The COVID-19 pandemic challenged healthcare systems and supply chains worldwide. During this time of disease, populations worldwide took precautions to keep themselves and others safe. Doctors and other healthcare professionals struggled with the demand for care while searching for an effective vaccine. The use of technology was essential for keeping up with the spread of the disease and supporting large populations. Here are a few ways our experience during the COVID-19 pandemic has helped transform our healthcare industry and introduced new practices and methods of enduring epidemics.
Artificial intelligence was essential for the rapid development of vaccines and for keeping track of the spread of disease. With AI tools, researchers and officials at the CDC could predict the spread of the disease across various communities, which helped inform public policy and fortify communities before the outbreak reached them. Artificial intelligence is also beneficial for the development of vaccines because it allows researchers to quickly search through thousands of data points and DNA strands to identify anomalies. AI tools were also used to effectively temperature check large crowds and identify potentially infected persons using facial recognition, despite face masks.
Though mRNA technology has been used since the 80s to treat various diseases, mRNA tech was essential in developing an effective COVID vaccine. With the demand for vaccines quickly rising worldwide, groups like Avantor, a “supplier for the largest biopharmaceutical manufacturers in the world,” jumped into action to support biopharma laboratories across the country in the development of mRNA vaccines. Messenger RNA is the strand in DNA responsible for the blueprints of proteins within the body. By programming mRNA with the Coronavirus proteins, the body will produce COVID antibodies, attacking those proteins when they recognize them within the antigen. Vaccines are one of the best ways to protect yourself and your community during disease outbreaks. Developing several COVID vaccines was essential for pulling the entire world out of the pandemic.
Telehealth and Remote Opportunities
During the pandemic, the CDC and other official sources urged people worldwide to social distance and stay home as much as possible. This need created many opportunities for people to work from home and take advantage of delivery services or telehealth options. Telehealth is an excellent opportunity for people to continue getting medical care while staying protected and not risking spreading disease by going to a doctor’s office. Many insurance companies offer a wide array of telehealth options, particularly mental health care. Since the pandemic outbreak, there have also been an increased number of remote work opportunities available. Taking advantage of these remote opportunities and instances to remain home became a meaningful way to protect against the pandemic.
Supply Chains and Distribution Networks
Supply chains around the world struggled during the demand of the pandemic. This period seriously challenged distribution networks worldwide and showed the need for updated inventory management systems for many supply chains. New and improved inventory tracking and management technology such as RFID codes are essential for these systems to stay on top of demand. The COVID pandemic weeded the weak supply chains and forced the entire industry to reconsider its sustainability in times of crisis.
The COVID pandemic challenged populations and healthcare systems worldwide, but it also showed us many opportunities for improved operations and safer ways of working and getting medical care. The lessons of the COVID pandemic will undoubtedly impact how we protect ourselves and others during future disease outbreaks.