The full onslaught of the pandemic in 2020 fundamentally changed the way healthcare was delivered amid social distancing measures, which should make virtual healthcare a continued focus in 2022.
Amid the introduction of the Omicron variant, more patients could be doing their annual check-ups online via telemedicine delivery options. This ensures that patients can get consultations with their doctors without running the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
“Regardless of what happens with the pandemic next year (2022), the shift to virtual care and care-at-home will continue to accelerate,” said Shah, chief technology officer at Biofourmis. “Beyond telehealth visits, 2022 will see increased adoption of hospital-at-home and remote patient management because healthcare providers have seen how feasible it is, and payers are recognizing the inherent cost savings.”
“Most importantly, patients much prefer to be at home instead of a hospital and all stakeholders are realizing that optimal outcomes can be achieved outside of a medical facility,” Shah added further. “That shift means healthcare organizations will need to work closely with virtual care providers to ensure their networks—and patients’ personal health information (PHI)—is protected from any vulnerabilities.”
An underlying theme for healthcare appears to be continued digitization. Patients will want healthcare delivered faster and more efficiently.
“If 2021 is a bellwether for the coming years in healthcare technology, the demands on providers, health plans and all other stakeholders will only continue to accelerate,” said Russ Thomas, CEO of Availity. “Healthcare consumers have had a taste of what this industry can achieve during the pandemic—and they want more, and they want it faster.”
One ETF to Capture the Digital Upside
A continued move towards telemedicine and digital healthcare will benefit the Global X Telemedicine and Digital Health ETF (EDOC). EDOC seeks to invest in companies positioned to benefit from further advances in the field of telemedicine and digital health — this includes companies involved in telemedicine, healthcare analytics, connected healthcare devices, and administrative digitization.
The fund offers investors the following:
- High growth potential: EDOC enables investors to access high growth potential through companies at the leading edge of a structural trend affecting the global healthcare industry.
- An unconstrained approach: The fund’s composition transcends classic sector, industry, and geographic classifications by tracking an emerging theme.
- ETF efficiency: In a single trade, EDOC delivers access to dozens of companies with high exposure to the telemedicine and digital health theme.
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