth helps those individuals with less serious and treatable illnesses.
- Chances are, if you’ve utilized a telehealth platform, you’ve had a prescription sent to your pharmacy directly. This term is commonly used as “eRX”, or “e-prescribing”.
- eRX can be utilized for a variety of illnesses. And we expect the eRX system to continue to grow with telehealth and at-home testing.
- Some practices are already taking on eRX refills that get sent directly to your home while many are still sending them directly to your local pharmacy for same-day pick-up.
- The Use of Masks
- While the use of masks became a national and state-by-state debate among the government, private companies, and individuals, the benefits of masks proved to make a difference.
- Many individuals are now regularly using masks while in public places, or when they are sick themselves to help lessen exposure to those around them.
- The Knowledge of Long Covid
- While Long Covid is still being researched and understood, there is no denying its existence.
- Long Covid can affect anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19. However, depending on your vaccination status, age, race and other factors, your susceptibility will vary.
- Long Covid can affect many different areas of the body from brain fog to heart and lung issues and more. It’s important to talk to your doctor if you have continued to feel ill, well after your initial COVID-19 diagnosis.
While we are still seeing the long-term effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen some good come out of it. Telehealth, at-home collection kits and more have brought everyone closer to controlling and knowing their own health.
Long Covid Conditions - What You Need to Know
Test To Treat with COVID-19
What to Expect More of?
While technology continues to boom, the healthcare industry tries to keep up. There is no denying that as a consumer, your health and your concerns are what matter. With that, we expect to see more at-home testing, more telehealth options, eRX to continue to grow – all of which allows you to be in the driver's seat of your health.
While you utilize at-home testing, a telehealth provider, and eRX in conjunction, you will be accessing all of this, essentially, from the palm of your hand – just by using your phone. The future of medicine is continuing to keep up with the technology that's growing every day, and we expect to see the growth of all mentioned and more in the future.
What was realized during the pandemic was the ability to allow consumers, like yourselves, the ease and access of healthcare quickly, easily and privately. And this is just the beginning.
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