How Telehealth Is Changing the Healthcare Industry
What Telehealth Means for the Future of Healthcare
With digital services such as remote patient monitoring (RPM), live chat, and interactive online portals, telehealth technology is actively revolutionizing the healthcare system. It is becoming more efficient for everyone, from patients and care providers to administrators and insurance companies.
If a patient has an urgent question, they can quickly send their doctor a message online instead of having to wait for an appointment or go to an urgent care center, which costs on average of $150 per visit with insurance coverage. Overall, this technology is increasing patients’ access to valuable healthcare information, decreasing costs by 11% and tripling ROI for investors, easing the burden on healthcare providers and employers.
With 90% of healthcare professionals currently working to implement this technology in patient care applications, significant beneficial changes are on the horizon for the healthcare sector. Telehealth has come a long way since it was first introduced in the late 1960s and continues to evolve. Today, new telehealth platforms are more robust and easier to use than ever before.
64% of telemedicine programs now offer RPM, a vital service that allows healthcare providers to remotely monitor a patient’s condition in real-time without having the patient physically come to the provider. Telehealth services can be a blessing for patients that live in rural areas, in addition to many others who who find on-site meetings with providers difficult to attend for any other reasons.
Today, telehealth has been shown to be as effective as traditional in-person visits for certain conditions, at a significant cost savings. Telehealth systems allow patients to quickly reach out to primary care providers to see if further action is needed, reducing time, money, and staff waste while still giving patients access to the professional attention they need.
Doctors can increase the number of patient consultations they perform by as much as 800% with the integration of a comprehensive virtual solution for patient care, according to consumer data.
The Future of Telehealth and the Healthcare Industry
The adoption of telehealth shows no signs of slowing down. In a survey from March 2018, data was collected from 329 behavioral health providers across all 50 states and found that nearly half of respondents now regularly use telehealth services in their behavioral health practices.
As this upward trend continues, we’ll likely see even more healthcare providers in other sectors increasing the use of these digital services. While some patients may still be skeptical or confused in terms of using this technology, doctors will continue educating their patients on the benefits of telehealth, which means more patients will likely make use of this technology going forward.
Totten A, Womak D, Eden K, et al. Telehealth: mapping the evidence for patient outcomes from systematic reviews. Agency Healthc Res Qual. 2016 Jun; Report no 16-EHC034-EF.