By the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the direction of technology-driven progress was thrown off course this year. Although artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and other fields of the fourth industrial revolution continue to be the greatest drivers of change, their effect has been felt in different ways than we would have expected at the beginning of the year.
On critical issues such as protection, resources, data availability, and infrastructure, COVID-19 illustrated the vulnerability of healthcare organizations around the world. It became apparent from the beginning that it was not possible to “go it alone,” in terms of relying on the supply lines and capabilities of an organization itself. This led to ad hoc partnerships to provide funding and capacity to resolve the epidemic, with manufacturers, suppliers, and non-healthcare firms jumping in. This mentality would build on successful organizations, seeking ways to close gaps and innovate with partners who bring specific talents to solve issues. Even payday loan organizations like Directloantransfer.com are trying to provide affected people support.
Drug discovery powered by AI
The COVID-19 pandemic has centered on drug discovery, which involves microscopic visualization of molecules and proteins, classification of millions of chemical structures, screening in silico, protein-ligand interaction, genomic analysis, and data assimilation from organized and unstructured sources. Typically, drug production takes more than 10 years; however, pharmaceutical firms, biotechs, and researchers have recognized that accelerating conventional approaches is paramount in the aftermath of COVID. With GPU-accelerated instruments and AI models, new AI-driven discovery labs will speed up the time for knowledge discovery, creating a computational time machine.
A modern cybersecurity age
In 2020, hackers stepped up their attempts to target healthcare providers to go beyond phishing assaults and stealing data to sell on the dark web. Ransomware attacks have shut down IT systems and slowed down operations at hospitals and healthcare facilities across the United States, especially during the second half of the year. As a protective measure, after hackers targeted six hospitals with ransomware within 24 hours, even organizations that didn’t have a security incident cut off external emails and enhanced scanning of incoming emails in October. The attacks stressed the importance of strong cybersecurity and investments in the safe storage of data. In order to prevent attacks and repair vulnerabilities, IT teams will need to efficiently communicate, have good cyber hygiene to prevent any “if’s” and “when’s”
Managing big data is becoming a must
As 2020 began, the digital transformation of healthcare systems was well underway, and the pandemic demonstrated the need for centralized and effective data management. During the pandemic, data collection and monitoring activities have intensified, and even small organizations are looking at deploying the cloud to store and organize data safely. Microsoft, Amazon, and Google all have clouds that are unique to healthcare. The stakes are higher for academic medical centers as safe research becomes a higher priority.
Expect to see a greater movement in the price of prescription drugs, either through a joint initiative between pharmaceutical groups or through attempts to import them. For the 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions, pre-existing terminology will continue to be shielded. This has been made a core aspect of this initiative by the Biden administration, so coverage will be maintained for those covered under the ACA. An expansion or modification of the existing ACA is likely to be proposed, but it will be delayed in Congress so that the current law will remain largely unchanged. Early remarks suggest that it is unlikely that the Supreme Court would absolutely strike down the statute, which will be a relief to many during a pandemic.
From current data and information, smart hospitals can generate actionable insights for the entire organization. Patient medical records and operational data will continue to be digitized and mixed with experiential data, non-traditional sources of third-party information, and data, such as wearables and other devices from the Internet of Things. In order to automate activities and processes and to promote decision-making for their medical and administrative staff, hospitals that have implemented digital technology are leveraging their data. Hospitals should integrate knowledge into their business environments in the near future so that they can use the information to optimize internal processes and minimize overhead costs.
The pandemic was a tragedy that tested all of us. Yet COVID-19 has shed a bright light on the structural challenges that have slowed healthcare development. We can make a range of major changes and transcend the entrenched status quo with increased value-based care, improvements in our development and data collection infrastructure, expanded access, and improved maternal outcomes.
Just like every corporation will be focused on healthcare going into 2021, so will every local authority and city planner. The main word is “resilience,” with increased resources dedicated to the advancement of technology to help prevent the devastating effects of pandemics and outbreaks on lives and economies. Environmental health is also a big theme, and as we step into our 20s, technology programs aimed at mitigating air pollution and increasing resistance to climate change, such as temperature and sea-level rise, are likely to take center stage.