Medicine is a living science that takes pride in continuous discovery. In recent years, artificial intelligence algorithms have been introduced to us by healthcare innovators. They arguably read chest X-rays as well as even better than radiologists, cheap genomic sequencing that can drive customized cancer therapies, and significant advances across big data and analytics in population health management, to name only a few examples.
Although the COVID-19 disease outbreak has put unimaginable strains on modern healthcare systems, the sector's answer has clearly shown its durability and capacity to deliver technologies to the market rapidly. But the crisis is likely to be far from over, and the industry's innovation capabilities must continue to overcome the threats faced by both COVID-19 and its spreading economic fallout.
Although many businesses face unprecedented change, medicine and healthcare are uniquely impacted despite the severity of this epidemic. For instance, diverse supply chains, emerging frameworks for interaction with healthcare practitioners, a mostly remote population, and damage to multiple clinical trials must also be handled by pharmaceutical firms rushing to produce vaccines. Similarly, hospitals care for patients with changing guidelines for COVID-19 while ensuring the quality of care for some, often against the backdrop of vulnerable personnel, shortages of supply and facilities, and accelerating financial headwinds for others.
Inspiring examples of creativity in products, facilities, procedures, and market and distribution models have been created by the healthcare industry over this year, frequently in collaboration with other sectors. For example, Sheba Medical Center in Israel is partnering with TytoCare to hold COVID-19 patients in their homes by providing them with special stethoscopes that both listen to their hearts and relay pictures of their lungs to a treatment team that can intervene if required.
Zipline, which specializes in providing medical supplies to rural areas in the United States, quickly formed a relationship with Novant Health in North Carolina to deliver supplies through drones to hospitals. Telehealth usage has soared, from 11% of patients using it in 2019 to 46% in April 2020. Over half of the healthcare providers surveyed show greater familiarity with this form of treatment delivery than ever.
The creation of the COVID-19 vaccine has earned more financing (by our estimation, at least $6.7 billion as of September 2020) than any previous one, including significant expenditure in ramping up demand. It is essential to make those financial investments, considering the uncertain prospects for vaccines to be successful against COVID-19, so that treatments can be administered quickly after they are useful.
Healthcare services have now proven how easily you can extend their ability to care for the sick. In February, in just over a week, China opened two prefabricated hospitals,8, and in nine days, the National Health Service of the United Kingdom opened London's Nightingale Hospital.
During the epidemic, Shanghai opened 11 online hospitals associated with offline clinics, with 14,000 visitors in just two months to these internet hospitals. To produce medical goods, several factories have also effectively reconfigured production lines.
These cases illustrate how much acceleration can be possible when deadlines are immediate, and expectations are transparent. Any of the flexible techniques implemented at the height of the crisis may be considered to be embraced by healthcare actors in fields with historically followed lengthy, gated procedures, such as hospital buildings.
When healthcare institutions implement promising technologies in short cycles, they will potentially face capacity and capacity deficits. They should consider expanding their activities outside their walls to external collaborators to fix them. In addition to healthcare firms, conquering COVID-19 is a primary priority for public and research institutions and non-traditional players, such as technology companies. Yet coherent methods to direct them should be considered by those networks.