The healthcare industry has resisted a radical change for long. Health IT or Technology Enabled Care has shown the world a new direction during pandemic. A major shift in lifestyles ensure that Health IT is here to stay.
A couple of years ago, ‘Software on wheels’ was a concept too hard to believe but Tesla pushed the envelope to the ‘then’ unthinkable and the world was stunned. The case with Telehealth, however, is different. Even after being around for years now, it took us a pandemic to fully understand its potential.
As per a recent report by PWC, 32% of their survey respondents were planning to or already making modifications in their budget for healthcare in the wake of COVID 19. While 22% of them were planning to make adjustments with medications, 31% of the respondents replied that they would number or discontinue healthcare visits.
Clearly, COVID 19 is causing people to view an essential service like healthcare in a different light. The healthcare fraternities across the globe have been receiving shockwaves since the pandemic broke out. The scare of the virus coupled with a huge influx of patients and then unpredictable consumer behaviour paved the way for the Telehealth boom.
Here’s a list of reasons why Telehealth is the most preferred alternative for now and years to come:
1. A Cover For Front Runners
Even before the pandemic struck, the world was already facing a scarcity of doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers. As the number of COVID cases rose with time, this gap became all the more evident. A report by ICN (International Council For Nurses) said that around 90,000 health workers have been reported sick with the virus with 260 nurses dead.
Thus, to minimise physical contact between healthcare professionals and patients, Telehealth emerged as the right tool. A report by MC Kinsey reveals that as compared to 11% of patients in US utilising telehealth services in 2019, 46% of the population has switched to distant care during the COVID outbreak.
While the initial procedures were limited to screenings and consultations through video conferencing, healthcare facilities are integrating more intensive forms of ‘connected care’ through remote monitoring of patients with IoT and end point data capture devices.
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2. One Shot Solution to Reduce Operational Cost
With digital health and at-home care taking the precedence over physical visits, the healthcare world is gradually gravitating towards a more marginalized cost structure. Telehealth is actually helping patients move their way past ‘Emergencies’ and OPDs, thereby, landing them on the hospital beds directly. Moving the entire admission procedure to virtual reduces in person efforts and operational costs.
Also, it allows fractional employment for healthcare services. Through remote analysis services like telepathology and teleradiology, trained professionals can be employed as pooled in resources. Storing and forwarding facilities in Telehealth ensures that digital photographic records are shared with concerned departments.
3. Best Access Support For Senior Groups
The COVID graph exhibited the worst scenarios for the aged and senior communities. It was only rational that the American Association of Retired Persons laid out specifics for virtual care on their portals by March 2020. The association identified that bracing the elderly for virtual care came with its own set of challenges due to lack of digitization.
With remote monitoring of out-patients in place, connected care for senior groups ensure round the clock assistance of patients through mobile apps that facilitate maintaining their history of illness, drug allergy reports, photographic records, medical bills and even insurance claims.
4. Ruling In Favour Of Marginalised Groups
The American Journal Of Managed Care says that marginalised groups often had limited access to healthcare due to geographical distances, economic conditions and racial discriminations. A shift to telehealth would help refocus the attention of healthcare services towards marginalized groups.
The modern guidelines under the pandemic response framework ensures a better reach for healthcare facilities even to remote locations at reduced cost.
Read More : Telehealth – The Upscale Health IT Needed
Connected Health – Readopting A Futuristic Approach
Connected Health or Technology Enabled Care (TEC) has scaled itself up by leaps and bounds in all these years. While the pandemic has shown us the need to accept digitization of healthcare, overcoming the barriers calls for trailblazing software solutions in place.
1. A Much-Needed Shift
The Telehealth boom is based on the developments in remote monitoring for patients requiring intensive care. Mobility issues during the pandemic has pushed software developers to think beyond the regular and that’s where the need for advanced remote monitoring was realised.
The most dynamic of approaches introduced is the use of IoT (Internet Of Things) powered by unique identifiers that enables automatic emission of end point data variables to a built in cloud through wearables on patients or industrial machinery attached to them. Efficient data management systems through the cloud heralded a pragmatic approach.
2. Sporadic Growth Of A Branch Medicine
Other than the health hazards, COVID 19 brought out the worst of economic meltdowns resulting in a stark increase of psychiatric issues since March 2020. While the global population grappled with fear of infection and economic crisis, a surge for psychiatric counselling was observed. A report by HartFord Healthcare reflected that the age groups of 18-29 had major psychological concerns. While 36% of the respondents reported depression, 42% of them had acute signs of anxiety.
With telehealth consultations, hospitals and healthcare organisations have been able to address this problem efficiently. Ease of access from home, round the clock assistance, one-on-one interactions through video conferencing, patient tracking through mobile devices coupled with constant motivations to continue with diagnosis – Telehealth can make the procedure flawless.
3. Need For An Efficient IT Partner
While only 4% of hospitals and healthcare centres opted for Telehealth in the pre COVID world, the scenario now is quite different. Almost every facility has adopted some fraction of Telehealth in its diagnosis but most of it is still done through Zoom, Skype, Google Duo and various others. What lacks is efficient management of patient’s data, robust ways of remote monitoring and ultimately confidentiality concerns.
If you are considering upscaling your healthcare services to Telehealth, a perfect IT partner who can build a customized software framework to bridge the gap between efficient diagnosis and end care is your need of the hour. At Radixweb, developing customized healthcare software solutions have been our forte. With a 20-year legacy in helping businesses transition into their required best, we are committed to provide the best of Health IT in years to come.
So if you are interested in digitizing the healthcare services, Get in touch with us and we would be happy to help.