As the COVID-19 Outbreak progresses into the summer of 2020 we are seeing renewed resurgent hot spots across the US.
It has and will continue to disrupt care for our aging populations for the foreseeable future. This has created a continually changing environment for home care with challenges, business adjustments and potential market expansion opportunities.
At the very least the COVID-19 outbreak has proven that home is the safest place to be, especially for aging seniors and has increased the desire for our aging population to stay in their homes and age in place.
One thing is for certain, COVID-19 is fundamentally changing the way home care providers will advance their home care businesses going forward.
Home care market updates COVID-19
The following are home care market updates and insights for COVID-19.
Looking at current medical science forecasts, it will be some time before the world can put COVID-19 behind us. Everyone is hopeful that progress can be made with a vaccine later this year.
Home care providers will need to continue to adjust to this dynamic as part of their business strategy going forward.
Experts from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, thought leaders at the University of Chicago and University of Minnesota, and government health experts have suggested possible future scenarios:
- Mini-outbreaks or waves recurring every couple of months similar to what we are currently seeing in areas of the US that opened early.
- A more advanced wave this fall that could be stronger and more intense caused by relaxation of precautions through summer.
- Continues smaller waves that remain until over half the population is infected getting to population immunity.
- Release of a therapeutic and/or vaccine that is successful in stopping or slowing the continual spread of the virus.
The final solution to COVID-19 pandemic is likely the wide availability of a vaccine and increased therapeutic treatments.
There are a number of companies and researchers racing to make this a reality.
- Moderna disclosed preliminary findings on its new vaccine. Early results show promise with test subjects having neutralizing antibodies. They will be moving to phase II studying effectiveness and safety. Their phase III study will have over 3,000 participants later this year.
- Pfizer and BioNTech have started Phase I/II clinical trials with participants for the BNT 162 vaccine program. The study is designed to determine safety, immunogenicity, and optimal dosage for the vaccine.
- Novavax has started their first human studies of a COVID-19 vaccine with initial results expected in July. They have also started phase I clinical trials for safety and immunogenicity of their vaccine.
- Combined there are currently over 100 COVID-19 vaccine candidates in various stages of development and clinical trials.
- Gilead Sciences drug remdesivir has been the first therapeutic drug to show promise. Remdesivir has shown to shorten hospital stays for COVID-19 infections by over 25% to 11 days. Currently there is no scientific evidence yet that drug can help with reducing mortality rates.
“Exactly how the pandemic will end depends in part on medical advances still to come. It will also depend on how individual Americans behave in the interim. If we scrupulously protect ourselves and our loved ones, more of us will live. If we underestimate the virus, it will find us.”
According to the New York Times, Article The Coronavirus in America: The Year Ahead.
As home care continues to manage their client base and the high-risk groups, they will need to look to tools that can help them manage and mitigate risk while allowing our caregivers to provide the best care possible.
These tools will need to continually be updated with the latest findings and recommendations from the CDC and other government health agencies. The tools will need to be deployed to the point-of-care and available 24/7/365 to monitor, manage exposure risk, track PPE and testing, and improve safety as home care provider care for seniors and individuals with special needs.
Homecare providers will look to leverage more advanced technology with agency enterprise solutions, operations automation and point-of-care applications.
Digital solutions that manage change
Solutions will need to help agencies manage change, sustain their businesses and keep ahead of the competition. Legacy or manual systems will be a relic of the pre-COVID-19 age.
Home care providers will need to meet the increased demand for home care services anticipated as a result of the pandemic while at the same time move to new innovative solutions to support virus management, their growth, and operations changes.
Those home care businesses that have yet to adopt a complete automation platform for advancing their business will need to act quickly now to select the right technology partner to have an advantage beyond the inherent benefits of the latest digital system.
They will be positioned to grow smarter and faster than their peers during the continued COVID-19 outbreak and beyond.
SMARTcare Software can provide solutions that will help you and your agency prepare for the future of homecare.
SMARTcare offers an easy-to-use enterprise solution to manage, schedule, and operate everything you need for your homecare business. SMARTcare is currently offering our COVID-19 Toolset at no charge to all homecare agencies.
The Toolset App includes reminders, agency notices, symptom checks, contact tracing and other important virus risk mitigation tools to help you manage your response to the pandemic.
We are in this together. To find out more about SMARTcare Software, email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know how we can help.
- The New York Times. The Coronavirus in America: They Year Ahead, By Donald G. McNeil, Jr, April 18, 2020, updated June 1, 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/18/health/coronavirus-america-future.html
- The Washington Post. Coronavirus may never go away, even with a vaccine, by William Wan and Carolyn Johnson May 27, 2020 https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/05/27/coronavirus-endemic/
- Regulatory Focus, COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker. https://www.raps.org/news-and-articles/news-articles/2020/3/covid-19-vaccine-tracker
- Gilead Sciences Update on The Company’s Ongoing Response to COVID-19, https://www.gilead.com/purpose/advancing-global-health/covid-19