Healthcare Everywhere and Anywhere: The 2021 Trends That Will Make Us Better
After a year like 2020, we all need to believe that 2021 will be better. That we will emerge from the pandemic stronger and smarter, and that we will have earned a few months of stability, health and wellness. I certainly have that hope for my family and friends. Beginning distribution of the vaccine means that we are well on the way to a brighter year for many.
In searching for these signs of hope in the new year, I’ve come across top trends that will help shape the year for us as healthcare consumers, business owners, caregivers and people who want to improve our everyday lives.
Because of COVID-19, personal safety, health and risk management are everywhere and have become a consideration in every aspect of daily life. Who would have imagined a society in which we wear face coverings to the grocery or take temperatures before entering a basketball arena? And yet, most of us have converted our lifestyles to accommodate managing the everyday dangers of a pandemic.
What this means for us in practical terms is that businesses are more closely watching their insurance premiums and enacting those long-discussed benefits like care coordination and work-from-home policies. Health and wellness even affects real estate considerations – do I need that much space for employees, or can I hire the right people to work remotely?
Healthcare everywhere includes environmental health – from having a safer and healthier home environment – to tackling how pollution and climate change will affect long-term policy-making.
The pandemic has made certain that “good health” is not an abstract idea, or one that affects us in our 70s, it’s right here – and everywhere. Given our recent experience, I expect good health to remain a top priority, even after we are well past COVID-19.
Healthcare Anywhere, Anytime:
During the pandemic, virtual care visits became the norm as at-risk patients decided that virtual would be the better option, if at all possible. Technology has long enabled remote monitoring of certain conditions, but the confines of the pandemic have pushed usage. Combined with the new-normal of virtual visits, staying on top of your health can happen anywhere.
Prioritizing health includes mental health – which has soared as a significant challenge during the isolation and fear that COVID-19 has caused. In fact, in 2021, it’s expected that one third of all virtual care appointments will be mental health related.
This anywhere/anytime option for healthcare is actually a good outcome from a terrible year. Circumstances have changed consumer behavior in a very short time compared to the many years usually need to convert behavioral norms. And 2020 saw a healthy return of the medical house call from family physicians, which will continue into 2021.
It goes without saying that technology is what enables many of humanity’s advances, especially in healthcare. You’ll find technology on every list of trends, including this one, because it touches much of our medical world.
But what excites me are the human possibilities in 2021. So, my top trends are:
- The potential for human connection. We have all been so starved for spending in-person time with our community, that once that is safe, I have deep hope that society will experience renewed warmth and expansive kindness to one another.
- Equity in health disparities. 2021 will be year of great strides in medical and health equity as companies dig deep to better understand their employees and how to engage all in managing their own health.
- A holistic approach. This trend is NOT new at PyxisCare, in fact, it’s the very core of why I founded PyxisCare over 12 years ago. However, I’ve enjoyed seeing this approach become a “trend” to follow, as others begin to understand the interconnectedness of one’s mental, physical, financial, legal and environmental wellness.
Happy New Year, and I look forward to connecting with you in 2021.