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How COVID-19 Has Influenced Health IT?
To begin with, we can distinguish three main areas in which the pandemic is literally forcing the development of medical software. They are:
1. Demand for virtual environments for outpatient care;
2. Regional registries for resource coordination;
3. Using AI to analyze data during the treatment.
Let's start with the first point. Why are virtual environments becoming more in-demand?
The answer lies in the outpatient care transformation itself. Andersen’s partner from the United States (at the time of writing, the US has the highest death toll from COVID-2019 in the world) reports that the number of face-to-face visits to health facilities in several regions has decreased by 75%.
People are following quarantine measures, maintaining social distancing, and are not willing to put themselves at risk by coming for a check-up. And here is when video attendance technology comes to the rescue. The patient stays at home and communicates with the doctor via a special platform built into their electronic health record (EHR).
This functionality existed before too, but it didn’t have much credibility among users. However, during the pandemic, we have seen an increase in the demand for remote outpatient care by up to 2000%!
Obviously, those healthcare facilities that didn’t have their own platform are now very concerned about creating one. Some facilities have systems that only exist formally and are outdated and unoptimized - so now they are simply unable to cope with the twenty-fold increased load. Finally, let us remind you that the use of third-party platforms like Facetime, Skype, or Zoom doesn't comply with the requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and may lead to violations of patient confidentiality.
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