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How Telehealth is Transforming Healthcare

By 

Maulik Kotak

Telehealth Healthcare

Telehealth has come a long way since it was first introduced about 25 years ago, with technology offerings improving on nearly every front. But now the telehealth revolution has just begun. It has been estimated that almost half the world's population lacks access to health services, and one in five people worldwide would be unable to see a doctor if they needed to. This healthcare trend is providing the world with a new approach to delivering care. The benefits of telemedicine include convenience, cost-effectiveness, and a more streamlined process for patients to access healthcare services.

The rapid growth of the sector—and the benefits it may bring to health—has and will continue to lead to expansion, innovation, and change. The technology has greatly expanded access to healthcare, while significantly reducing risk for patients and providers. Telehealth has been proven to be safe and effective in delivering remote patient care that reduces the length of hospital stays, improves post-hospital recovery time, improves patient satisfaction scores, decreases adverse drug events, and reduces burnout.

Telehealth is already providing millions of patients and families with access to affordable quality care for less than the cost of visiting a doctor. As the industry continues to expand, telehealth providers are created at an accelerated pace, and innovations like virtual visits, video chat, and teleconferencing may become more commonplace while providing healthcare services at home, in the workplace, or in other locations where people live or work.

Healthcare providers employed telehealth technologies to allow 46 percent of Americans to substitute a canceled healthcare appointment with a telemedicine service during the pandemic, according to a McKinsey research from May 2020. This translates to a 50 to 175-fold increase in the number of patients seen via telehealth. 

The telehealth revolution has just begun, and healthcare professionals should be taking full advantage of this new technology.

What makes telehealth the go-to option for millions of people across the globe?

1. The Convenience and Ease of Remote Healthcare

Telehealth has transformed the way people access healthcare. The pandemic has opened the door for remote monitoring and diagnostics, allowing providers to spend more time with patients at home and in their communities. Patients can gain access to quality care without commercial transportation cost or waiting for a bed; clinicians can stay engaged in caring for the patient by creating frequent but discrete check-ins, allowing them to continue their profession and meet daily patient needs while managing their work schedule; and families are being empowered to seek medical treatment when they need it even when on vacation or at work, preventing travel delays that may delay or interrupt normal life.

The COVID-19 pandemic has not only limited access to healthcare but it’s caused people to rely on new technologies to get the job done.  One of the greatest benefits that telehealth offers to patients and clinicians alike, is the ability to treat a wider range of illnesses in a manner that is comfortable and safe, giving those in need access to treatment without having to worry about potential barriers such as expanded patient contact precautions or the contagious nature of their disease. 

Telehealth is continuing to evolve from texting and phone calls to remote monitoring and robust patient portals that can be used by any provider. As a result, patients in the home are not only able to quarantine safely, but also those suffering from non-COVID afflictions have access to specialists, who can do their best work in a fine environment when they aren’t being hindered by location restrictions.

2. Reduces Strain on the Overburdened Healthcare System

The telehealth revolution has just begun, and with it comes the promise of less strain on the overburdened healthcare system. Partnered with qualified professionals and equipped to handle any care need, today's connectivity has rightfully been dubbed a game-changer for how we seek medical landings. 

Billions of people worldwide have access to telehealth services that allow them to be reached by professionals in their own time and place, rather than at a traditional health center or hospital. This automatically relieves healthcare providers of back-to-back patient visits, which can increase caseload and reduce patient satisfaction. Telehealth requires higher bandwidth compared to face-to-face consultations, but as long as the devices are able to exchange key data such as vital signs, patient medical history, diagnostic results, etc., then these additional bandwidth requirements are greatly offset by the decrease in man-hours spent on each service encounter.

 Stress levels for nurses, doctors, and home healthcare workers are high as a result of more work and less time to deliver care. Telehealth gives them the freedom to access mental health services from their own homes. With flexible scheduling in place, this enables them to spend more time with patients and reduce their overall stress levels.

