In 2020, consumer adoption of telehealth services jumped to 49% from 11% in 2019. Telehealth medicine is now a mainstay in the delivery of health services, and the adoption of this virtual solution is expected to grow steadily. Now you can speak to a doctor anytime, from anywhere, and get the help you need without planning a visit to a physical health facility. Here are some ways that telehealth has redefined health care.
Quicker Access to Care
The U.S. is projected to be short more than 120,000 doctors by 2030, while Australia expects to see a shortfall of nearly 9,300 full-time general practitioners in the next decade. That means people will likely have to wait longer to receive treatment. Most patients who want to see a doctor have non-emergency illnesses or injuries that don’t require a visit to a physical office.
Telehealth now enables these patients to conveniently consult online doctors, receive professional advice or care, and start the path to recovery much sooner.
Development of Better Healthcare Apps
With more people adopting telemedicine, software developers are working tirelessly to develop powerful health care applications. These apps are designed to deliver virtual health services from providers to patients and help patients get more information about their condition before speaking to a doctor.
Apart from chat and video conferencing, some of the features we are seeing include the ability to take medical tests remotely, complete symptom evaluations for pre-diagnosis, take part in community forums, complete ePrescriptions, and enable AI-powered chatbots.
Improved Telemedicine Training
The rise of telehealth means doctors, nurses, and other health workers need additional training to help them deliver better remote care. Training minimizes errors, adds more value, and ensures the patient’s experience is just as positive as an in-office appointment.
There are now various training programs for health workers that allow them to further their education online during their free time. Thanks to the incorporation of artificial intelligence into the training, learners can now access digital simulation labs to mimic experiments and sharpen their skills before working with a patient.
Better Patient Monitoring
Remote patient management uses non-invasive technology to gather critical patient data outside of a traditional doctor’s office. Patients can use a personal app that helps them track their health, while doctors can receive data from that app to get a clear picture of a patient’s health. The data captured includes vital signs, blood pressure, oxygen levels, heart rate, weight, and other metrics.
This solution enables health providers to monitor how a patient is doing in real time, identify problems, offer professional guidance, and even recommend immediate treatment.
Reduced Health Care Costs
It’s no secret that health care is costly for the patient, health organizations, businesses, and the government. If fully embraced, telemedicine can offset some of these expenses. First, an appointment via telemedicine costs less when compared to a doctor’s office visit or an emergency room visit.
Telehealth reduces unnecessary non-urgent trips to the emergency room as patients can get a diagnosis through an online conversation with a doctor. Solutions such as remote monitoring decrease readmission rates and complications, lowering health care costs in the long term.
Telehealth Is Still Evolving
In 2020, telemedicine has proven to be life-saving, allowing medical practitioners to pool their resources and take care of patients from afar. The adoption of telehealth isn’t about to stop any time soon. People are increasingly growing comfortable with it and often prefer it over traditional methods of receiving care.
Telehealth services provide convenience for those seeking care, cuts health costs in different ways, and improves the patient experience. In the next decade, we expect to see innovations that will enhance telehealth quality and give consumers more control over their health.