Much of the current focus in health care is rightly on the near-term challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. But beyond the current crisis, health care technology veterans are already seeing major changes that promise to become permanent realities — from the sudden boom in telemedicine, to regulatory shifts impacting health care billing, to the use of location data to track the disease.
“Most interesting is what’s going to happen when this is over,” says Anne Weiler, the co-founder and former CEO of Seattle health tech startup Wellpepper, recently acquired by Caravan Health. “I don’t think people are going to be satisfied with going back to the status quo, because these other things are now working.”
“I think these regulatory changes represent a big shift in how health care will be delivered beyond 2020,” adds Nirav Shah, CEO of Sentinel Healthcare, a neurologist and the former stroke director at Swedish Hospital in Seattle. Sentinel recently launched a real-time fever tracking app for COVID-19 cases, and today announced that UT Health Austin will roll out its quarantine management program.
But it will be key to deliver solutions that actually work for front-line health care workers, says Doug Cusick, CEO of Seattle startup TransformativeMed, which is offering its electronic record keeping application to screen COVID-19 patients, monitor symptom checklists, and track lab results and other data.
“Look to technology to solve problems, but don’t forget about these poor clinicians who’ve been left out in the process,” Cusick explains. “The view has to be into solving these big communication and collaboration problems, which will enable so much else to work across our ecosystem.”
We introduced these health tech leaders recently and brought them together for their insights into the COVID-19 crisis. The conversation quickly turned to the long-term implications for hospitals, clinicians, startups, patients and health technology.
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(As a bonus, here are some of Anne Weiler’s recommended Twitter accounts to follow, which she alluded to during the show: @ScottGottliebMD, @RanaAwdish, @meganranney, @leorahorwitzmd, @DrSidMukherjee, @UrbaneDoc4Kids, @Farzad_MD, @ShawnteJamesMD.)