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Recognizing World Health Day 2021

Technology's Mission to Enable the Future of Well-being for Individuals and Communities.

By Leah Gabbert

Today, April 7, 2021 is World Health Day. Let’s take a moment to reflect on the importance of health; your health and the health of your family, as well as the health of your local and global community. Since the inception of World Health Day in 1950, the World Health Organization (WHO) leverages this day to bring awareness to varying health themes and issues. This year’s theme, “Building a fairer and healthier world for everyone,” is apropos given the current health crisis affecting everyone regardless of geography, race, gender, or socio-economic situation.

Building A Healthier World For Individuals

It’s been more than one year since the COVID-19 pandemic impacted everyday life as we knew it. While governments and corporations, communities and families tangled with questions that seemed to have constantly shifting answers, you and I paused. We paused to evaluate our health, and our healthcare situation. “How do I stay healthy?” “What happens if I, or my family member, fall ill?” All of a sudden the old saying “Without Your Health, You Have Nothing” rang true. Perhaps as a result of these critical wellness questions, we saw an uptick of individuals using wearable health tracking technology during 2020. Interestingly, 66% of individuals that reported using a wearable for the first time during the pandemic did so to manage a health condition. 

In this new reality, the topic of individual health has become a cornerstone to every conversation and interaction as we constantly check in with one another. We ask not only “how are you feeling?” but also “how are you doing?” A healthier world for individuals is more than daily temperature checks. It’s a proactive approach to physical health and wellness. It’s recognizing the importance of mental health. And, most importantly, it’s the intersection of physical and mental health, acknowledging that one always has a direct and powerful effect on the other.

Building A Healthier World For Our Community

An interesting effect of this global pandemic is in the redefining of our community boundaries. Of course, as members of ‘our local community’ we share responsibilities to support community health and wellness initiatives such as mask wearing, support for local hospitals, healthcare workers and first responders, and even civil infrastructure efforts to promote healthier eating (e.g. supermarkets built in food deserts) and physical activity (e.g. walking or bike paths). Now, we more easily identify as members of ‘our global community’ with responsibilities to support global vaccine distribution efforts to attain herd immunity against COVID-19, and to fight healthcare access inequities for our most vulnerable.

Regardless of the definition of community, we are seeing an incredible uptick in the use of technology—and health data—to drive healthier community initiatives. In fact, over the last decade or so, governments and healthcare organizations around the world have begun to leverage population health strategies. These strategies proactively promote healthier communities through the adoption of healthier lifestyles, the purposeful use of data aggregations, and preventative care which allows targeted populations to avoid exorbitant healthcare costs related to preventable conditions

The reality is that a healthier world for our community relies on a rich connection and personal feelings of responsibility toward both our local and global communities. It also relies on the use of technology to implement necessary health—and care—transformation. 

Healthcare Organizations Build A Healthier World 

Healthcare organizations around the world shifted quickly to adapt to the pandemic. We witnessed unprecedented pivots as these organizations heroically provided care for the increased volume of patients, and as time went on, to support technology-driven initiatives that allow agile new care models. We observed providers embrace consumer wearable technology to manage health conditions, and we listened as clinicians emphasized the importance of physical health—and mental health. 

We watched healthcare organizations like Seattle Children’s Hospital react quickly to evolving patient and clinician needs, recognizing that the “future of healthcare” is now. We saw health systems like Max Healthcare launch technology initiatives that allowed clinicians instant access to life-critical patient data. And, we learned from hospitals like Delaware Valley Community Health that launched a telehealth initiative allowing for 75% of its healthcare workers to work remotely within a matter of days.

Building a “fairer and healthier world for everyone” is no small feat. But, it has become evident that the path towards this goal depends on healthcare embracing technology—including cloud technologies—to enable healthcare workers, and to secure, organize, and protect patient data. To learn how Nutanix continues to transform the healthcare industry, please visit nutanix.com/healthcare

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