2020 was a lot of things, but we can probably all agree that it was a challenging year for many. The COVID-19 pandemic defined the year as it rippled across the world, impacting communities in almost every corner of the country and revealing gaps in the American healthcare landscape.
While the coronavirus was at the forefront of conversations among families, in politics, and in the news cycles—several wins can be attributed to the hard work of frontline workers, medical professionals, and healthcare advocates who brought innovative and much-needed changes to the healthcare system.
From COVID-19 testing at home to the expansion of telemedicine, we’re here to highlight 3 big healthcare wins that happened in 2020.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, 1 in 5 physicians were using telemedicine to deliver healthcare to their patients from a distance. With the lockdown, stay-home orders, and limited capacity in public spaces, many more healthcare providers shifted to a virtual solution like telehealth and telemedicine. One report found that health systems have 50 to 175 times more telehealth visits than pre-COVID.
While some may be skeptical of the technological advancements that bring healthcare into the homes (or really, anywhere) of Americans, research generally suggests that telemedicine works—even for serious medical conditions because it lowers admission rates, shortens hospital stays, and can therefore lead to fewer deaths.
This year, the U.S. telehealth market is expected to reach around $10 billion with 80% year-over-year growth due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the pandemic is nowhere near over and the lasting effects of COVID-19 on the overall healthcare system are still unknown, telehealth and telemedicine are likely here to stay.
As COVID-19 rapidly started to spread across the country in the spring, national outbreak maps identified infection cases in every state. It became clear that access to COVID-19 testing—fast, reliable, and accurate testing for everyone who needs it—was a high priority in the fight to control the spread of SARS-CoV-2. The FDA authorized the development of various COVID-19 testing options, including at-home sample collection kits.
In June, Everlywell was also able to connect Americans across the country to COVID-19 testing where it has been needed most—in the comfort and safety of people’s homes. With our expansion to all 50 states, we were able to help our customers stay safe during the pandemic from home with our COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit.
For our last big health win of 2020, we want to highlight all the Americans who made it work this year—who treated their bodies with kindness, acclimated to the new everything-from-home way of life, and found new ways to stay on top of their health.
2020 was a different experience for everyone, and it’s important to note that any progress made this year—even the small wins that we don’t always count toward the big goals—was still progress. Whether you worked out at home, perfected a better-for-you recipe, or found new ways to care for your body and mind at home, you deserve the biggest round of applause.
Lastly, we must give a shoutout to you, our over 1 million customers—the ones who took control of their health and demanded better for their bodies at home in 2020. This year alone, 240,000 (and counting) of you tried our Food Sensitivity Test, and more than 7,000 of you learned about your response to common allergens with the Indoor & Outdoor Allergy Test. With the launch of our membership programs, you subscribed to year-round health checks with Control and Current.
While the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, there are many things (and many people!) to celebrate, including the healthcare workers on the frontline, the scientists who are continuing to develop and distribute a vaccine for COVID-19, and the health professionals who advanced virtual healthcare experiences to continue to serve their patients from home.
2020 was full of unexpected surprises and changes in the healthcare landscape, but our hope is that these shifts continue to have a positive impact long after this year. Because if 2020 taught us anything, it’s the importance of our health and wellness.