Telemedicine companies and services loom large over the post-coronavirus horizon

Archer Blog - Telemedicine companies and services loom large over the post-coronavirus horizon
Coronavirus’s sunset remains a long way off but don’t let this depress you. There’s as much good news beyond the horizon as there is bad. Telehealth solutions have exploded in uptake and telemedicine companies have a particularly bright horizon. Let's take teleophthalmology and telehealth physical therapy for instance.

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Telehealth technology, also known as telemedicine, is the distribution of healthcare services and patient-care data via eHealth features and telecommunication technologies. The concept has been around for a long time but telehealth has never reached its full potential. The technology works but the people factor was always a major hurdle.

Patients and medical practitioners always preferred to attend their appointments in person, in real life. This is certainly understandable, after all, many people would not want to receive a bad diagnosis over a webcam. The result was that those poised to benefit the most from telehealth, the infirm and elderly, were most reluctant to use it.

However, now that coronavirus has caused lockdowns and quarantines across the world, seriously impacting access to patient monitoring, disease management, chronic conditions medicare, as well as diagnosis and treatment. On the other hand, the mobile health, remote patient monitroing and various eHealth and telehealth apps are enjoying more popularity than ever. This goes far beyond screenings and clinical consultations carried out over videoconferencing. The sheer magnitude of the coronavirus crisis means that businesses and states alike are experimenting with new telemedicine technology with great alacrity.

At one time telehealth was the preserve of general medicine, used almost entirely to screen patients and give them rudimentary testing. Now even niche healthcare providers like ophthalmology and orthopedics are using telehealth techniques to increase patient engagement, improve treatment outcomes and quality of care delivery.

New horizons and opportunities in telehealth medicare

There were plenty of innovative advances in healthcare system before coronavirus hit however, coronavirus is certainly serving to highlight the efficacy of telehealth techniques for healthcare providers. Telehealth is being used in unforeseen ways to achieve great results, and here're just a few examples:

  • Telemedicine kits once designed to be used during earthquakes in the far east are now being used in remote communities in Western countries.
  • Techniques to set up detailed videoconferencing between doctors and care home residents as well as remote patient monitoring, proven to help keep patients out of emergency rooms, are now highly in demand.
  • eHealth apps designed to allow a patient to self diagnose are being adopted by entire nations like the British Test and Trace app.
  • Numerous trials have proven the efficacy of diagnosing and monitoring glaucoma using telehealth, which would have been unimaginable less than a decade ago.
  • Diabetes, asthma, and high blood pressure (which kills millions every year and presents no symptoms) are all being treated successfully with telehealth technology.

The opportunities in telehealth for medical professionals and business people are extensive, especially for the creatively minded. Integrating eHealth solutions with various medical devices and robust EHRs/EMRs opens up a whole new world of data analytics leveraging the full power of technology for more accurate diagnosis and treatment and much better patient outcomes.

Building telemedicine on bones: telehealth physical therapy advancements

Orthopedics is the study and treatment of conditions related to the musculoskeletal system. As you can, therefore, imagine it is one of the most widely studied medical disciplines as bone injuries are amongst some of the most common. In fact, 6.3 million fractures occur in the United States every year on average, meaning fractures occur at a rate of 2.4 per 100 population. This is naturally regrettable for those involved but it also highlights an opportunity to apply telehealth technology to advance patient care and access to Medicaid even for remote patients.

The technology can be used to:

  • triage orthopedic patients in rural areas,
  • monitor patients as they recover,
  • provide e-nursing for physical and emotional support.

Read our article on 3 great reasons to build a telemedicine solution for your orthopedic practice.

Online patient support and remote patient monitoring is a particularly promising area for healthcare providers looking to invest in telehealth services. Dedicated apps and telehealth physical therapy companies like Health Outcome are enjoying considerable success in orthopedics. The Health Outcome app allows patients to rate and review their treatment outcomes and share their experience with medical practitioners, democratizing the treatment process.

Health Outcome realized that despite the fact that 51 million surgeries take place each year in the U.S. information about patient satisfaction was not collated. The company’s app fills this gap and also provides a personalized exercise plan based on the patient’s injuries. Until recently this would only have been possible when initiated in a medical facility.

Archer Webinar - How is Digital Health transforming the industry

 

 

Ophthalmology near me: eyeing up the teleophthalmology opportunities

Less than a decade ago one may have wondered if telehealth would be actionable in a medical discipline like ophthalmology. Studying eye disorders requires specialized equipment used by experienced clinicians therefore telehealth would appear to have been unwarranted. It would be difficult to wheel in an ophthalmoscope and leave the patient to operate it themselves after all.

However, the assumption that telehealth isn’t suited for ophthalmology is mistaken. Studies have shown that it can be used to effectively screen patients for diabetic retinopathy and it is also popular amongst patients. According to one Canadian study, over 80% of ophthalmology patients polled preferred to use telehealth when given the option.

During the coronavirus crisis, telehealth technology has been used to screen patients and maintain routine treatment that is now impossible to perform at clinics under social distancing conditions. What is more, there are some exciting developments in telehealth ophthalmology regarding more than just triaging techniques.

A study first released in 2017 on using remote laser treatment to use image-based navigated retinal laser therapy for diabetic macular edema is now generating considerable buzz. The authors of the study argue it's a significant development in teleophthalmology and that conjunctivitis and other minor eye conditions can be treated via telehealth too. This would depend on effective remote monitoring technology and presents a lucrative opportunity.

Ebook - How to build your own Telehealth app

 

Secure tech specialists to ensure telemedicine platform success

Developing apps and products based on mobile technology are likely to be the easiest way for business people to enter the telehealth market as these technologies are readily adaptable in a wide array of medical sectors. They can be used to triage, monitor, and nurse patients amongst other areas. Mobile tech apps can also be used to schedule patient treatment and improve communication as a British National Health Service study found.

Also, consider investing in remote monitoring and sensor technology. Already in demand before coronavirus, remote monitoring and sensor technology will become a permanent feature of most healthcare systems as social distancing rules are maintained in the coming years. Get involved now and establish yourself on the market.

Whatever technology you want to develop, whatever medical sector you choose to focus on, you won’t be able to succeed without dedicated support from technical specialists. Choose a company with dedicated customer support and decades of experience in medical technology like Archer Software. Setting up a new business is difficult at the best of times, and we’re hardly living through a belle epoque at present, so it’s crucial you secure the services of specialists who can guide you through every stage of your business.

Contact us at info@archer-soft.com to learn more.

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