Providers and patients around the world are increasingly embracing digital healthcare technologies. Telehealth, m-Health, e-health, artificial intelligence-powered devices, virtual reality tools, PMS, EHRs/EMRs, wearable medical gadgets, and 5G mobile technology are some of the key emerging trends in the digital healthcare field. Digital healthcare drives innovative technologies in managing practice and improving care outcomes.
Intelligent technologies are adopted to empower patients by providing personalized care and allowing informed decision-making. Patients become active partners in the treatment process and can easily navigate through complicated healthcare delivery systems. They gain instant access to their medical records and e-prescriptions that the doctors share via EHR/EMR among various stakeholders, including other specialists, pharmacists, nurses, diagnostic labs, patients, and staff.
Patients are steadily shifting towards digital healthcare also to fulfill their on-demand care requirements. Busy schedules and contemporary lifestyle necessitates that patients seek healthcare as per their plan. Increased mobility, migration, lack of healthcare facilities in remote locations, and rising patient awareness are other contributing factors to the emergence of the on-demand economy.
On the other hand, providers can organize OPD operations, manage day-to-day clinical workflows, reduce healthcare costs, and enhance efficiency with technologies like practice management systems, EHRs/EMRs, doctor apps, and AI-powered systems. Turning to digital healthcare also allows specialists and facilities to move away from the constraints of conventional practice to the more profitable digitized practice and business.
Another key trend is that the advent of digital health technologies has changed the way patients communicate with doctors. Now, they can overcome the shortcomings of traditional channels and reach out to providers anytime, anywhere. Medical professionals can also interact with their patients 24/7 and remove the barriers in their delivery of healthcare. Remote communication is facilitated through instant messaging, phone, live video, and emails letting patients get in touch with doctors without stepping out from their homes. Mobile apps play a critical role in this light by providing instant access to telecommunication tools via smartphones and tablets.
Notably, telemedicine and virtual care are new phenomena in the healthcare field that are transforming the way patients seek and providers facilitate healthcare. Residents in rural and remote geographical regions stand to benefit significantly as they don’t need to travel long distances to consult a doctor. The conspicuous lack of specialist and superspecialist providers, facilities, and services in such locations is another setback that gets resolved with telemedicine.
Telemedicine enables the treatment of several health problems without the need for in-person visits by patients. Telecommunication tools, such as video, phone, audio, and chat, are used to address health concerns, diagnose or treat patients remotely. Doctors can give medical advice, suggest lifestyle changes, enquire about and check various signs and symptoms, recommend at-home exercises or prescribe tests and medication. Typically, telemedicine helps treat common ailments or provide chronic care. However, it is also banked upon to manage pediatric or elderly health problems. In case of a serious condition or emergency, the doctor advises visiting a clinic or a hospital after an initial e-consultation.
Here we identify the major advantages of adopting telemedicine for your practice:
Revenue and patient volume maximization: Telemedicine boosts patient retention by allowing your facility to provide virtual care during times of health crisis, natural disasters, or other emergencies. You can also cater to elderly and child patients from a distance as it is difficult for these patient groups to visit a clinic or a hospital repeatedly. Likewise, telemedicine facilitates chronic care management that requires regular visits or consultations. So, providers who adopt telemedicine expand their patient base and can serve them despite time, space, or other barriers. Telemedicine opens up a flexible work-from-home chamber for physicians to allow 24/7 delivery of care. It reduces overhead expenses on infrastructure for physicians and the incidence of no-shows.
Optimum resource utilization: During emergencies, the public healthcare system is burdened, and resources like medical facilities are scarce. For example, during the current COVID-19 pandemic, constant efforts are being undertaken to “flatten the curve” by inhibiting new infections so that the active cases can be tackled foremost. In such scenarios, telemedicine helps de-stress healthcare facilities and allows the efficient deployment of resources and workforce. The majority of non-emergency consultations can be shifted online to cut back unnecessary in-person visits and use of medical equipment, specialists, staff, and infrastructure more appropriately in the public interest.
On-demand, convenient patient care: As per a Cisco global survey, 74% of patients desire ease of access to healthcare services and are open to virtual consultations. They prefer convenience over in-person visits to providers’ chambers. Telemedicine offers an avenue for providing remote on-demand care to patients via video, text, chat, email, or phone, depending upon suitability. It helps save time and costs involved in physical visits and enables 24/7 healthcare accessibility.
Contactless, risk-free consultations: Virtual care protects health workers and patients from the potential risk of infections or other illnesses caused by human contact. During a public health crisis, telemedicine offers a secure mode of delivering or accessing healthcare from the safety of your home.
Reachability across geographical limitations: Telemedicine enables connectivity between providers and patients in events when distance or time is the barrier. Patients based in remote locations, homebound, or have busy schedules can access care remotely. Other kinds of obstacles, such as the inability to travel, weather, lockdown norms, or emergencies, can as well be eliminated through virtual modes of healthcare.
Higher healthcare savings: Remote patient monitoring leads to reduced healthcare costs for providers, patients, and insurance companies alike. Telemedicine also diminishes the need for unnecessary non-urgent in-person visits to clinics or hospitals. It slashes transportation costs significantly by reducing the need for regular physical checkups.
Extended specialist access: Telemedicine helps provide physician access in remote or rural locations that have been deprived of top-notch specialists and superspecialists. Patients facing issues in accessing lifesaving consultations for chronic or rare diseases can reach out to doctors across medical specialties via telemedicine. Physicians can be referred to patients for virtual consultations regardless of location.
Improved patient care and engagement: Telemedicine or other digital healthcare platforms involve patients as key participants in their healthcare journey. Patients can keep an eye on appointment schedules, read healthcare tips shared by doctors, ask health queries, and seek healthy lifestyle choices. Telemedicine reassures patients about the round-the-clock availability of doctors as and when required. It also allows patients to reach out to physicians from the comfort of their homes and more frequently. Patients can report early warning signs, book health tests and packages, and schedule follow-up consultations to track their healthcare continuously.
In-depth research, precision, and novelty of content – these are the elements that characterize the writings of Priyanka Miglani. As a blogger, she is keen on bringing different kinds of write-ups to the table and on staying updated with the latest developments in various fields always to fulfill her readers’ expectations. Genuinely interested in multiple styles of writings, including healthcare, fitness, medicine, travel, entertainment, lifestyle, and education, she is associated with the branding, advertising, and digital marketing industry for more than eight years. You can ask health-related queries and view more of her content related to digital healthcare at www.careclues.com.