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Besides technology, biomedical research is expected to receive a boost in a post pandemic world: Dr Manjiri Bakre

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Dr Manjiri Bakre, Founder and CEO, OncoStem Diagnostics

The COVID-19 pandemic has in a way catapulted healthcare towards a futuristic path. While digitisation, telehealth, use of robotics and AI were already ushering in a new era in healthcare, the pandemic has served to fast-forward those developments. The repercussions of this technological leap will certainly be felt over the coming years.

We have already witnessed an explosive adoption of telehealth this past year, necessitated by the need for social distancing and safety. This adoption will continue to surge in the coming years until telehealth becomes a key element in healthcare delivery. For rural and remote populations which lack adequate healthcare facilities, penetration of telehealth based platforms will help bring greater equity in healthcare delivery.

We will witness faster adoption of digital health tools across the spectrum including in hospitals, pathologies and diagnostic centres. At the same time, the crisis is expected to trigger a global response towards better pandemic identification and management. The use of Artificial Intelligence based tools to detect and identify such outbreaks will become a norm. Remember how a Canadian startup called BlueDot used AI-based algorithms to detect the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan, much before public health authorities anywhere had taken note of it? Deployment of such AI based technology will become a regular feature of pandemic management systems.

Besides technology, biomedical research is expected to receive a boost in a post pandemic world. With a microscopic virus bringing the world to its knees, there is greater realisation that greater investment in medical research will help boost our preparedness against future crisis. After all, after healthcare workers it is the scientists and medical researchers who have emerged as the real Heroes of this global fight, delivering vaccines in record time.
Healthcare will also witness a greater shift towards personalisation of treatment.

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