Digital technology is impacting lives in fundamental ways, most notably through the virtualization of work, shopping, and healthcare. Drop-shipping enables people to access millions of products and services immediately through online shopping. Global teams can communicate and collaborate online across time zones and borders using online collaboration tools. Technologies such as telemedicine and wearables allow patients to monitor their health and transform healthcare access.
Many countries have practiced telemedicine (or telehealth) for quite a while; however, telemedicine use has skyrocketed since the Coronavirus outbreak as people turn to remote services for medical care.
The process of providing healthcare over the internet or by phone is known as telehealth. These solutions may include live video calls, mobile health apps, remote patient monitoring, stored-and-forwarded images, or other long-distance communication solutions. A crowded healthcare facility becomes unsafe, and efficiency in healthcare now more than ever is vital. In addition, a changing healthcare environment has made innovation and adaptation essential.
Telehealth and remote medical care ensure that medical professionals can provide services to patients without spreading disease to other individuals.
In the age of remote care and telemedicine, healthcare will be more accessible to a broader range of people. Despite the increasing use of telehealth, there will still be a need to see a medical professional in person in some capacity. It will likely increase in importance and become an integral part of global healthcare.
The Merits and Demerits of Remote Healthcare
Telehealth & remote care are on the rise, but there are key benefits to this new way of delivering healthcare. These include:
Cost-Effectiveness & Healthcare Savings:
Electronic data storage and remote analysis and monitoring services reduce healthcare costs by a great deal, saving patients money and their patients and insurance companies. In addition, regular checkups via telemedicine reduce travel expenses and eliminate unnecessary non-urgent ER trips. Besides cost-savings, telehealth can also boost revenue by converting on-call hours into billable time, attracting new patients, reducing no-shows, and even reducing overhead for physicians who want to work partly from home.
Increasing patient engagement:
Ultimately, better health and lower costs result from patients committing to their healthcare goals. Engaging patients through telemedicine can help them keep appointments and schedule care. In addition to encouraging healthy lifestyle choices, increased engagement initiatives can reduce obesity and tobacco use rates. Virtual visits reassure patients that their providers are available and involved in their care and allow them to ask questions, report early warning signs, and schedule follow-up appointments.
Increased efficiency and workflow:
Patients would no longer have to drive to their doctor’s office, and physicians would no longer need to travel from room to room. In addition, telehealth allows for a more efficient diagnosis and improves the quality of patient care. It benefits doctors and patients by streamlining the process and enhancing patient satisfaction through a thorough and smooth procedure.
Demerits of Remote Healthcare
There are benefits to remote care and telehealth, but there are also challenges that providers need to be aware of and prepared for:
Equipment and technical training:
Restructuring IT personnel responsibilities and purchasing equipment take time and money. The training process is essential to establishing a successful telemedicine program. Training physicians, practice managers, and other medical staff about the new systems are imperative before achieving a solid return on investment. As a result, physician staffing requirements decrease.
Patients without internet access:
Telehealth services may not be accessible to some patients due to a lack of internet connection. They may not have internet access because their internet speed is too slow for video chats, or they do not have it. Even though it is possible to perform some telehealth functions over the phone, this does pose a challenge to providers who wish to assist everyone.
There is a greater risk of sending confidential information over an insecure network or being hacked when more patient meetings occur over video. It could result in the leak of sensitive patient information. Therefore, healthcare providers must prioritize cybersecurity to protect patient records.
Delay from insurance:
Health insurance coverage varies from state to state and insurance company to insurance company. Some insurance companies may be slow to adopt telehealth practices. For instance, some insurance providers cover video and phone calls, whereas others only cover video calls. Insurance providers’ regulations and red tape will challenge healthcare providers.
Getting older patients on board:
Healthcare for seniors is of the utmost importance. However, the concept of telehealth can be unfamiliar to some people, so it may take a little while to adjust to it. Older patients have difficulty using new technology, and remote healthcare is no exception. Patients who may be slow to adapt to the trend of remote care will need assistance with learning programs and individual support.
The New Trend- Remote Healthcare
Healthcare is no exception to this rule. Various disciplines, including medicine, vaccines, social services, and environmental health, have turned their attention to solving the crisis. In addition, many key trends, including biotechnology, smart medicine, virtual and augmented reality, smart cities, digital twinning, and robotics, have played a role.
The report published by Astute Analytica estimates that the Remote Healthcare market will grow at a CAGR of more than 20% from 2021 to 2027.
Through COVID-19, telehealth and temporary hospitals have been made possible in the healthcare sector. It has led to cancellations of operations and a reduction in the operational capacity at the hospital. Due to this, people have been instilled with fear, resulting in a drastic drop in inpatient visits. Due to the limited number of acute-care facilities and the delay in treatment, remote-care technologies are spreading rapidly.
During this epidemic, remote medical care is gaining ground. Worldwide, patients want shorter hospital stays, more cost-effective treatments, and quicker recovery times. In the digital age and with the help of technology, remote monitoring is a tool for managing chronic conditions, post-operative care, and completing the recovery process.
Covid-19 will likely inspire clinicians and patients alike to embrace new technologies, such as Remote Healthcare, which might become part of regular clinical practices. Despite the growing demands on our healthcare systems, technology can help us reduce these costs, prevent expensive treatments, and promote a lasting, transformative change that benefits all patients throughout the entire healthcare system.
Author Bio – Emma Lewis
Emma is a freelance writer and content strategist offering ghostwriting, blogging, and copywriting services. She has a keen interest in content marketing with a hold on social media management and market research. With more than five years of experience in writing for different domains. Pitch her out to discuss interesting and niche healthcare domains blooming in integration with modern technologies.