What Healthcare Entrepreneurs Can Learn From The Coronavirus Outbreak
Healthcare entrepreneurs stand to learn many lessons from the current coronavirus outbreak. Here's what to know, and what to take note of
The Wuhan Coronavirus has taken over news stories all over the world because of the sudden, unexpected potential for a serious outbreak and major public health concern. The virus, which originated in China’s Wuhan province, created the need for China to quarantine the area and other towns around the center of the outbreak. Now, travelers from the region have also started bringing the virus to other parts of the world, such as Australia, Canada, the United States, and Europe. As this virus makes its way through the population, here are lessons healthcare entrepreneurs and public officials are learning.
The citizens at the center of the outbreak are dealing with medical personnel shortages. Ever since the beginning of the outbreak and the official quarantine, people in Wuhan, China, have had to be on lockdown. As more people develop symptoms, they’ve gone to the hospital seeking care, and the doctors and nurses in the area haven’t been able to keep up. Public panic increases the number of potential patients, which puts stress on medical personnel staff. If the virus spreads to other parts of the world, the industry must increase the number of trained staff to handle the demand.
Besides having enough doctors and nurses to handle a virus outbreak, healthcare officials need to also be prepared with protective gear to keep the virus from spreading to medical staff. In China, there are already shortages of protective suits and masks, leaving doctors and nurses vulnerable. Around the world, hospital administrators and other healthcare officials need to start stocking up on protective gear to handle the potential outbreak.
Additionally, there is a need for accurate, fast medical tests that determine if a patient has the virus. Entrepreneurs like Harry Stylli have created revolutionary health tests that indicate the presence of various pathogens or markers of disease. For a potential public health outbreak, it’s necessary to amp up the production of these tests, which can give officials a more accurate view of how many patients there are.
The Wuhan region of China has also started working on building a new hospital to take on more patients and handle the overflow. The builder’s goal is to get the hospital constructed in as little as six days. There are thousands of workers committed to the task to help ease the stretch on resources in other hospitals in the city. The healthcare industries in other parts of the world should pay attention to the fast response by building a new structure to handle patients in case there is a need for more quickly built hospitals around the world.
Part of the problem with the Coronavirus is that there is no vaccine to help protect the billions of people who could potentially be exposed to this new pathogen. The industry has responded by feverishly working on a vaccine to help stop the virus from spreading around the world. Researchers and healthcare businesses have learned about the partnership between scientists and drug developers to keep the public safe from a worldwide outbreak.
City quarantines for illness outbreaks are rare, but with the Coronavirus, they are being used on a big scale. The Chinese government responded to the outbreak by quarantining the city of Wuhan and has expanded that quarantine to other cities nearby. They have limited transportation options, closed almost all buildings and businesses, canceled schools, and forced all citizens to stay at home. The industry is seeing how the people at the center of it all are reacting, and they are taking note of how to roll out a quarantine for other potential outbreaks.
Visitors to China have sometimes been surprised to see how common neighborhood wet markets are in the country. Wet markets feature a variety of live, wild animals, such as dogs, wolves, birds, bats, and reptiles, for consumption. Some vendors also butcher the animal for customers as part of the sale. Unfortunately, the sanitation standards for these markets are lax, leading to the pathogen that caused the Coronavirus to be passed on to humans. Now, leaders are brainstorming ways to control these types of markets so they are safer.
The Flow of Information
Lastly, the flow of information regarding Coronavirus statistics is another detail healthcare industry professional have been monitoring throughout the crisis. In the past, China has limited information about potential problems in the country, and many suspect China of manipulating the official death totals and virus victims with the current situation. That has led to a large number of rumors, viral videos, and other narratives from Wuhan citizens disputing China’s official story and creating more confusion.
In the next few weeks, the world will see how the Coronavirus will impact the people outside of China. The healthcare industry is preparing for a potential outbreak in different areas and learning from China’s successes and mistakes.