How COVID-19 transformed the future of medicine

14 min Source: TED Talk

BLUF

The COVID-19 pandemic has an upside—it is leading to better and more efficient health care.

Summary

Physician Daniel Kraft has contributed to NASA life sciences research through the practice of aerospace medicine. He believes that just as the Apollo moon landings were transformational points in history, so too is the COVID-19 crisis. He quotes a former head of DARPA, who said, ‘Sputnik set off the space age, COVID can spark the health age’. But, COVID-19’s ‘silver lining’, Kraft argues, will include the unprecedented acceleration of medical innovation and collaboration. And, the convergence of many of the accelerating technologies and approaches will bring us from sick care to an age of continuous, proactive health care across the planet. For instance:
  • COVID has forced the increased use of digital health via our phones and laptops.
  • Telemedicine visits are up by almost a thousand per cent as patients and clinicians discover the convenience of seeking health advice online.
  • Wearables can detect the onset of the flu and, as recently published by Stanford, 83 per cent of COVID infections.
This pandemic has instigated an immense amount of international sharing and collaboration amongst clinicians and researchers.