As with any other virus, COVID has taken a natural turn towards variants of lower virulence but higher contagion. There is, however, a level of uncertainty and a ‘wait and watch’ attitude towards COVID-19, which is why we see some insecurity with certain healthcare stocks. Digital healthcare company stocks that offered virtual care saw a sudden jump during the emergence of the Omicron variant. The drop was too sudden, and there has been no significant bounce back. However, healthcare organizations that have invested in testing mechanisms seem promising.   

Programmable Technology and Digital Health:  

Recent projections indicate that healthcare stocks for companies involved in testing, such as Moderna and Pfizer, are bound to rise. It owes to the mRNA platform, which has the significant advantage of offering monoclonal antibodies to cure the disease. Digital health stocks are moving in an upward trajectory due to their promising results but also because of excess capital. Disruption lies at the heart of stock success. As an investor, the popular categories are digital health, testing, and the programmable technology space.   

The number of people willing to pay right now, more significant numbers for private valuations, has dramatically increased in the last five years. With a positive track record for private equity in a diversified healthcare portfolio, the digital space is poised to grow. However, healthcare companies must be wary of the down-and-dead rounds. Digital app companies and healthcare organizations should work to find a steady balance that can negate the intensity of the rise and fall of stocks.    

U.S. Drug Pricing vs. U.S. Gun Policy   

As a starting point, it is fair to say that there may be some positivity to the American drug pricing policies but none whatsoever to the gun policies. As we have witnessed with the current school shootings, many factors are amiss. The solution may look simple on the surface, one where guns are banned, but what can be done about the majority of guns that have already been purchased, a very high number indeed? A number high enough to make this a public health issue. Sensible gun safety policies are the need of the hour, along with an unprecedented need for research on violence as a public health issue.   

The drug policy, on the other hand, also has its own set of challenges. There are many advocates for hindering the government from negotiating drug prices with drug companies. Beyond the unaffordability aspect of drugs, there is also the issue of late patent expiry dates. 70% of all patent litigation is related to extensions versus new drugs. In such a situation, drug innovation must be higher on the priority list. Most pharma companies are currently spending double on their sales and marketing than what is being spent on research and development. In the current healthcare scenario, one out of four patients on chronic care medication cannot afford the drug. Drug companies need to adopt a disciplinary attitude that accepts lower profits.    

COVID – Vaccines and Variants:   

Most agree that we are now in a better space than at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The speed at which vaccines were developed has been truly remarkable. The effectiveness of these vaccines has also proved to be substantial. One of the challenges faced was the efficient distribution of vaccines, along with teaching people to be willing to get immunized. This has left our country in a vulnerable position, with a large number of unvaccinated populations that provide an environment for the COVID variants to breathe. Even though the virulence of the virus has decreased, its overall ability to make people sick cannot be undermined.   

There are other issues that the disease, pandemic, and resulting lockdowns have brought. The increased prevalence of mental problems, the rise in a sedentary lifestyle, an increase in obesity, and a decrease in cardiovascular health are all being witnessed. As the world braced for a pandemic, the like of which most of us have never or will never witness again, we have realized the meaning of social distancing, quarantines, and remote healthcare monitoring. The tide has turned, and technology must get in line. Healthcare must adapt to virtual and social distancing strategies that can be enabled through electronic health records, chatbots, video conferencing, etc. Peripheral medical devices can be used and controlled remotely to enhance telehealth opportunities.   

As mental health across the globe deteriorates, this branch of healthcare will need to evolve and emerge as a cost-effective and accessible alternative to the traditional therapy model. It should be embraced by mental health professionals to offer innovative solutions that allow patients to manage their mental health disorders. With hopes set on our emergence from this contagion with optimism and a stronger healthcare mechanism, organizations need to direct their immediate attention toward ensuring that the above-mentioned factors are considered as carefully as possible. Adopting innovative technologies that cater to the needs of changing times is imperative.   

Through teletherapy, individuals can access counseling and therapy services remotely, breaking down barriers such as stigma, transportation, and geographical limitations. This has proven to be particularly beneficial for individuals residing in rural areas, where mental health services are often scarce. Teletherapy has also enabled individuals to seek help in the comfort and privacy of their own homes, leading to increased engagement and better treatment outcomes.  


The healthcare industry has witnessed a remarkable transformation in recent years, thanks to the advent of telehealth solutions. Telehealth refers to the use of technology to deliver healthcare services remotely. Innovation in telehealth software systems has revolutionized the way patients access medical care, breaking down geographical barriers and improving healthcare outcomes. The current healthcare limitations still need to be addressed for patient health to reach its full potential. As technology advances, healthcare providers, policymakers, and stakeholders must collaborate and embrace solutions that create a more inclusive and efficient healthcare system. Explore more interesting topics and listen to insightful podcasts related to healthcare only on WTF Health

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