The Covid-19 pandemic took with it the lives of many of our loved ones. Yet somehow, we have managed to pull through, and 2022 is the year the world finally returns to normal. All this would not have been possible without the countless sacrifices laid down by the teams of paramedics, nurses, physicians and the greater scientific community.
The pandemic taught us the lesson that health is not for granted. We need to take care of our health by making lifestyle adjustments and adopt changes necessary to live in a new reality. It has started a healthcare revolution with ramifications for our entire healthcare system.
Transformations in healthcare policies, facilitations in care provision and delivery, and the use of technology in all aspects of care and medicine are rapidly taking place.
The emergence of healthcare trends, accelerated by the events of the last two years, are making healthcare as sophisticated as possible.
Here are some of the best healthcare trends that came to light and will keep advancing well beyond 2022:
1. Increased demand for Nurse Practitioners
The last two years have seen a significant increase in the demand for not only advanced health practitioners and physicians but also for nurse practitioners.
Nurse practitioners (NPs) top the list of the most in-demand medical professionals in the last year. The basic salary for nurse practitioner increased 12% to 140,000$ in the year 2020/2021.
Nurse practitioners are playing an effective role in administering patient care, coordinating healthcare teams, aiding doctors in tending to critical patients, and carrying out various medical procedures.
The demand for nurse practitioners is likely to keep on increasing well into 2022.
2. Online Healthcare Services:
Because of the pandemic, and in compliance with the safety and distancing protocols, most people avoided unnecessary clinic and hospital visitations.
Instead, there was an uptick in the use of digital applications and websites, specifically designed for providing healthcare consultations, medical prescriptions, and diagnostic facilities.
The lockdown measures led to the public more readily adopting online healthcare services. In-person consultations, hassle-free prescriptions, and refilling of medications, diagnosis, and in-home testing services are now within everyone’s reach from the comfort of their own home.
Online health services are certainly going to keep making headway towards widespread adoption, well beyond the pandemic.
3. Vitals Tracking Devices:
Dropping oxygen saturation levels in patients is the most crucial symptom in cases of severe Covid infections. It is also the determiner for when to assist patients with externally supplied oxygen.
Oxygen monitoring devices, thus, gained widespread adoption in the public for their ease of use and ability to instantly tell one’s oxygen levels.
Health devices started to crop up everywhere assuaging people’s newfound fears around health. Apart from oxygen devices, there were the stress devices that regularly checked up on the user’s mental health. Our mental health took severe hits during the pandemic, necessitating the need for these devices to tell how we were doing mentally.
Moreover, personal EKG monitors, that allow you to check up on your cardiac health anytime, and metabolism tracker devices also gained popularity.
4. Prioritizing Mental Health:
Millions of people worldwide were confined to the indoors ever since the first lockdowns came into effect. These Covid-related measures took toll on our mental health, which greatly suffered during this time, as cases of stress and depression peaked.
Mental telehealth services are gaining popularity because they’re cost effective and easy to access. The widespread adoption of such services has resulted in record public spending in such services.
The world as we knew it came to a sudden halt, forcing us to face our issues head on. The World Health Organization (WHO) issued a research brief in March of 2022 claiming that the “global prevalence of anxiety and depression” reached 25% in the first year of the Covid-19.
Therefore, selfcare, stress and anxiety relieving strategies are a growing trend and have remained priorities for the last few years and will continue to be.
5. Improvements in Diet:
The use of herbs and spices as remedies to prevent Covid, the incorporation of vitamin C as a daily dietary requirement, or the increase in intake of healthy and nutritious foods—these are some trends the public adopted as part of precautionary measures against the virus and to boost the immune system.
Searches related to maintaining gut health and balancing gut microbial flora also increased among the people, who sought to bolster their immunity against pathogens.
BUPA, a health insurance organization, claimed that Google searches for “gut health” increased by 83%. Incorporating healthy foods into our daily diet is necessary for maintaining overall health and the trend for searching ways to incorporate healthy practices will continue to increase.
6. Health and Wellness Equipment:
Many brands make portable equipment that are designed specifically for the consumer to use for de-stressing, exercise, or for rejuvenation purposes.
Detoxifying face masks, body massagers, brain sensing headbands, smart self-cleaning water bottles, and smart thermometers are all types of equipment that facilitate one in taking care of their health and well-being.
Face yoga and sculpting are becoming increasingly fashionable and ubiquitous in the world of beauty. Gua Sha Stones, micro-needle devices, derma rollers, and face massage therapy tools are also garnering a lot of attention and have stayed trendy since the last few years.
The pandemic accelerated many healthcare trends, which have retained momentum well into the post-pandemic times. From online medicine to the adoption of healthcare gadgetry, technology surely has pulled forward and continues to make inroads into all areas of our lives. Care providers know the risks involved in applying cookie-cutter approaches to health issues. Technology does facilitate the option to provide personalized care across a wider section of population than is possible with in-person consultations. Doctors can make tailored treatment plans, considering the individual, unique needs of the patients. That’s why it is absolutely necessary for not only patients but the doctors and care providers as well to stay updated on the healthcare trends.