Telehealth: A quarter-trillion-dollar post-COVID-19 reality?
Telemedicine can be defined as the use of technology (computers, video, phone, messaging) by a medical professional to diagnose and treat patients in a remote location.
There are few limitations to how telemedicine can be applied. Here are a few examples of how it is being used today.
Using health software for routine follow-up visits is not only more efficient for providers and patients, but it also increases the likelihood of follow-up, reducing missed appointments and improving patient outcomes.
Remote chronic disease management
The increasing rate of chronic disease is a major challenge for our health system. It is a prime candidate for the use of telemedicine software because it makes it easier and less expensive for patients to maintain control over their health.
Remote post-hospitalization care
One telehealth program for patients with congestive heart failure reduced 30-day hospital readmissions by 73 percent and six-month readmissions by 50 percent.
Preventative care support
Weight loss and smoking cessation are the keys to reducing heart disease and a host of other conditions. Telemedicine can be a valuable tool in connecting providers with patients to make sure they get the support they need to be successful.
School based telehealth
When children become ill at school, they might visit a school nurse or be picked up by their parents and taken to an urgent care center. Some innovative districts have teamed up with doctors to conduct remote visits from the school. The provider can assess the urgency of the case and provide instructions or reassurance to parents.
Assisted living center support
Telemedicine software has already proven to be useful in keeping residence of assisted living facilities out of the hospital. Problems often occur at night or on weekends, making hospitalization the only option even for less urgent problems. With telemedicine, on-call doctors can conduct a remote visit to determine if hospitalization is necessary.