Infection identification, treatment, and prevention are the three dimensions that need to be defined and managed at all levels (individual, organization, and society) to operate in the new normal during and post COVID-19. All of these aspects are centered around improving awareness, and accordingly redefining and managing norms for the new normal for individuals, societies, and organizations to help effectively manage the situation.
Healthcare and Life Sciences companies have a significant role in enabling substantial aspects of all three dimensions. Here’s looking at the aspects included in each of these dimensions entails:
1. Infection Identification:
- Extensive on-demand testing and diagnosis
- Antibody testing
- Contact tracing
2. Infection Treatment: Therapeutics (drugs and treatment) for COVID-19 infected patients
- Hospitalized severe infection patients
- Hospitalized non-severe infection patients
- Non-hospitalized but quarantined patients
3. Infection Prevention:
- Protective Measures: vaccines, masks, hand washing, disinfecting
- Proactive Health Measures
- Home and remote diagnostics monitoring to drive awareness (for example, SP02 for initial signs of COVID-19, ongoing monitoring of BP, temperature, and other parameters)
- Suggested actions to drive healthy living focused on MEDS – Meditation, Exercise, Diet and Sleep management (for example, improved respiratory health through exercise, improve health conditions of high susceptible conditions such as diabetes and high BP through diet and medications)
- Social measures will primarily involve defining, monitoring, and managing new social interaction norms at work, retail locations, social gatherings (conferences/clubs/religious centers/cultural events), and entertainment avenues (games/cinemas/concerts). One of these will be the ongoing enforcement of appropriate physical distancing measures.
Without adequate tools to make each individual aware of the facts and take control of the situation by making necessary adjustments to existing norms, there can be widespread panic. The panic would mainly arise from a state of not knowing (lack of awareness) and helplessness (from lack of direction about what to do) that may lead to despair and a feeling of hopelessness that can, in turn, bring life to a stand-still. Many societies and organizations are enduring this exact feeling of helplessness and paralysis during these unprecedented times.
Hence, now is the time for Healthcare and Life Sciences companies to drive awareness and understanding across all the three dimensions mentioned above through innovation in science and further adoption of the following analytic techniques enabled by ML/AI, Modern Data Platforms, and Cloud technologies.
- Descriptive analytics: to accurately represent facts as-is
- Diagnostic analytics: to understand the cause, effect, and potential correlation
- Predictive analytics: to analyze variables, trends, and patterns to model future scenarios
- Prescriptive analytics: to simulate the impact of various actions and recommend the next best action for optimal results (optimization)
In conclusion, we all must strive to come out of this together as a stronger species with the utmost optimism for the future. The best way to do this is for Healthcare and Life Sciences leaders to lead through scientific decision making enabled by data-driven analytics.