The State of Telemedicine
With the pandemic disrupting noncritical visits to doctor’s offices, a recent HIT Consultant piece notes that patients “were just as likely to seek their own care options when they faced challenges in seeing their own primary care physicians.”
The result was a rapid diversification of the telehealth market to help meet emerging needs and ensure consistent patient care.
The value proposition of telemedicine is simple, says Neil Lappage, public sector solutions lead at ITC Secure and member of the ISACA Emerging Trends Working Group, an IT governance professional association: “It’s all about being able to provide healthcare services that are customized, allowing patients to receive the right care at the right point in time and delivering services when people are available.”
Along with real-time video calls that enable patients and providers to discuss current challenges and treatment plans, other technologies let people virtually wait to see a clinician or have a doctor call them back.
How Does Telehealth Improve Patient Care?
The biggest benefits of telemedicine solutions are customization and personalization.
According to research firm Deloitte, “Digital medicine products offer the opportunity to become more patient-centric, influence patient adherence and outcomes, better understand the patient experience of disease, and generate real-world data that is relevant to customers.”
Lappage highlights another benefit of personalized care programs: patient comfort.
“If you think about it,” he says, “you’ve got the physical comfort and emotional well-being of patients to consider, and at home, this is likely improved. It’s a win-win for providers and patients.”
Other advantages include the simplification of follow-up appointments and improved service efficiency.
“A very strong use case is follow-up appointments,” Lappage says. “One of the issues that we have is that people might not follow a doctor’s advice for taking their full course of antibiotics and may not attend an in-person follow-up interview. Telehealth can increase this follow-up rate. We might see fewer people having a relapse because they get the attention they need. This reduces the strain on the healthcare system.”