Mapping the digital health response to the global health crisis – a landscape to trace global efforts in fighting covid-19

The COVID-19 global outbreak brought government organizations together to address digital health with increased urgency. Many patients have found themselves unable to see doctors or receive normal medical care for fear of overwhelming the health system or potentially exacerbating the pandemic. At the outset of this crisis, key health care stakeholders have renewed interest in technologies and initiatives that can provide concrete solutions to mitigate the pandemic, ushering in a new wave of telehealth. As Healthcare organizations are advising people to stay home unless they require urgent medical attention, and are recommending virtual treatment options instead, the entire health innovation ecosystem is fully committed to deploy valuable digital health tools and services to fight the coronavirus.

In pure Frontiers Health spirit, we vetted some of the most active players globally as scale-up and start-up companies, hubs, large corporations, institutions, acceleration programs, and shaped a landscape with the aim to strengthen the value and impact of digital health, improve coordination, and facilitate cooperation and scale.

We’ve worked to make the map as comprehensive and accurate as possible, by identifying various areas of intervention health innovators have been working in. This map has been created in collaboration with our conference co-host, Healthware Group, and also thanks to the huge knowledge base provided by our partners worldwide. Healthware also designed an easy-to-use intuitive interactive version of the map.

We believe the demand for digital health and telehealth solutions will continue to grow rapidly and virtual care will be more and more pivotal, as people and health care professionals will continue to rely on telemedicine whenever possible. As one of the leading health innovation platforms, we at Frontiers Health will continue to connect the multifaceted ecosystem to capitalize on the vast amount of available solutions.

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Discover the thematic areas in which health innovators have worked

Remote monitoring

Remote monitoring was already growing in use prior to the pandemic, but has been greatly catalyzed by the special needs brought about because of the pandemic. By leveraging remote monitoring solutions, physicians can safely monitor patients at home and keep in-person care for the neediest cases and reduce the patient load in the hospitals.

Disease tracking & predictive analytics

As many countries move towards a phased re-opening following lockdown, we know that testing and contact tracing will be critical to ensure countries stay ahead of new spikes in cases. The tech community has rallied to provide tools to enable disease tracking and predictive analytics to enable healthcare organizations, governments and local communities the ability to make timely and critical decisions about re-opening.

Mental & Behavioral health

With nearly a third of the world’s population in lockdown, the World Economic forum referred to the quarantine of 2.6M people as “the world’s largest psychological experiment”. As a result, it is expected that we will see an increase in symptoms of psychological stress and disorder, insomnia, anxiety, anger, irritability, emotional exhaustion, depression and post-traumatic stress symptoms. In the US, prescriptions for anti-anxiety medications have gone up 34%. Digital mental and behavioral health solutions have also seen a huge increase in uptake. Recognizing the huge impact on mental health across the board, the FDA loosened regulations for digital therapeutics addressing mental health to ensure greater access for those in need.

Education and Disease Management

Patients with one or more chronic conditions have been the most vulnerable to Covid-19. Ongoing disease management programs that address these populations have helped support these patients in various ways, leveraging health coaches that have become front line healthcare workers. And the ongoing educational efforts from various organizations has helped ensure that people are informed via science-backed.

Telehealth, screening, triage and virtual care

Telemedicine was also growing in use prior to the pandemic, but struggled to gain meaningful traction due to inertia and regulations that hindered growth. Once there was a recognition of what the world was facing and the impending desperate need for virtual care, regulations were lifted and adoption skyrocketed. Interactive chat bots allowed patients to better understand risk factors and know whether calling their doctors was warranted. Being able to triage patients outside of the ER became critical to saving lives.

Disease Knowledge, Diagnostics & Detection

With a novel new virus spreading easily around the world, one that is potentially deadly, spreading disease knowledge has never been more critical to ensure citizens are up to date on the latest facts and understand how to protect themselves and their families. Diagnostics and detection are equally critical and needed at a scale never before seen around the world.

Hubs & Special Initiatives

There are many organizations, like Frontiers Health, that are working to help amplify the efforts of start-ups and innovative tech companies to help address the crisis and raise awareness of new tools, partners and solutions to the global audience. From non-profits to healthcare consortiums and accelerators, the ecosystem has joined together to fight the pandemic and lessen the impacts of the disease on millions of patients worldwide.