The pandemic challenges
A pandemic sparked a revolution. I would say an evolution. When doing a global analysis of the current scenario, look at the movements that caused the world economy to collapse. The rise and fall of stock market indices remain a concern. However, a more macro and activated look allows us to see how the Coronavirus motivated companies to produce quick coping responses.
In recent months, companies have changed their operating strategies, established new priorities, created business and management models. And when we talk about health management, the reaction of the sector had to be quick and this has been essential to face this Covid 19 pandemic. In response to the crisis, health companies have bet on new trends in health care and expansion of the offer of services. New digital channels strengthen the relationship with the customer and allow to meet market demands. Given this scenario, telemedicine emerges as a powerful ally in the sector. The change in social behavior, caused by the isolation measures, stimulated investments in this niche – today a promising solution not only for companies, but also for the population, who can receive fast, safe and effective medical care at home.
Allowing for easy access, continuous and individualized monitoring, telemedicine is the main bet of the sector. Even in force, exceptionally, this platform shows that it is here to stay, collaborating significantly with measures to combat the pandemic, avoiding the circulation of people, reducing exposure to the risks of contagion, both for patients and doctors, assistants in clinics and overload in emergency care hospital units. In addition to being an important tool for regions far from large centers to have access to specialized medicine.
The consumption habits of the population have changed the customer’s ways of relating to services as well, and this is an environment conducive to innovation. Companies have implemented differentiated service models, such as the drive thru system, where patients do not need to get out of the car to be served. There is an expansion of home services, in which patients receive care at home safety, in a practical and efficient way. Exclusive units for examining patients with suspected disease are also available. These are resolute and important processes that are part of the new routine of the Brazilian consumer.
When speaking of assertive measures, the pandemic ignites another warning that cannot be overlooked: Brazilian medicine cannot rely exclusively on inputs supplied by the foreign market. Headlines have been showing examples of companies facing the challenges of dependence on these imports for weeks. It is necessary to design a new production chain within Brazil to subsidize and enhance the sector’s activities. The benefits in the short, medium, and long term are countless, but we can start by talking about generating jobs and income for the population, in addition to stimulating new business and developing new products.
And how to talk about the past, present, and future, without talking about knowledge? Not to mention science? This global crisis has a very peculiar aspect: the great relevance of science for social and economic well-being. And it is in favor of the health of the population and the financial health of the countries, that the situation shows us how essential it is that governments encourage research and foster innovation. A challenge that needs to be overcome for the maintenance of ongoing clinical trials and research projects.
Covid 19 calls on business leaders to think ‘outside the box’ and to seek cooperation. We are at a unique moment to establish strategic partnerships, create new business models, join efforts, and devise measures that give society real answers and solutions. It is time to invest in innovation and technology, develop projects that leverage specific areas such as scientific and clinical research, telemedicine, health-oriented artificial intelligence. More than ever investing in improving end-to-end processes for greater efficiency, expanding the care network, and ensuring the sustainability of the health sector.
Executive President of Grupo Sabin Medicina Diagnóstica