• Blog Post

Innovating in a post-pandemic virtual care world

Publish Date

30 MAY 2022

Author

Henry Chak

Overview

May is multiple sclerosis (MS) month in Canada with World MS Day on May 30th, and this a great opportunity to help shine a light on some of the most pressing issues affecting MS patients, their caregivers, families, and health care professionals dedicated to their care.

It’s about staying curious and finding the right opportunities to have the most impact

 

May is multiple sclerosis (MS) month in Canada with World MS Day on May 30th, and this a great opportunity to help shine a light on some of the most pressing issues affecting MS patients, their caregivers, families, and health care professionals dedicated to their care. In the first of my two short blog posts on MS and innovation I will explore how the pharmaceutical industry can play a role in partnering with stakeholders to move the needle on some of the biggest challenges in the space for physicians and patients in Canada – which continues to have one of the highest rates of MS in the world.


The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of virtual care 

As we come out of the pandemic, it’s important to recognize that COVID-19 has put significant pressure on our healthcare system.  This has contributed to emerging care gaps in many areas, including MS that has caused a ripple effect in areas such as wait times and delays in access to in-person care and lab procedures to name a few.

For many healthcare providers, the pandemic has also accelerated a digital-first approach to care, utilizing virtual platforms to provide care, and staying informed of the latest guidance and clinical evidence in times of constant change. There is a need for timely knowledge exchange, with greater ease and more personalization in our virtual world. And this is a perfect example of where the pharmaceutical industry can partner with stakeholders.

There is also a growing opportunity for the pharmaceutical industry to enhance the virtual care experience between patients and their healthcare provider through the use of innovative technologies such as Virtual Reality. When one hears the words Virtual Reality, you may picture video games in the metaverse. However, this technology can offer much more, such as additional learning elements and even new experiences to enrich the conversation between patients and their health care provider.

As the pandemic has forced us to become more tech-savvy, not only are we becoming more comfortable with technology, but many of us have a newfound curiosity with a larger appetite to explore applications that can support personal health and care.  With our new comfort level, I see this as our cue to step-up and take the lead to innovate and better support our healthcare providers and patients through both existing and emerging technology and platforms.


Leading on innovation for the benefit of MS patients

At EMD Serono Canada, our pursuit of innovation is driven by our aspiration to help Canadians live longer, healthier lives. We’ve been working to help people better understand MS and the patient experience for years. Our MS from the Inside Out program, for example, helped the public increase the level of awareness and understanding of MS through Virtual Reality technology. To build on this and lead again, we are actively exploring how we can leverage innovative technologies to help meet the critical needs of our stakeholders.

Stay-tuned for my second post next month, as I share more about our innovation journey. Until then, stay curious!