2021 was a year full of lessons. The Covid-19 pandemic, which will likely be noted in future history books as a once-in-a-generation event, has changed the face of human interaction and global politics. Without a doubt, healthcare has had its notable moments this past year.
Here’s a list of some of the most noteworthy milestones the industry faced in 2021:
Covid-19 was not limited to 2019 or 2020—certainly, it clearly marked its presence in 2021. As of today, there have been nearly 281+ million cases of Covid-19 cases worldwide, including more than 5.4 million deaths. 2021 was especially notable for the notorious surge of the Delta coronavirus variant, which proved to have a menacing and devastating impact on communities worldwide. Now, the world faces yet another surge with the Omicron variant. Time will tell how this new variant will reshape society in the coming months and year.
As devastating as Covid-19 has been, the scientific community has been relentless in its efforts to combat it. This has led to the creation of multiple effective vaccines to help alleviate the disease burden created by the virus. This is in addition to multiple monoclonal antibody treatment modalities. Furthermore, the arsenal against coronavirus now also includes effective antiviral therapies, the latest of which were announced by Merck and Pfizer. Indeed, it has been an incredibly inspiring sight to see the resilience, hard work, and dedication invested by the scientific community in rising to the call of duty to create these much-needed therapies. Thanks to these treatments, humanity is (hopefully) one step closer to ending the war against Covid-19.
TOPSHOT – US President Joe Biden with Vice President Kamala Harris (not shown), delivers remarks on … [+]
A joint Government and NHS public information display indicates that a Covid-19 Variant of Concern … [+]
“Necessity is the mother of innovation.” Remote health solutions and digital health technology have become critically important. 2021 drove a culture shift in medicine—one which increasingly recognized the value of digital tools, data analytics, interoperability, and curated patient care. Large companies like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft ramped up their efforts in developing useful digital health solutions that can significantly improve patient outcomes. Smaller, more niche startups and enterprises focused on tackling specific problems plaguing the healthcare industry, such as navigating the nuances of insurance, enabling easier treatment for diabetics, and utilizing remote monitoring tools to improve patient healthcare.
2021 also saw a significant emphasis on “self-care” — finding inner satisfaction, and understanding the value of an individual’s health. Perhaps inspired by the devastation caused by Covid-19, individuals started taking their own health more seriously. This has fueled an incredible surge in healthcare startups looking to solve important problems faced by the “everyday patient,” ranging from increasing access to mental health services, fighting against substance use disorders, and providing people with more ways to access timely healthcare services. Furthermore, phenomena such as the “The Great Resignation”—the process describing how people left their jobs in droves to take more time off or find more fulfilling career opportunities—likely is in large part due individuals taking their mental health and personal satisfaction into higher consideration. Indeed, 2021 saw a cultural shift in the way society defined health and happiness.
Ultimately, 2021 has been a glamorous year for healthcare, with some of the most notable events described above. Certainly, this list is not exhaustive, with so many other aspects to both be celebrated and learn from. Nevertheless, the year has been an incredibly valuable glimpse into human resilience, ingenuity, and dedication. Indeed, the future of healthcare is bright.