IEIC Special Coverage | Dr. Mark Boxer Cigna

Cigna, Chief Information Officer

We are in the throes of a public health crisis of unprecedented proportions. While the value of the Internet was understood and clearly counted upon in times of crisis, at no time since the commercialization of the Internet has its true value been fully understood and appreciated. A new model of living has emerged that includes social distancing, home schooling and a scaled work from home mode.  Every aspect of everyday life is now predicated on virtual connections and internet-based models.  In healthcare, the delivery ecosystem has been altered and transformed in an accelerated manner by the virus, and telemedicine has morphed from being an attractive alternative to urgent care, to now being the first line of care delivery, even in specialties that have been slower to adopt.

This model of care would not be possible were it not for pervasiveness, capacity and resiliency of the modern Internet.  Moving magnitudes of interactions and work into social distant mode, including care delivery, requires digital apps certainly, but most of all, a robust Internet infrastructure.  Spikes in traffic and high bandwidth applications demand an infrastructure that is designed for new models of utilization and more sophisticated interactions.  This will not cease with the eventual control and eradication of the Covid-19 virus.  As every pandemic has transformed societies, so will Covid-19, and nowhere will that be more apparent than in how the Internet is used to access the healthcare system.