Telemedicine became a critical entry point into the process of diagnosis, triage, and recovery as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Health professionals widely use telemedicine to fulfill patient demand for convenient services. But, on-demand telemedicine has been recognized as a disruptive technology to explore the experience of early adoption organizations as they introduce on-demand telemedicine systems and deploy business models and strategies.
Predicting the Future Role of Telemedicine in Health Care System
Any disruptive health innovation takes time and verification to be wholly adopted by the health industry. As a result of the COVID-19, telemedicine is at the forefront of the changing health world.
Since February 2020, telemedicine has increased from less than 1% of primary care visits to 43.5%. Therefore, telemedicine has the potential to disrupt and redefine the way health services work and deliver care. Also, it can set the stage for a vastly different healthcare experience in the future.
To illustrate telemedicine’s future impact, we asked health care experts and telemedicine professionals. They shared the following information:
1. Telemedicine will become a standard service offered in all care environments
Telemedicine has grown slowly over the last decade. But the pandemic has skyrocketed its growth. Forrester predicts that by the end of 2020, we will have more than 1 billion telemedicine visits.
The President of Virtual Med Staff, Jack Williams, agrees with this fact. He expects that continuous progress in telehealth will continue for years to come. The common thread would make access to healthcare easier. This will build confidence and drive growth
2. Patients will select providers, health systems, and clinics depending on access to telemedicine
If patients feel like their treatment is as good or better than a regular appointment in person, they will start using telemedicine services. So, telemedicine would redefine expectations of patients in all aspects of quality healthcare.
Patients are becoming more used to medical services using telemedicine. Soon, hospitals that do not have access to telemedicine will experience lower patient volumes.
3. Medical services that support telemedicine will see business growth and sales growth
Patients are now asking for telemedicine. And hospitals have experienced a significant drop in revenues and patient volumes from COVID-19. The AHA reported that US hospitals lost an estimated $202.6 billion between March and June. Telemedicine is now and in the future a source of income that can protect against future health troughs.
4. Telemedicine will become an effective tool for preventive care
According to the CDC, chronic illnesses that are completely avoidable by preventive treatment account for 75% of national health care spending. By having more convenient access to follow-up services, rapid diagnostic providers, and telemedicine treatment, hospitals will experience fewer admissions, delays, inpatient stays. Thus, they can reduce higher medical costs and services.
5. Access to doctors will become the norm, which will benefit hospital waiting times
Hospitals can provide 24/7 access to a network of doctors who are specialists in their specialty areas. These services can provide patients with increased access to targeted care. This, in turn, would increase the overall patient experience. Also, this will reduce the expense of hiring full-time on-site staff.
In the past, the doctors would say to the patient, ‘You ought to see a neurologist. That’s the number’. Now, the doctor can say, ‘You ought to see a neurologist. Let’s get in contact with one.’
As technological innovations develop healthcare, preparation becomes more important. Now, telemedicine is easier to adopt with a technology-neutral partner than ever before.
Other Disruptive Innovations in Health Care System
To Be truly innovative often means being disruptive. The meaning of disruption has changed from negative to positive connotations. To be disruptive is to be innovative. It is not to be afraid to break traditions. It is to do something that no one has done before and something that no one has achieved before.
We must face COVID-19 and the problems that come with it, with positive disruption. It is because we have to meet these current challenges with completely new solutions. In certain ways, innovation has already been met at a rate that the sector has not seen before – from concept to deployment.
With that in mind, below are three examples of disruptive innovation in healthcare. Also, learn how we can learn from them to support the new standard.
1. Automation of the COVID-19 antibody test
Automation has been disrupting health care for a while. But it is especially uplifting and interesting to talk about automation that is helping to solve the COVID-19 crisis.
Darren Atkins and his team have been quickly designing, testing and launching groundbreaking bots and robotic process automation (RPAs) at the East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust. These are helping workers with vital processes across COVID-19.
The most noteworthy of their current work is the incredibly fast turnover of the bots. This can manage employee antibody testing for COVID-19.
A bot was launched on 29 May. It completely automates an employee’s procedure to obtaining a COVID-19 antibody test. It works in three steps:
- Submitting an application
- Patient input
- Sending reports
The whole procedure is a critical one that is a light-touch for the staff. So, it makes them easy to continuing to deliver great healthcare. Hence, the team makes the processes accessible to all healthcare organizations free of charge.
2. Home Monitoring Applications
Patient self-care and self-assessment have been a key focus of healthcare innovation. It is because smartphones and mobile applications have become widely available. There was a time when it was necessary to carefully assess whether patients needed to be hospitalized. At that time, it was even more important to concentrate on providing care and advice at home when possible to conserve medical resources for those most in need.
AP-HP Hospitals in Paris, France, collaborated with Inria and sponsored by the EIT Health Rapid Response Innovation Project. They have created an app called Covidom. It is a Home management software for patients with moderate to serious COVID. Patients with symptoms were asked a set of questions about their symptoms for 30 days. Algorithms analyze these data. And suppose a problem or unusual pattern is detected. In that case, a series of alerts are generated on a scale from mild to high priority. A single regional control center controlled all of them. The patient may then be directed to simply begin self-care at home, to be hospitalized if possible. Or the control center may also immediately dispatch the ambulance if necessary.
Another hot subject in healthcare advancement is collecting patient data through the Internet of Things (IOT) and wearables.
The Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center used Vivalnk continuous temperature sensors to track COVID-19 patients. It allowed them to reduce the risk of infection by the caregiver. Low-energy Bluetooth sensors provide real-time temperature data. This means that medical staff can react quickly and appropriately to any changes in temperature. It reduces resourcing pressures, patient disruptions, emissions, and errors. Also, it provides a powerful set of data that can be used within the center to predict patterns.
The Bottom Line
Many of these innovations have already been seen as the future of healthcare. But, the present conditions, the rate at which they have to be deployed, and, in many ways, the progress of innovations have shown that they are not piping dreams. Also, they can have real benefits throughout the global health crisis and beyond.