Many analysts and reviewers believe that the COVID 19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown across many countries may have turbo-charged certain aspects of human endeavor and given us a five year forward leap into the future. These assertions are true to a certain degree, especially in the way we define the healthcare sector.
In this regard, the field of medical aesthetics has not been left out of this paradigm shift. An industry with an estimated worth of over £2 billion, the facial aesthetic industry has had to pause and recalibrate. Going forward, we expect to see a reinvention and modification of the usual way in which things are done.
Telehealth Might Be Here To Stay
Many people have had to stay indoors as a result of the instituted lock down for many months. This, however, did not in any way hinder people from engaging in one of the many things that define our humanity – communication.
Among other things such as working from from home and keeping in touch with friends and family, many people have gone on to seek education from their doctors and other healthcare providers via the internet and telecommunications space.
This development is even more prominent in the aesthetics sector which has gone on to provide Telehealth services to its clients. Many aesthetic businesses in the UK reported as much as a 70% increase in requests for virtual consultations within the period of lockdown and were able to schedule both old and new patients in advance for aesthetic treatments.
This has seemingly become the new normal. In this period, the global download and use of video-chat platforms such as Skype and Zoom have risen above 100 percent. In fact, in March of 2020 alone, such applications got downloaded 27 million times! This is indeed a sharp contrast to the 2.1 million downloads observed in January of the same year.
Such platforms have not only provided an interphase for consultation and education of individuals seeking aesthetic treatments, but have also played a crucial role in the marketing of aesthetic products. Manufacturers of aesthetic products have also experienced a rise in their online views and reviews simply because people now have more screen time.
It is now becoming apparent that these new developments may not be short lived as even with the tight restrictions now being eased off, we still find that such innovations are being embraced as our new reality.
Maximum Safety Is The New Watchword
Moving forward, as clinics and health centers gradually reopen, more novel ways of doing things are to be expected. For the benefit of both patient and healthcare provider, stricter measures are being put in place. Non-treatment based consultations are increasingly being left to the Telehealth space whereas for patients who need to be physically present, more effort is being made towards reducing waiting time and avoidable contacts with healthcare providers and other patients as much as possible.
There is also the adequate provision and regular use of personal protective equipment (PPE) by healthcare providers especially during examination and treatment, regular disinfection of contact surfaces and a reorganization of halls, waiting rooms and office setups.
These new adjustments are to enable the ease of movement and to reduce clustering and unnecessary physical contacts.
Quality Is King
Contrary to the initial fear that the COVID 19 pandemic would greatly lessen the demand for aesthetic procedures, we have seen quite the opposite, thanks to the “Zoom boom” effect which has led to a huge surge in the demand for facial “tweakments” as more and more people get acquainted with their perceived facial flaws.
What we expect however, is that with the heightened safety consciousness in the wake of the pandemic, patients will no longer be comfortable going to unqualified persons for treatment on the basis of cheaper prices alone. This will be evident in many prospective patients doing their own research about any facial aesthetics procedures they wish to undergo and where they wish to go to receive them.
Patients are expected to be more safety conscious and this means more patients seeking for aesthetic practitioners with the right certifications and training from accredited training centers to carry out these procedures. This is where we come in. With over 20 years of experience in providing aesthetic training for health professionals across different fields, the award-winning Derma Institute provides both beginner and advanced training sessions for aesthetic practitioners. With trainings like these, patients can feel safe in the hands of their caregiver.
As the UK continues to tighten its regulations on the medical aesthetic sector, only health professionals who meet the HEE requirements will be able to take full advantage of the ever-growing aesthetic market. It is therefore expected that the demand for quality aesthetic training will equally rise further in the coming months, especially the demand for botox and dermal filler training as these together represent the most sought after non-surgical and non-invasive aesthetic treatments.
By all measure, no one can really say what the future holds, but recent developments and current novel ways of approaching aesthetic care has but given us a glimpse into that future and what we should reasonably expect with a good margin of certainty going ahead.