Has the Pandemic Led to Long-term Changes in Healthcare?
June 4, 2021
Not wanting to be around human beings you don’t live with forced a lot of changes. The pandemic-induced lockdowns and protocols meant that everything changed and that, in many cases, included healthcare. COVID-19 pushed many people to use telemedicine and that showed them how convenient online doctor appointments could be.
What remains to be seen, however, is whether we see a return to pre-pandemic ways or if the shift to telemedicine continues. The answer, however, may not be that simple as this is an ever-evolving space. Dana Abrmaowitx and Simon Erickson joined Dan Kline on the June 2 edition of “7invesitng Now” to look at the future of healhcare.
A full transcript follows the video.
Dan Kline: And we will start with Simon. Will the lessons learned from the pandemic bring any long-term changes to healthcare? Probably should have started with Dana here, this is her area go Dana.
Simon Erickson: Let’s go with Dana. I’d love to hear your perspective.
Dana Abramovitz: So yes, I hope so. Right. So, you know, we’ve talked a little bit about telehealth and just held that was kind of poised to, to go and to the pandemic just made it possible, you know, just just more acceptable to move into that area. And so, yes, I think that that’s gonna, you know, just keep going in some way, you know, that there’s, there’s certainly pushback with reimbursement in some cases.
But, I think that, you know, one of the things the pandemic did for all of us, in all different industries is just convenience. Right. So, you know, we talked about like working from home retail, healthcare, you know, it’s a consumer products, as well, right? You know, patients want that, that convenience. And so I think that that is going to be continued in that.
Dan Kline: So Dana, let me throw out a follow-up here. We’ve talked about like Apple Watch and other technology and how it kind of fits into the space. A sneaky good investment. I’m this isn’t a stock pick. There’s just a company I’ve covered before, that when you look at the balance sheet, it’s it’s actually surprising how good it is. Planet Fitness (NYSE: PLNT) do you think that we now understand the role of just moving and that that’s maybe going to be actually integrated into our healthcare and maybe even like, I forgot the insurance company that Steve uses that actually monitors your driving?
Would it be possible that maybe I get a discount if I can prove I workout three times a week and like my watch would be a way to do that? And certainly, a gym membership would be a way to do that. Do you think like big health insurance will embrace that type of thinking?
Dana Abramovitz: So they’ve they’ve already started doing that? They were doing that before the pandemic and I know that a lot of companies have, you know, created that benefits are provided more of that benefit to their employees post-pandemic. So hopefully that all that’ll continue happening. But yeah, we certainly seen, you know, the benefit of exercise and wellness on your health. And you certainly insurers want that, right? So they’re paying less and so they encourage people to, to, you know, to work out and you know, devices like watches and Fitbits and all those things have been incentives. I know I work with a bunch of different insurers and employee wellness programs for my business to make sure that you we’re an option for their employees to come work out here.
Dan Kline: We see some great comments and questions in the queue. We’ll take those at the end of the four questions or maybe pepper them in a little bit. Simon, I know you of course have taken up chain-smoking during the no, no That is that is a joke, of course. Do you see any healthcare you have? You have a child, you’re married, there’s a lot of different health care going on in your house. I know that we’ve had a weird mix of telemedicine and in-person medicine, my wife’s going for an in-person, physical therapy thing today, kind of no way to do that remotely, do you think we’re gonna see some long-term changes?
Simon Erickson: I do. And actually, this is one of the things that I’m so excited to have Dana on our team. You know, Dana, obviously an innovator in the healthcare space. $4 trillion market. I mean, Danny, you’ve seen this from the academic and in the lab, but you’ve also seen it from consulting and working directly with businesses. They’re trying to figure this out. And like we said, at the end of the day, 40% of healthcare is correlated to your habits. We already know you should, you should drink less. You should smoke less. You should exercise more. I mean, these are things that are obvious that we’ve been kind of told since we were kids.
But now there’s kind of this development, which I think the pandemic accelerated Dan, to consumer-facing healthcare. What is the what is the games that we can have where we get points for going outside and walking around? What is the data about my own personal genome that I can have access to so I know what kind of drugs I’ll react to differently. There’s a shift from this being in that manila folder behind the doctor’s office when you go into the hospital that has your electronic or your paper health record, to being on an app that you can look at all the time. And this is the trend that I see that’s developing. And I think that COVID when people were not going out, and going in for appointments and checkups all the time, because we couldn’t, I think that really accelerated this, but it’s a really a much bigger picture than just COVID.
Dan Kline: And this trend speaks to me. So you’re my boss, you’re all of our bosses. And we have a bunch of deadlines each month, and I am very deadline-driven coming from the newspaper business. And I have it built into me finish things early, because you never know when there’s going to be a murder.
Simon Erickson: And I appreciate that Dan.
Dan Kline: That’s not true in the finance world. But it’s true in a sense of well, like today I did my transcription for our amazing team calls. Just to give you an idea what this is, is when we pick our stock for the month, we do a video where all of us are most of us appear on the video and I do a presentation of my stock. And you guys ask me questions. And we then add a transcription of that. The transcription and the video are now appended to our written write-up. So you get this amazing depth of detail. It’s not due until the eighth, maybe the sixth, I’m not sure it’s nothing for a few days. But I did it today. Because what happens if something big happens in the market and planning Friday’s show takes a lot more time.
That’s how I’m approaching my health with the Apple Watch. Like, I went out and took a walk this morning because I have to take a three-hour drive this afternoon, I may not get in my exercise, and I don’t want to fail my other boss besides you and that is the Apple Watch. I think we’re seeing you can call it gamification. To me, it’s just accountability. Like if I know, I need to check off, you know, 22 exercise sessions a month.
You know, I wish I could track more like I’m trying to only eat red meat once a week. And that would be a lot easier if I remembered what I’d eaten in any given week. And it would be nice. I know there are apps that can track that. But there are some I would love all of that to just be very easily integrated. Maybe just take a picture of dinner every night that comes up with the calorie count.
I think we’re getting to that world. And we accelerated that we talked a lot about acceleration with the streaming services that we’re seeing an acceleration in healthcare. I was always a telehealth guy like I, I’m a convenience person, but being able to mix the two and maybe have your regular annual physical go faster.