How the pandemic has accelerated healthcare innovation

What we thought were barriers — testing, regulations, political will — have turned out not to matter much at all

Why It Matters

Healthcare has fundamentally changed in the wake of COVID-19, with many providers reaching up to 90 percent virtual encounters. But adapting to virtual service delivery is only one of the many important ways healthcare innovation — which has historically been sluggish — has accelerated during this time.

Many have remarked that more innovation has transpired in the past several weeks than in decades prior. And indeed, that has been my experience in the sector I work in — healthcare. I lead the Futures team for a 112-year-old Canadian non-profit organization that primarily delivers care to aging adults in their homes, some 20,000 times a day. Over the past several weeks, much of our work “future proofing” our organization has been accelerated, because needs and constraints of our clients, staff and partners changed in an instant when the pandemic began. New models of delivering care that reduce the risk of personal contact and keep people in their homes became one of the highest demand

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