The Rise of TeleMedicine
Very soon the rise of Telemedicine may mean that Americans will once again be accustomed to having a doctor in the house. In the not so distant past physicians made house calls. In fact as late as the 60’s this was still a fairly common occurrence – however with the onset of a healthcare system that worked toward increasing optimization memories of in home personalized care became a thing of distant memories – until technology brought the possibility back!
Today there is an exciting method of providing personalized healthcare in homes, offices, and remote clinical settings. The movement is called TeleHealth or TeleMedicine – and the impact of this care on both patients and the healthcare system will become massive in the coming years.
What is TeleMedicine?
TeleMedicine is on the rise. As of right now, there is no single common model that has emerged in TeleHealth – rather, there is a cluster of different initiatives and models which are popping up that allow technology to be leveraged to provide direct patient care in a variety of new ways. Some examples of TeleMedicine include:
- Telephonic consultations between patients and physicians, or consultations between primary care providers and specialists
- Video conferencing which allows for physician access via bridging technology (such as Skype, patient portals, or via the web)
- Teleconferencing or video conferencing between patients and their care teams
- Virtual behavioral health providers who meet with patients via the web who live in remote areas
- Virtual applications may gauge patients symptoms via unique questionairres or assessments (DocResponse is currently piloting initiatives like these with their application which has been recognized as the worlds most accurate symptom checker)
- Virtual surveys may be released to patients to complete at home to gauge mood, activity, or pain
The appearance and application possibilities for TeleMedicine are nearly infinite.
According to the FTI Journal “the adoption of TeleMedicine will be incremental. It will also be transformative.”
Why the Rise of TeleMedicine is good for Healthcare
Healthcare is currently at a major tipping point where the value of care needs to be aligned with positive outcomes for patients – and this all needs to be done in a way that is more efficient – and cost effective – than ever before. TeleMedicine is one way to address these issues – and healthcare organizations and other industry stakeholders are taking note.
- TeleMedicine is easing demand management challenges and allowing providers to see more patients, more frequently – by leveraging technology.
- Providers who have more outreach and engagement with patients also statistically have better outcomes for the patients that they serve – these patients get better, faster – and utilize less healthcare resources!
- TeleHealth is an effective preventive tools that encourages patient populations to focus on wellness before the onset of preventable illness – rather than the costly treatment of an illness in a clinical setting once it has occurred.
- According to a study published in Health Affairs TeleHealth programs were able to decrease costs per patient between 7.7% and 13.3% (depending on the technology and program.)
- Another study, conducted by the Center for Technology Leadership (sponsored by Partners Healthcare), found that “expected savings gained from reducing the number of physical transfers between emergency departments through telemedicine easily could cover the costs of equipping all U.S. emergency rooms with TeleMedicine capabilities.”
The Rise of TeleMedicine in Other Sectors
It is not just the healthcare provider industry that is taking note of the new advancements and adoption of TeleMedicine. There is increasing growth and interest coming from some of the industry’s leading providers, payers, and employers as well.
BlueCross BlueShield and Anthem have both rolled out TeleMedicine programs to their members with 3.5 million people gaining access to TeleMedicine services.
A Cisco Customer Experience Report is estimating that 7 million Americans will have access to some form of TeleHealth services by 2018.
37% of all Employers with 1,000 employees or more are expected to offer TeleMedicine services to their employees by the end of the year.
TeleHealth currently makes up 25% of the Health IT market, which is estimated at $15.6 Billion dollars per year – and expected to increase to $20 Billion dollars per year by 2019.
What Will The Rise of TeleMedicine Mean For Patients?
The rise of TeleMedicine will mean that patients will soon have access to more ways to get the healthcare services that they need – in a manner which is more cost effective overall and can help them maintain or improve their health.
For many it also means something that is much more valuable. A new way to interact with healthcare providers that feels more effective, more personal, and more convenient. TeleMedicine is bringing the high touch personalization of healthcare from yesterday to the modern market – which is something we can all get excited about.
DocResponse works with TeleMedicine providers to offer a patented diagnostic platform to aid in the delivery of TeleMedicine Services. Recently recognized as the most accurate symptom checker in the world – DocResponse is the only technology that offers superior differential diagnosis, patient information, and preventative education to support the delivery of healthcare. To find out more about how your TeleHealth initiative can utilize DocResponse please contact us at info@Docresponse.com