From now on, history will be split into two distinct parts: before the coronavirus pandemic, and after it.
The spread of COVID-19 has led to changes across the board for people and businesses alike, and we’re all just trying to keep up! With a situation that’s changing so fast, it’s tough to make any predictions about what the future may look like.
That said, there’s no question that testing for COVID-19 will become an almost everyday occurrence. But how else will it disrupt the healthcare industry?
Here’s what we think might happen...
Much of the coronavirus testing debate has been centered on volume. Put simply: are we testing enough?
One solution to bring up the numbers — and to ensure safety and stability as we move beyond this phase of the pandemic — is testing at home. The only problem? Many of the home testing kits which have already been brought to market — like those made by Everlywell — are not FDA-approved. And the Food and Drug Administration changed its guidelines on March 21st 2020 to ban the collection of samples in the home.
There’s no doubt that these FDA restrictions will disrupt the adoption of home testing for COVID-19. But, as the situation progresses, it wouldn’t surprise us if the guidelines were revisited and relaxed.
Just as recent weeks have taught many the benefits of video conferencing, it’s likely that digital health solutions will see an uplift, too.
From remote consultations with doctors, to full-fledged remote diagnosis devices, there are various technologies which can enable a digital healthcare future. More specifically, these advancements make contactless healthcare possible, which may well be necessary if social distancing becomes the norm.
Throw in the widespread adoption of real-time 5G connectivity and it’s easy to see how our physical health support will finally be online too.
As the old saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention.
In the case of the coronavirus crisis, being apart has forced us to find new ways to take care of not just our physical health, but our mental health too.
The combination of stress and confusion, and the inevitable cabin fever which sets in during lockdown, has led to a huge boost in the use of mental health apps and websites. The download of mindfulness apps increased by 25% in March, totaling 750,000 downloads. Interestingly, users are also logging in to group meditation practices, seeking a much-needed sense of community and belonging.
If nothing else, this surge in use is clear evidence that quality mental healthcare and support systems aren't just in demand — it’s a genuine need.
We built Blackcreek on a foundation of design-led innovation, and we’ve been privileged with the opportunity of putting our skills to use during the coronavirus pandemic, whether it’s by directly participating in the fight by helping companies launch home-based COVID-19 testing, or helping non-profits weather the storm by accelerating their digital transformation and online channels.
If, like many others, you’re wondering which direction to push your brand as we venture into this new normal, we’d love to talk.