Health Tech trends had been diverted last year due to the impact of the COVID. Yet the emerging results are very real and for 2021.
What do you think the defining healthy living trends of 2021 will be? Here are a few to keep your eye on.
Distanced and Digital
1. Telemedicine. Virtual doctor’s appointments were already catching on before the pandemic began, and they’re most likely here to stay. Some visits will still need to be done in person, of course, but don’t be surprised if others, like therapy sessions and quick check-ins, stay digital. The adoption rate has skyrocketed in part because of convenience but also low cost. During the first quarter of 2020, the number of Telehealth visits increased by 50%, compared with the same period in 2019, with a 154% increase in visits noted in surveillance week 13 in 2020, compared with the same period in 2019.
2. Ditching the Gym. As social distancing remains a part of life, many people are skipping the gym for good. Everyday routines now include exercising outside as much as possible or turning to apps and videos to find quality solo or group workouts. Health Insurers have doubled down on member gym rewards and expansion to ages as young as 13. Additionally, attending classes has been also recognized. For example, Oxford Health Plans sponsored Chelsea Piers Fitness Virtual Classes.
3. Genomic Breakthrough. Scientists have already made many advances in treatments of killer diseases, including Duchenne muscular Dystrophy, heart disease, and cancer. Due to breakthroughs in this field, we’re likely to see accelerated development of forms of treatment known as “precision medicine,” where drugs can be customized to match the genetic profile of individual patients, making them more effective, as well as less likely to cause unwanted side-effects. Just imagine custom prescriptions based on your genetics.
4. Data and Artificial Intelligence analytics. The coronavirus pandemic has shown us that there is a willingness to share our personal data when the benefits to our health are clearly communicated. This has been proven by track-and-trace systems that have reliably kept infection levels in check in some regions (though less so in others). This will be particularly important from a financial point of view. The coronavirus pandemic has been costly for the healthcare industry, with revenues falling by 50% in the US due to patients avoiding hospitals and surgeries. This will lead to an increased reliance on AI-driven prediction tools to forecast where resources can be used most efficiently. Insurance providers will also step up their use of advanced predictive technology to better understand risk and more accurately set premiums.
5. Prioritizing mental health. A stressful 2020 placed mental health needs in the spotlight. As a result, many individuals, families, and workplaces feel more comfortable discussing this essential topic. Expect to see a continued focus on stress relief, honest communication, coping techniques, and more. To be sure Yoga has been widely recognized under the gym rewards.
6. Thoughtful cooking and eating. You’ll also probably see a continuing emphasis on sustainable and locally sourced food. This means more home and community gardens, creative and collaborative cooking, and supporting your favorite restaurants by ordering takeout. Overall, in 2021 we’ll be more aware of food sourcing and quality than ever before. People have become more comfortable cooking healthy meals as a health measure and nice savings.
7. Future Planning
After managing so much uncertainty these past few months, preparing for the future has become more urgent. Estate planning, exploring your life insurance options, and taking advantage of your health coverage are all continuing priorities.
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