AdvaMed said polling data confirmed that nearly half of American adults surveyed said they or someone in their household postponed or skipped medical care as a result of COVID-19.
The poll, released yesterday by the Kaiser Family Foundation showed that 48% of those adults or adults in their household had to put off medical care during the pandemic. It also revealed that 68% of those who postponed care expect to receive that care in the next three months, while 11% of respondents reported worsened health as a result of the delay in care.
“We already knew that too many patients have been going without the care that is absolutely vital to their health, and what this poll confirms is that patients themselves are anxious and ready to continue the care that was put on pause because of COVID-19,” AdvaMed president & CEO Scott Whitaker said in a news release. “It’s time for these essential medical procedures to resume. Last week, we joined AORN and AHA in releasing ‘Re-entry Guidance for Health Care Facilities and Medical Device Representatives,’ which is an important step toward helping providers get patients safely and responsibly back to the care they need.”
While Americans are looking down the road at how to receive the medical care they’ve been forced to delay, medtech companies and healthcare providers are exploring how they might return to some normalcy.
A lot of companies posted first-quarter struggles in recent weeks, thanks in large part to a heavy impact from the coronavirus. In those first-quarter reports, leaders of the medtech industry’s biggest companies had their say on what the imminent future might look like.
Robot-assisted surgical technology developer Intuitive Surgical (NSDQ:ISRG) CEO Gary Guthart pointed out that patients who require surgeries that have been forced to delay them can’t continue to wait, and the demand once they are able to get their care is growing.
“We’ve been in contact with our customers routinely,” Guthart said. “There’s a backlog growing for surgery. These folks are going to need surgery. And really our opportunity, our job as a company is to make sure we can support them however we can in terms of access to systems or motion of systems to allow them to use what they have out there, and as those systems become full again, we can think about how to increase capacity going forward, and we have a few tools in the tool kit.”
New Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) CEO Geoff Martha acknowledged that, with the return of patients to their caregivers for non-COVID-19-related needs, medtech business won’t be far behind.
“As hospitals begin to resume broader treatment of non-COVID-19 patients around the world, we expect our business to begin to recover as well,” Martha said. “In addition, given the financial strength of the company, we are executing strategies to come out of this pandemic even stronger, attracting and retaining top talent and increasing and innovating the products and services that we offer physicians, patients and healthcare systems to win in the evolving marketplace.”
Mark Wehde, chair of the Mayo Clinic’s Division of Engineering, spoke during MassDevice’s DeviceTalks Tuesdays event about how Mayo Clinic is moving to reopen to non-COVID-19 patients in a safe and thoughtful manner.