3 healthcare trends to watch out for in 2021

by Felix Staeritz

Photo by Hush Naidoo on Unsplash

COVID-19 is showing us how vulnerable our healthcare system is. The need for change becomes more obvious with every week that this pandemic holds on. I collected three healthcare trends to watch out for in 2021.

1. Decentralisation of the Healthcare System and the rise of digital companions
Corona has been a catalyst for change that was already in the process of happening. Bringing vulnerable patients into potentially contaminated doctors’ waiting rooms was inconvenient and risky before Covid-19, but it became unacceptably dangerous during the pandemic.

As a result of Covid-19, healthcare is decentralising even faster to move outside of traditional hospitals into the everyday lives of patients. An important part of this will be the Digital Patient Companions which will continue to rise after their big jump in 2020 with the introduction of the first DiGAs (health apps that can now be reimbursed by the German payors). One example of this new development is alley, a digital companion helping arthritis patients through their journey.

2. New platforms to manage new digital players
With the advent of new digital health apps and technologies (such as wearables that contain medical devices, like the Apple Watch), the current IT landscape is being disrupted, creating an unmanageable archipelago of insular solutions. Providers and insurers will be calling for a harmonised platform that appraises apps which will improve quality of care and decrease costs.

Developing these solutions requires structural freedom to try out new things and strong interaction with entrepreneurs and incumbents.

3. Direct-to-consumer becomes crucial for pharmaceutical companies
In 2021 the pharma distribution chain is getting disintermediated as more and more prescriptions are being fulfilled through digital platforms, giving rise to direct-to-consumers players and telemedicine providers. These create new critical control points outside of those that pharma maintained in the past. Furthermore, pharma needs more direct access to patients to generate real-world evidence cost-effectively, which is both a legal requirement and an economic necessity.

In the From the web section, I collected the best articles for you to illustrate the trends that I have been portraying above.

I wish you a good start into this important year. Let’s make it count.




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