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By 2030, there will be more emphasis on prevention, increased public awareness and better management of chronic medical conditions: Dr Arun Kalyanasundaram

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Dr Arun Kalyanasundaram, Director, Pro-med Hospital, Chennai

2020 has been a challenging year to say the least. It has tested the healthcare setup in most countries, and exposed the weaknesses in several developed countries. The effects of the pandemic would likely be felt over the next 1-2 years as we gradually emerge from its clutches. Yet, this is not the first epidemic, nor will it be the last. Zoonotic diseases, and ways to reduce these, need to be studied, along with early warning systems for epidemics before they reach the pandemic level. Investment in critical care is essential.

Patients with comorbid conditions have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. By 2030, there will be more emphasis on prevention, increased awareness amongst the public and better management of chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease.

On a positive note, the pandemic has also shown how healthcare could be more efficient. Technology will play an important role in patient-doctor visits, from video conferencing, e-prescriptions to remote monitoring. There will also be better management of chronic diseases, and potentially rewards who make healthier lifestyle choices. Respect for the environment and better research into pandemics is an absolute must moving into the next decade.

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