Almost everything about medicine and the medical industry has changed, from health to science.

The healthcare industry started with home remedies. It was in effect a purely reactionary medical practice in which people learnt about the medical properties of a plant through trial and error, documented it, and passed it onto others.

However, it’s pretty clear that in the past 30-odd years, we have, indeed, come a long way. Gone are the days we fear a simple bump on our back or a spike in our temperature. Thing is, back in the day people had limited ways to achieve optimum treatment as they couldn’t get an appropriate diagnosis in the first place. During these times, a disease such as Tuberculosis was a death sentence; there was no cure and people had no choice but to wait for their condition to worsen.

But today the advances in the medical world have progressed in leaps and bounds as technology arose. There is such a big difference between healthcare then and now. Today there are thousands of medications available for the treatment of diseases. We are also more empowered due to all the information available on the Internet. And yes, second opinions for a serious diagnosis and the treatment thereof seem to be the rule.

Hysterectomies for example, used to be done as a cure-all for all kinds of ailments, from bleeding to cancer, or even as a form of birth control. All a surgeon needed to say in the old days was “you need one” and that was it. Today a woman is likely to challenge that recommendation and ask what the alternatives are.

Modern medicine, or medicine as we know it, started to emerge after the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century and in just the past few decades, there have been countless milestones in medical technology innovation. Some of the areas that scientists are working on now include cancer therapy, HIV treatment, stem cell therapy, gene therapy and robotics. From clinical trials to putting new options into practice; medical research continues to expand and offer new insights every day.

The number of practicing doctors have quadrupled. In 1950, there were only 219,900 physicians in practice, and practically all were men. Today, out of the 838,473 physicians, 30% of them are female. Also, take a look at hospitals, the improvement is evident. We are now aware of necessities when it comes to healthcare. Operating theatres and consulting rooms are equipped with machines and devices for every emergency. Hospitals are also more welcoming to make a patient’s stay less burdensome.

So, given the challenges we have all faced in 2020, what can we expect from 2021? This health care crises provided a sense of what may be possible in the future.

Clinical care has expanded in ways that have been limited before. Innovative solutions have come to light and the endgame will ultimately be the reinvention of the healthcare system that has the strength and the capacity to meet existing – and unforeseen – challenges.

Virtual care – telehealth, remote patient monitoring, virtual consults and digital patient interactions – are here to stay. Virtual care will also most likely focus on addressing populations that are hard to reach in the future.

Healthcare has certainly come a long way and will continue to change in the future as we learn to adapt to new challenges.


DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.