Telemedicine in the Post-COVID World
1. Transition to remote/at-home care
There was so much unknown about the nature of the coronavirus, especially in the initial few months of the pandemic, that even roads were deserted! But as we have learned how the virus is spread, and now have vaccines being distributed, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Patients are now used to at-home care, with remote patient monitoring here to stay as well. Patients have become more empowered to take more responsibility over their health, and a vast amount of remote monitoring technologies that allow instant contact with a doctor have been developed. This technology is here to stay, as the planet moves past the pandemic.
2. Improved long-term care
The geriatric population is at the highest risk of severe symptoms associated with COVID-19, and active efforts to provide virtual care to this demographic have been seen around the globe after the pandemic started. Although geriatric patients are slowly returning to in-person visits there is a fair share of them that do not still feel comfortable with this until the pandemic is completely under control. Especially in the nursing home setting, there are services coming up that will provide residents 24/7 access to a doctor at the touch of a button. This will help improve their patient experience, especially for those with mobility difficulty, and drastically make it more convenient to see a doctor for chronic conditions.
3. Innovations in technology
As digital health companies move forward in the pandemic and update their directives, innovations in virtual care are constantly being made. Virtual care tools and features are being constantly updated, as vendors adapt to the changes needed for virtual patient care. Here at DrCare247, we are constantly striving to think one step ahead, enabling us to be a strong choice for providers and patients in the market. Reach out for a free demo to learn about our latest features!
4. Policy changes surrounding telemedicine
As the demand for telemedicine is set to be high even after the pandemic passes, insurance companies will need to adjust accordingly and find ways to not only offer expanded coverage for virtual visits, but also reimburse doctors appropriately. Regulations in many countries around the world are continuously changing their payment models to accommodate telemedicine, and this is set to stay. In the United States specifically, coverage for telemedicine visits have been extended considerable for Medicare patients, and it is only a matter of time when insurance companies around the world follow suit.
5. Considerations for rural communities
“Certain citizens don’t have the access to smartphones or broadband Internet and if we use telehealth services we’re only going to marginalize those populations, so that is something that I’m concerned about and that’s something that if we use telehealth more in the future, and I think we well, will need to be addressed,” said Dr. Hiten Patel, Family Medicine chief resident with OSU Wexner Medical Center. During the COVID-19 lockdown that impacted the entire planet, patients needing care for common conditions had to pivot immediately to virtual consultations with their doctor. Rural communities were one of the priority groups for expanding access, and various efforts were made around the world such as broadband expansion, and remote patient monitoring. It is very important for the rural populations to not be forgotten after the pandemic, and vendors need to be taking their needs into serious consideration. Our platform here at DrCare247 is able to accommodate low bandwidth connections, allowing doctor and patient to meet with maximum ease!