The future of telemedicine is bright, to say the least. As an emerging faculty of the healthcare industry, it comes with a set of unprecedented trends that bring it to the spotlight.
Let’s take a look at how tele-health can mitigate and resolve many of the current healthcare system challenges. Some of these simply could not be provisioned without the slow-integration of the rising force that is telemedicine.
Keep reading to discover the future of telemedicine and learn more about how it may impact you.
Is Telemedicine Finally Here?
Telemedicine is a potential solution to many of the current problems that are present within the healthcare system. Some challenges may include:
- Increasing care delivery costs
- Decreasing health outcomes
- Manufacturer shortages
- Increased healthcare consumerism
- Rising market competition
- Decreasing reimbursement pragmatics
The beauty of telemedicine stands in the capability to resolve all of the above. Telemedicine can:
- Improve accessibility in healthcare
- Patients no longer have to travel for treatment
- Rural locations can have live consultations with specialist
- Daily monitoring for chronically ill patients
- Improved healthcare outcomes
- Reduction of no-show appointments
- Improve mortality rates, cut hospital stay and re-admissions
- Reduce complications
- Lower healthcare costs
- Reduce transfers and ER visits
- Reduce healthcare physical overhead
All shortages of medical personnel can be mitigated with telemedicine. Not to mention, that the benefits extend far beyond the clinical side, overarching into the realm of the patient.
In the USA, 50% of citizens have at least a single chronic illness.
Patients have less and less time for healthcare. No-shows are common, clinical visits simply don’t fit in with a hectic lifestyle. ANd telemedicine bridges that gap by allowing instant connection with physical visits.
It’s quite clear that benefits outweigh negatives in the case of telemedicine. However, the growth of telemedicine in terms of acceptance is still something to look forward to. The industry is creating invisible barriers on the premise of distrust, and lack of flexibility.
Nonetheless, let’s keep on keeping with some of the potential telemedicine trends.
Barriers Still Exist
Even though there are plenty of telemedicine providers, many are still hesitant to start.
Those who do embrace it, don’t all have access to video visit capabilities. In their case, virtual care extends through the medium of phone calls or IMs. Considering, the barrier of setting up and going through the hassle of having to learn the platforms for telemedicine – it is not surprising that many doctors resist.
Considering this, having a state-mandated implementation of telemedicine can significantly improve the transition into virtual healthcare. However, as it is currently preferential – the industry is left to its own devices.
Even with the wide range of benefits, allowing patients with urgent needs to connect with a doctor remotely – can seem to be pointless. However, the barriers to health, usually occur on the patient side.
What if a patient cannot get to the clinic easily? What are they have physical limitations? What if transportation is not readily available? What about the weather?
These barriers only seem like prevalent opportunities for the transition into telemedicine, but many doctors are still hesitant in pursuing it in their practice.
Doctors Are Embracing Telemedicine
Looking at a recent research study, it has been established that telemedicine in physician use-case scenarios is on the rise by 340%, between 2015 and 2018.
In the study, in 2015 – only 5% of doctors used telemedicine services. And at the end of 2018, 22% of doctors were. A significant increase to say the least.
Considering this, the increase can be directly related to the increase in patient demand. In reality, through analysis – 77% of patients would be interested in pursuing telemedicine options with their current practitioners.
Insurers Are Starting to Open Up
Now that telemedicine is on the rise, insurance companies are beginning to jump on the bandwagon as well. Even government-provisioned health care solutions are joining to help with telemedicine healthcare coverage.
A majority portion of US states now have laws, which mandate that private insurers must cover telemedicine costs, in a similar fashion as they would a private face-to-face consultation.
For example, Medicare covers remote monitoring and telemedicine services, where a specialist can check in on a patient heart function to make sure all is right and dandy.
AI Is Coming
Through all the recent advances of AI (Artificial Intelligence) – it has been seen as an outlier for significant change in the future of our world. And the healthcare industry is not an exception.
You can use technology to manage subscriptions for patients, but general tech and AI can do a lot more for telemedicine as well.
Many healthcare provides already use AI software, which helps with various clinical practices. For example, a doctor can use an AI-based program, which will help determine if a mole is malignant or if there are pulmonary nodules within the chest, using an x-ray.
Using AI to provide verbal communication can help automated system, establish a better service for patients who have questions, which have already been answered. This can help doctors gather information on their patients to prepare for a future virtual connection.
Future of Telemedicine Is Bright
Now we have covered some of the overbearing presence of telemedicine and some of the trends that come with it in this modern day.
You are well on your way to promoting it as a solution with your practitioner, using it as a remote health care option with your patients, or simply sharing with others the beauty and possibility of telemedicine.
After all, healthcare should be available to all – and that’s the end goal with the future of telemedicine.
Considering providing telemedicine to your patients? Please contact us to learn how our software may be able to help you.