Facing health challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic is an eye-opening experience. We have always taken our doctors and nurses for granted and expected them to cure our ailments. However, never have we faced an epidemic that puts the healthcare workers’ lives at high risk. Governments all around the world have to agree: Health care systems are, unfortunately, underfunded. Many workers struggle to get sufficient protective equipment in the long term. Those who use protective masks have shared selfies of their bruised and tired faces on social media at the end of a long shift. The word heroes has now become a synonym for health care workers. Nobody can deny how hard our doctors and nurses are working to keep us safe and save lives in the current situation. As a result, it is fair to expect that our interactions with the healthcare community are going to be changed after the pandemic.
Doctors and nurses find new ways to get in touch
Face-to-face interactions are not always an option, as COVID-19 is demonstrating. As a result, many doctors and nurses have looked for alternatives to engage with their patients and maintain regular contact. Patients who require ventilation assistance can use a tablet to talk to their relatives safely, for instance. Many health care workers recommend virtual and digital appointments whenever possible. Consequently, the future of health care is going to embrace digital interactions. Using mobile devices and apps allow for patient engagement, and catch-ups, not only with doctors and nurses but also with family and friends for hospitalised individuals. Additionally, we can also expect wearable technology to make an appearance in the post-COVID world, reducing the need for physical interactions and checkups for chronic diseases, for instance.
Perhaps it’s time for health selfies
Selfies have always been a popular way of sharing exciting experiences. Are you visiting a new country? Selfie it is! Meeting friends for a casual meal? Take a picture to remember the occasion. While some influencers and social media addicts might be causing a selfie overload, we still cherish the joy of sharing meaningful events through pictures. As we find out more about the role of health care workers in the pandemic, the Marvel heroes of the past are being replaced by casual doctor selfies. Many countries plan for free accommodation, free meals, or even a round of applause for their healthcare workers. How are those signs of appreciation going to carry on after the pandemic crisis? Chances are that more and more patients will be tempted to take a selfie with their doctor at the end of an appointment. #MedicalSelfie
I can do this online
It is a wakeup call for many of us who value face-to-face meetings. The belief that your doctor has to see you is being questioned. Indeed, can doctors offer a diagnosis without meeting their patients? The answer is yes, to a certain extent. Indeed, common ailments and health complaints could be quickly diagnosed via a video chat with your doctor. You can seize the opportunity to receive a prescription quickly, and reduce the risk of infection for people in the waiting room. Flu, common cold, or even a stomach bug could be kept safely at home, using virtual diagnosis and prescription tools. As a result, patients can also reduce pressure on doctors.
COVID-19 is transforming our perception of the health care system. We can expect a digitised health care world to appear at the end of the pandemic. Is it for the better? Only time will tell!