The way we access health care has not changed in the last 1,000 years, but huge advances in diagnostics, medical devices and disease prevention mean we are seeing the focus change from delivery of services to patients within hospitals to being able to receive much of our care remotely.
At the height of the pandemic, we witnessed intense pressure on hospital beds as the number of seriously ill Covid-19 patients grew, but, as conditions ease, we would still expect to see an acceleration in the shift of care away from inside to outside the hospital.
It is already proven that treating patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s, cancer, or heart disease within hospitals is the most expensive and the lowest-quality way to administer care.
Health care systems have already started to move people away from in-hospital care, but the growth of alternative methods of treatment should help to facilitate this trend, with areas such as remote monitoring continuing to gain traction. A good example is a coin-sized ‘sticker’ that can monitor the glucose levels of diabetics for 14 days to ensure blood-sugar levels remain within a safe range, and which can be scanned via a mobile phone; it is a lot more pleasant and accurate than the traditional finger-prick testing that many diabetics currently receive.
There will be huge pressure for people to have access to telemedicine, enabled by remote diagnostics and better technology. We would also anticipate a marked shift in how health care companies market their medicines, so that instead of travelling to sell face-to-face, many more drugs will be sold online to doctors via virtual social communities.
The Global Research Team, Newton Investment Management
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