​COVID update. I’ve been attending this morning’s MTAA webinar during which there was an interesting discussion on the impact COVID is having on the healthcare system.

Key points:

1. Increased demand for ventilators and intensive care beds.

2. Increased infection prevention and control activities. This leads to increased spending, distress among the workforce, and the need for separate area.

3. Disrupted supply chain. Supply chain once considered strong turned out to be the weakest link since low tech equipment was needed in high volume (testing kits, protective gear).

4. Increased healthcare workforce hours. This leads to physical and mental exhaustion.

5. Increased demand for specialised acute care. This has overtaxed and imposed unexpected costs to hospitals and will lead to hospital infrastructure worn out.

6. Precipitous decline in demand for routine services. This has reduced providers revenue but will also create a growing backlog.

7. Growing population with mental (anxiety, depression) and physical (weight gain, unbalanced nutrition) health issues due to containment and mitigation measures and economic recession.

8. COVID has disrupted the clinical trial process because of a. Self-isolation or quarantine for trial participants; b. Limited access to public places (including hospitals); c. Reallocation of healthcare professionals; d. The need to adapt to new processes or to modify existing ones (on-site vs remote monitoring).

9. The FDA is helping to support companies get critical equipment and treatments to those that need it most through the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) process, including ventilators, facemasks, respirators, disinfectants, diagnostics, thermometers, infusion pumps, PPE.

10. The FDA continues to monitor authorised tests and emerging scientific evidence and may revise or revoke an EUA; continues to monitor for fraudulent and unproven medical products related to COVID; and has launched Operation Quack Hack to review websites, social media posts and online market place listings.

12. COVID is reshaping the way healthcare systems are being built which involves a major shift towards digital.

Thank you to the speakers

Aude Ouensanga Partner

Mary McNamara-Cullinane Snr VP, Regulatory Affairs

Thank you to Ian Burgess and Lorraine Hendry for organising these excellent webinars.