Telemedicine and virtual healthcare is an interesting theme within the health industry because it isn’t new but it is rapidly evolving. This aspect of healthcare, and the Twitter conversation around it, was given new life and vigor due to the pandemic.
To put it another way, 2020 was the year telemedicine burst into the mainstream and 2021 was the year it was normalized.
The challenges with this became painfully obvious quickly, and can be summed up in a single word: infrastructure. Doctors offices and hospitals found a new need to beef up their IT teams quickly. Internal training is and was needed to prepare these medical professionals to better operate the hardware and software that comes with virtual healthcare, and that’s only one side of the equation. Would-be patients needed to familiarize themselves with the same apps and devices, and now access to broadband and high-speed internet is being recognized as a dire need for healthcare (something tells us that the education industry would have known this for a while now, too).
Telemedicine and virtual healthcare had a renaissance this past year, and the data clearly shows that a “new normal” has been established.
Unlike telemedicine and virtual healthcare, an emphasis on mental health has been a part of our collective consciousness for some time now. However, the discussion of mental health, and more specifically the positive and perilous narratives that steer it, is seeing rapid change.
Vernacular and terminology were virtually created overnight due to the pandemic and its effects on people’s mental health. New terms like “Doom Scrolling” and “Trauma Dumping” went from being virtually non-existent or on the fringe of mental health discourse to the very heart of it.
These newest challenges to our mental health will be tall hurdles in 2022, but there is hope. The data showcases how brands that don’t even directly operate within the mental health field can make an impactful difference.