3. Assists Patients With Limited Mobility and Other Physical Ailments

If you're like many patients who must travel to care settings due to their limited or impaired mobility and other physical issues, then you know firsthand how difficult those trips can be. You might have tried to find locations with parking lots, but without a wheelchair-accessible lift, finding that spot was impossible. Or maybe there was a steeply graded ramp that your wheelchair could not handle — not to mention the fear of slipping out of control at these higher elevations. The list goes on and on as to why we need telehealth solutions today.

For millions of people across the globe with physical or psychological illnesses, traveling to appointments can be a huge challenge. It takes effort and planning, particularly if you are dealing with mobility issues such as dementia or anxiety disorder. Many elderly or ill people struggle to go out in public and so telehealth is a convenient option for them.

Before telehealth, mobility-impaired patients and those that were struggling with their health had no viable options for care. They would have to make do with what they had. Now, telehealth has opened up many new opportunities for those that struggle with mobility and health obstacles. They are able to access the same care level that they would receive in person while gaining back mobility and quality of life.  The comfort of your own home is transformed into a private care center, thanks to telehealth. The care and treatment are personalized, uninterrupted, and delivered right to you, making telehealth the best way for patients who struggle to reach the care setting.

4. Cuts Down The Medical Costs

Telehealth is already transforming the way we live and work. With the cost savings on medical care, telehealth reduces the fee in comparison to in-person visits, ultimately increasing access to care for all regardless of geography. There are a few treatments that do not require any visits to the doctor on your part, so telehealth can help save you on visits by saving both time and money. The cost savings are, of course, primarily in terms of fees. For example, a patient with high blood pressure could be prescribed a medication that could lower blood pressure without requiring a doctor's visit.

Telehealth reduces the costs of medical care by reducing visits, allowing doctors and specialists to spend more time with each patient, and giving them more accurate information. Plus, there are no latex gloves or gowns to change, making it easier to get an appointment while saving time and money on expensive hospital equipment.

The cost of traditional doctor visits starts at $80 and can go up to $150 or more; by contrast, telemedicine is as low as $20 per visit and there are many ways to access it affordably. It’s no wonder why telehealth is getting so much attention from health insurance companies—who want more consumers to choose it for their care—and patients too.

5. Get The Right Care At The Right Time

 In a world where healthcare is increasingly connected, patients want fast access to their doctors. However, the way we treat patients has been extremely inefficient. In fact, an estimated 70% of all emergency room visits are unnecessary trips which can be hard on a patient's time and wallet. Telehealth could help alleviate this problem by allowing providers in remote locations from better access to patients - ultimately lowering costs and providing a better customer experience. Through the advent of telehealth, hospitals and clinics can eliminate these delays and make better use of resources in a very efficient manner by addressing patients' healthcare needs at their most optimal level. 

Telehealth is enabling healthcare providers to provide personalized, expert care in the most convenient and efficient way. Providers are now able to reach patients equally well at home, in the office, or in a hospital room. Telehealth has irreversibly changed the way health care is delivered.

With technology so advanced and affordable, patients can connect with their healthcare provider whenever they need to. We have a solution to stay on top of the latest technology adoption in healthcare without sacrificing the quality or timeliness of care.

Care powered by technology is the new face of the healthcare industry

Telehealth is a revolution in healthcare that has just begun. As more and more people decide to utilize telehealth, this will save the healthcare system billions of dollars. It helps reduce the number of driving expenses, work injuries, and costs for health insurance companies. Telehealth also helps people with chronic illnesses and injuries by giving them more flexibility in their schedules and having access to care whenever they need it.

So, how do we make sure secure, effective telehealth is a permanent part of the healthcare toolbox for everyone? We need to share the success and encourage policymakers to continue to make it happen. This means working with our communities to create a pathway from telehealth training to high-quality practices.

Looking for a way to enhance your medical operations to cater to a larger patient sphere?

IIH Global can help you offer impeccable, technology-based solutions to keep pace with the growing patient demand and provide them with top-notch medical care.

Want to know more? Head over to our website here.

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