Unpacking 3 Healthcare Innovation Trends for 2021

A significant part of 2020 has been riddled with the COVID-19 pandemic, thus negatively affecting the healthcare sector. To combat some of these challenges, there are several healthcare innovations to look out for in the upcoming year.

According to WHO Health Innovation Group (WHIG), sister group of the World Health Organization (WHO) whose premise is to endorse and pursue health innovation within the organization, “health innovation is to develop new or improved health policies, systems, products and technologies, and services and delivery methods that improve people’s health, with a special focus on the needs of vulnerable populations.”

Following an article published by McKinsey & Company in November 2020, there are two key healthcare innovations to look out for in treating COVID- 19. First is a special stethoscope that is used in Israel, by Sheba Medical Centre in collaboration with TytoCare.

This special stethoscope was designed to ensure that COVID- 19 patients receive the necessary healthcare while they remain in their homes. The innovative features of this device is that it listens to the patients’ hearts and displays images of their lungs to a care team that can come to their aid at any given time.

The second healthcare innovation is in the United States of America, wherein Zipline, a drone delivery company that delivers medical supplies to remote areas, has partnered with Novant Health in North Carolina, where they use drones to dispense supplies to hospitals.

Coming to South Africa, and not falling short of another innovation to anticipate in the healthcare sector, is One Eight Innovation’s ActiGraft a treatment that heals chronic wounds by using patients’ own blood.

While highlighting some of the trends that can be observed in medical technology, it is imperative to acknowledge the factors grossly affecting the healthcare sector, as this has resulted in the urgency for the healthcare sector to urgently adopt innovative ways for effective healthcare.

Essentially, enhanced innovation trends, particularly in the healthcare sector, needs healthcare practitioners to be harbingers of a more effective, resourceful and fair healthcare system.

By Moshe Lichtenstein, CEO of One8Innovation

Edited by Jenna Delport
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