What else should we look forward to besides COVID-19 vaccinations

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Issue 46: 22 December 2020
Every week, HEADlines brings you the latest news, stories and commentaries
in education and healthcare. This week, get insights on the latest developments
in healthcare.
Healthcare trends to expect in 2021

2020 has been a year overtaken by COVID-19, with many countries still reeling from the effects and impact of this deadly virus. The comfort though, is the many vaccines that have come on board, and as countries begin plans to vaccinate its citizens, we may soon be entering a new phase of the post-COVID world.  

Looking forward into 2021, here are the 5 biggest trends we can expect in healthcare in the coming year according to Forbes:  

  1. Healthcare a consideration in every aspect of life - Every company will have to safeguard the well-being of employees and customers, ensuring that measures are in place to protect the physical and mental health of its people; 
  2. Virtual care and remote medicine - Minor and routine appointments are likely to continue to take place virtually, reducing time spent at clinics and hospitals;
  3. Genomics and gene editing leading to further breakthroughs - 'Precision medicine', where drugs can be customised to match the genetic profile of individual patients will likely become more prevalent due to breakthroughs in this field;
  4. Data and AI driving shift to fairer healthcare insurance and coverage - The growth in the amount of data collected on our health will lead to an increased reliance on AI-prediction tools to forecast where resources can be used most efficiently;  
  5. AI, Internet of Things, and Smart Cities improving our ability to detect and respond to future outbreaks - Urban planners and municipal authorities will move towards planning and managing the way people live in ever-closer proximity to avoid the catastrophic impacts from another pandemic or outbreak. 

As we conclude the year, The HEAD Foundation would like to take this opportunity to wish all our readers a Merry Christmas! We will see you in 2021 with more insights and tips on healthcare in HEADlines. 
Healthcare in the Spotlight
Immunising just two-thirds of the population could be enough to halt the disease spread and protect whole communities or nations.
As a vaccine candidate that is potentially the most practical to produce, store and distribute, how does the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine compare to Moderna's and Pfizer/BioNTech's?
Estimates indicate that a quarter of adults and 81% of adolescents don't get sufficient exercise according to World Health Organisation standards. Just how much is enough?
Between 2010 and 2013, the girl was exposed to levels of nitrogen dioxide in excess of the WHO guidelines. This is the first time air pollution was cited as a cause of death.

Some scientists say it may have contributed to the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Apathy — a lack of interest or motivation — observed in patients could help doctors to predict the onset of some dementia forms years before the symptoms begin, new findings suggest.
Inspired by the findings by the World Mosquito Program in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, YSPH researchers set out to study how Wolbachia mosquitos can help protect people living in Brazil from dengue.

That's all for the week!
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