BI&T July/August 2020

Cover - JulyAugust2020 BIT

We hear it again and again during the COVID-19 pandemic—we are living in extraordinary times. As described in this issue's cover story, the rise of widespread telehealth technology represents one of the more profound examples of how life and expectations have changed. Where once telehealth was embraced mostly by savvy healthcare providers and patients, stakeholder groups at every level are now turning to this technology as an essential, “life-saving tool.”

Crucially, the health technology community has stepped up to deliver these in-demand services, as well as to build out and maintain the infrastructure that is needed to support it. At the same time, government regulators have acted with unheard-of swiftness, opening the floodgates for patients to interact with caregivers from the comfort of their own smartphone.

From medical device manufacturers to healthcare technology management professionals, the rush to produce and sustain these technologies is on. This rapid adoption of telehealth, of course, comes with risks and considerations that must be effectively managed, including cybersecurity and connectivity (or lack thereof). When and how the pandemic ends, there's little question that one of its profound lasting impacts will be the transformation of how healthcare is sought, purchased, and delivered, passing now more than ever through the lens of health technology.

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