Millions have avoided in-person consultations in the past year and providers see ‘asynchronous’ care as the future of health.
During the coronavirus pandemic, telemedicine looks like the future of health care. Is it a future that we want?
Virtual health is arguably the most important contemporary development in American healthcare. Remote communication and intelligent machines are poised to revolutionize the capabilities and outreach of healthcare providers. However, the terminology surrounding these technologies is chaotic, with broad disagreement over what is meant by “virtual health,” “telehealth,” “telemedicine,” and “autonomous health.”
n 2015, Cohen launched Virtual Health Partners to create a platform that gives people access to live, digital weight loss and wellness coaching around the clock. They offer private nutrition coaching, virtual fitness classes and workout plans and lifestyle modification courses that are accessible on their app and website. We discussed her career path and advice.
Virtual health stretches beyond the use of digital tools, or mobile devices that connect patients to physicians. It combines digital and telecommunication technologies to create a continuous connection between patients, physicians, and other caregivers. By combining technologies, health care stakeholders are able to more effectively coordinate patient care.
VCs are pouring money into telemedicine, and patients with all sorts of ailments are saving some of theirs.
Paired with the appropriate smartphone apps, client portals, and personnel, Alexa could prove useful in the health care space—and for Amazon, it doesn’t hurt that that endeavor could also be quite profitable.
Despite employer adoption of virtual visits, they have been slow to catch on with patients. Fewer than 1 percent of enrollees in large employer health insurance plans used telemedicine services in 2016, according to a separate Kaiser analysis of medical claims data.
Mercer, a large employee benefits consulting firm, also found that worker use of telemedicine remained “frustratingly low.”
“It has not quite hit the mainstream yet,” said Mei Wa Kwong...
If we can keep people from having to make costly and unnecessary trips to the hospital by bringing the care to them, then we must do that.
Telemedicine absolutely has a place in modern healthcare, but it must be alongside regular visits with providers to keep us honest—if not with our doctors, than with ourselves.
Virtual healthcare can seem like a great option for people who want cost-savings and convenience, and that may be the case. However, there are downsides, and one of those is availability. Depending on the service provider you need to see, and where you live, you may have to wait a while to get an appointment.
There are also restrictions in some states. For example, depending on the state you live in, you may not be able to participate in telehealth visits unless you already have a relationship with the provider.
Medical robots are helping doctors and other professionals save time, lower costs and shorten patient recovery times, but patients may not be ready. Our research into human perceptions of automated health care finds that people are wary of getting their health care from an automated system, but that they can adjust to the idea – especially if it saves them money.
Overall, virtual health programs present new opportunities for patients to take a stake in their personal health needs. By better connecting patients to medical information and to physicians, and in turn connecting healthcare providers to key health data, the doctor-patient relationship is enhanced and quality of life increases.
There’s little question that professional care delivery in the United States is shifting toward virtual healthcare. Just a few months ago, medical research firm Parks Associates released a report showing that 60% of U.S. households with broadband access “are interested in remote care that would take place online or by telephone.”
Virtual care offers relief from spiraling healthcare expenses in multiple ways. Patients no longer need to pay for transportation or sacrifice lost wages to visit a distant specialist. Instead of putting off time-consuming travel, they can receive treatment before their conditions worsen and require costlier care. Telemedicine also helps hospitals provide care to a greater number of patients without filling beds and waiting rooms – improving post-acute care and reducing unnecessary ER visits and readmissions, while lowering overhead.
High-tech health care hasn’t proved effective at changing patients’ bad habits.
The VirtualHealth HELIOS solution is the first comprehensive care management platform purpose-built to power the entire ecosystem of value-based care. Utilized by some of the most innovative health plans in the country to manage millions of members, HELIOS streamlines person-centered care with intelligent case and disease management workflows, unmatched data integration, broad-spectrum collaboration, patient engagement, and configurable analytics and reporting.