Health and Wellness
June Porter, Chair, Joint Municipal Physician Recruitment and Retention Committee, Southern Georgian Bay
The world and our personal perception of health and wellness will permanently change as a result of the current pandemic. It is true that health and wellness is only valued in its absence.
The increasing demands on our current healthcare system has and will continue to be a catalyst to innovation at unprecedented speed as industry players, funding, public policy, technology, customers, and accountability are being rightfully challenged to deliver.
Three kinds of innovation currently at play include:
- Access to and use of healthcare
- Technologyfor new treatments, diagnostics, equipment and applications to accelerate and improve care
- New business models,particularly those that involve the horizontal or vertical integration of separate healthcare organizations (operational and research) or activities
While healthcare has always been a need as opposed to a place; people and providers haven’t all been ready to move away from the traditional face to face delivery of care.
Areas of permanent change will likely include:
- Up scaling of virtual applications and care platforms for the delivery of primary and mental healthcare
- Mainstreaming of Telehealth/Telemedicine and remote monitoring (RPM)
- Social norms regarding health and wellness
Areas which will benefit from discussion may include:
- Vaccines – mandatory or choice
- Wearable technology
- Finding the balance between increased hygiene and the unintended consequences; for instance, the “hygiene hypothesis” suggests that without sufficient exposure to environmental stimuli, our immune system fail to get properly trained, leading to overreaction via allergies and auto-immune conditions later in life
- Role of Public Health
- Repurpose-ability within building codes for public buildings
Transformational change will result from our evolution or journey to a different and better state of health and wellness. Perhaps the Institute of Southern Georgian Bay can look for ways to facilitate this within our community.