Best Buy Health - COVID-19 Impact on Healthcare Tech

by Parks Associates | May. 6, 2020

Sarah Jones, Vice President, Commercial Product for Best Buy Health and a member of Parks Associates' Connected Health Summit advisory board, recently shared her thoughts with us on how COVID-19 will impact healthcare and healthcare technologies:

COVID-19 exposed the vulnerability of our senior population – how do you think the market for independent living and remote caregiving solutions will change coming out of this crisis?

I believe that we’ll see technology not as a nice-to-have but a must-have to support the aging population, along with their family and formal caregivers. Some of the macro economic impacts of the pandemic may drive seniors to make (or require) different aging decisions: can they sell their home? Can they afford senior living communities? Should they move in with a child? Can their child care for them? Other impacts may include the perception of senior living communities and seniors’ preference in selecting them. Congregate senior living environments have numerous, publicized Covid outbreaks that could change senior’s interest in these choices. On the other hand, the experience of isolation at home may make seniors realize that they prefer the interaction and community of a congregate living choice. On the technology side, it’s clear that reactions to Covid will drive innovation, investment, and development in remote caregiving solutions and I expect senior solutions to be a part of that growth. I believe that we’ll see technology not as a nice-to-have but a must-have to support the aging population and their family and formal caregivers. The regulatory shifts in reimbursement will help create economic models as well, enabling more access to these options for remote caregiving an aging in place.

What consumer behavioral or attitudinal changes coming out of this crisis do you expect to most impact healthcare and health technologies?

Changes in health consumer behavior post-COVID is one biggest questions that will drive the long-term adoption of virtual care by the industry. Some hypothesize now that consumers will have many opportunities to try virtual care solutions, and that they will continue to choose them as time passes and in-person care options open back up. I expect that we’ll see certain consumer profiles drive high adoption of virtual care: parents needing routine pediatric care, digital natives with digital primary care providers. Will virtual care sustain in the high cost realms like chronic condition monitoring and geriatric care? I believe one critical component of this—and any virtual care—work will be to deeply understand consumer experiences and preferences, and ensure that options available meet those consumer needs. 

The Connected Health Summit is the only executive event focused exclusively on consumer perspectives of digital health markets. The event will be held on September 1-3 in San Diego, California. Register now!

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