The Growing Acceptance of Virtual Care in 2019
Key Trends Poised to Impact and Expand Telemedicine
The greatest impact on the telehealth industry this year might very well reveal how connections, specifically doctor-to-doctor and specialist-to-patient, are propelling the industry forward in new and often unexpected ways. As telethealth goes even more mainstream, several areas that have been singled out to help spur growth include: direct-to-consumer models (DTC) and advancements through technology.
Why is the uptick in telemedicine expansion going beyond the typical clinical setting to home-based visits and even ICUs? It’s about convenience, quality and cost, but it’s also more apparent that providers and consumers jointly see telehealth and e-health applications as a way to improve access. Untold telehealth/telemedicine applications have been designed to enable patients to actively play a part in their healthcare.
“Telemedicine has emerged as a critical component of the healthcare crisis solution,” says Joseph Pores, Founder and CEO of Call 4 Health “Specialists are able to serve more patients using telemedicine technologies. And, nursing shortages, which continue as an ongoing critical gap, can also be addressed.” Telemedicine supported intensive care units are reducing complications and hospital stays, according to Pores, and access is leading the change and the charge as the paradigm of care shifts. ‘Remote’ is no longer a negative factor for whether emergency and/or other care services can be provided.
“There is a move away from the traditional primary care model. Telemedicine is simply a vital part of healthcare that is proving to be far reaching beyond expectations with a focus now on value-based care and everyday health,” says Pores. Research indicates that millennials are influencing and helping to expand the telehealth movement. A generation that grew up with the immediacy of digital technology is proving to be a top user of it. “Once people have a positive telehealth experience, it’s shared with others — from family to friends — and so on. Word of mouth has been essential to the growing acceptance of telehealth as a real way to connect,” adds Pores.
A survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute released last March, indicated that above other demographics/generations, millennials prioritize telehealth and are also more likely to visit a walk-in clinic without hesitation. As such, this movement is spurring on significant changes within the medical community, even at the education level. An article in HealthTech magazine reports that more virtual care options have accelerated training on the topic. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, telemedicine is now a required or elective course in nearly 85 medical schools.
The new normal: annual wellness exams to chronic illness and more
Since the perception of virtual care has shifted, leveraging telehealth/telemedicine means dealing with everyday needs — but also chronic illness and behavioral/mental health issues, plus orthopedic health — and perhaps surprisingly, even reaching out to those in need due to the opiate crisis.
While providers see patients via the traditional clinic-to-clinic and office visit telemedicine model as key to maintaining standards, more doctors/specialists/nurses and hospitals are leaning in to connect with patients at home via telemedicine technology for follow-up appointments and more.
About Call 4 Health
More than “Just” a Call Center, Call4Health is a leading telemedicine services provider with virtual call centers for various medical management services, including nurse triage. Virtual call centers at Call4Health are attended to with the utmost concern, compassion, empathy, and efficiency, every hour of the day, every day of the year.
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