19/05/2020

Three health myths that the pandemic has brought down

The economy that emerges from the experience of social isolation, called the “low touch economy”, unites technology and physical distance, and will be the “new normal” from now on.

In the health sector, this need for digitalization has shown itself to be even more urgent and is forcing Brazilian companies that operate in this market to run. The crisis generated by the pandemic has already brought down three myths of the sector.

The first of them is that the doctor-patient relationship needs to be face-to-face. For more than a decade the regulation of telemedicine in Brazil has been debated. With covid-19 – and the fear of overcrowding in emergency rooms and hospitals – this modality was authorized, at first, while the pandemic lasted. But this is a one-way street. In a country the size of Brazil and all its difficulties of displacement, telemedicine means access to health. It is a convenience for the patient and also for the doctors.

In March, we put a digital platform on the air to connect doctors and patients, Digital Care. In one month we added almost 2,000 registered doctors, coming from 24 states (many of them where we are not even physically present). Each day we receive an average of 100 requests from doctors who want to join the platform.

Recently I was in Israel to meet companies that are innovating in the sector. One of the companies that caught my attention was TytoCare. This startup sends a device to the patient’s home that, connected to their telemedicine application, allows a physician to perform tests to identify common illnesses such as colds, ear aches or allergies. All from a distance. It’s no wonder that even with the recent drop in stock markets around the world, weeks ago the company received a $50 million investment fund contribution.

The second myth that is falling is that the elderly do not adapt to new technologies. A few days ago, someone close to me told me that in a Skype session with her mother, 72, she said she had spent the morning “listening to Roberto Carlos’ live at Spotify.

Because of social isolation, many elderly people are incorporating words like live, Whatsapp and Skype into their vocabulary. It’s an audience that has realized that online life is practical, comfortable and safe – and will intensify its presence in this new world.

In the Até Você Campaign, our 100% digital flagship, which began operations a little over a month ago, more than 80% of customers served so far are 60 years or more. Everything – from scheduling to tracking test results – is done by application. The exams are performed at the patient’s home. Detail: the brand has no physical care unit.

Finally, the third myth that is being overturned in the sector is that prevention is something secondary. The pandemic has put health at the center of our lives and made it our main concern. As those with comorbidities are the most affected, people are more affected by cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Many companies evaluate ways to test their employees’ immunity before they resume normal activities.

Others are looking for ways to help employees better manage their health, with initiatives that go beyond providing a plan or insurance. One health care provider has just contracted a service from our corporate health management brand, which, through an application, allows users to access clinics, telemedicine services and chatboxes. Initially, the service is accessible for 65,000 lives.

Our mobile phones, which already had applications from banks, retailers and food delivery, now begin to see health apps migrate to the “first screen”. This behavior change is here to stay.

Carlos Marinelli is CEO of Fleury Group.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

Author: Carlos Marinelli Source Brasil Journal