With each passing year comes a whole new series of ingenious innovations, especially in STEM fields. During this past year, a majority of the leading edge developments revolved around finding ways to improve upon the traditional standard of medical care by integrating more technology into the field of healthcare.
As we enter the first few months of the new year, companies all over the globe have found themselves in a mad dash to create 2021’s next big thing. As reported in the Apploi 2021 healthcare trends report, governments and private equity firms around the globe have finally begun to realize just how important holistic healthcare is.
Private equity firms alone have already invested a record of $1.37B this year and with the funds that governments have set aside for mental health initiatives – community care, a new approach to mental and physical health, appears to be this year’s next frontier.
The concept of community care is built on the idea of increasing the amount of interpersonal acts of compassion in order to provide a more well-rounded approach to medical care, but what does that actually look like?
The Impact of Community Care
The community care approach to physical health would actually be based on a concept documented in a recent Lancet article that depicts an increase of monitoring devices installed in homes, on smartphones, in public places, and healthcare facilities that would have the ability to routinely record and upload patient data in real time.
This may raise some red flags as far as privacy is considered. Having access to raw, biometric, and physical data on patients would go a long way towards decoding the effects that a person’s social determinants can have on their health. Understanding those links would go a long way in being able to treat the whole patient rather than just their symptoms.
Now as the community care approach relates to improving mental healthcare, Apploi offers several solutions in their 2021 report. Last year’s big push to improve the standard of medical care has caused countless insurers and employers to re-examine their own care policies, which revealed several glaring gaps in protocol as it relates to gaining access to care.
Many have opted to rely on peer support in order to fill said gaps, causing peer support to become monetized in ways it’s never been. Several educational institutes have also agreed to adopt the community care technique, mainly by increasing their efforts to attract more underrepresented minority groups in the hopes that the psychiatric field will one day include a more diverse workforce.
The Future of Mental Healthcare
Universal mental health screenings will soon become a routine, societal norm within primary, community, and long-term care in order to help identify if someone is feeling symptoms and intervene as early as possible. Increasing the public visibility when dealing with mental health will significantly contribute to reducing societal stigmas while simultaneously increasing the access to care, another important factor in being able to treat the patient as a whole.
It wasn’t until very recently that projects like this one wouldn’t have been immediately labeled as excessive or too cost-prohibitive to sustain. Luckily, Apploi didn’t waste any time in advocating for better. For far too long patient healthcare has been viewed in how many zeros it could generate at the end of a check rather than how much good it could do.
The community care approach may prove to be more expensive than other methods in the beginning; however, the light it shines on traditionally taboo aspects of the field is invaluable. Hopefully widespread implementation, especially as it applies to the mental health aspect of the plan, will eventually lead to the end of the societal stigma and ability to finally give mental healthcare “the attention and the funding it deserves”.
Achieving that would be momentous as studies show that with heightened awareness and enough funding, the market size for behavioral health is projected to reach USD $350B by 2025 alone. The medical advances of 2020 have certainly proved to advance the standard of medical care up to a certain point, but it is Apploi’s community care proposal that is going to take up all the way. What do you think the healthcare jobs of the future will look like?
Please include attribution to https://apploi.com/ with this graphic.
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Author: Brian Wallace
Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency based in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies that range from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian also runs #LinkedInLocal events nationwide, and hosts the Next Action Podcast. Brian has been named a Google Small Business Advisor for 2016-present and joined the SXSW Advisory Board in 2019.