The Doctor is Always In: How Teleconsultations Improve Patient Care [RB1] is a new report from Juniper which predicts that being able to do things remotely will save the healthcare industry billions of dollars over the next few years.
The use of telemedicine, which comprises teleconsultations, remote patient monitoring and chatbots, has increased by nearly a quarter since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Although this is good news for developed nations such as North America and Europe, who have access to better internet and the necessary equipment, it’s unlikely to be as beneficial for underdeveloped countries.
Encouraging uptake among healthcare providers
Third-party healthcare service providers now need to jump on board for this telemedicine trend to stick, and uptake is needed among the entire industry, including smaller providers. Deregulation is also important so that smaller providers aren’t discouraged from embracing these new ways of working.
The report’s author Adam Wears said: “Any deregulation must ensure that patient confidentiality is not undermined.
“Additionally, we recommend that innovative and emerging teleconsultation services are integrated into existing healthcare technologies, such as electronic health records, to maximise their benefits to healthcare providers.”
How one hospital has embraced telemedicine
Howard University Hospital in Washington (US) has improved care and patient satisfaction by embracing telemedicine and making improvements to its wireless network.
Ultimately, this has helped healthcare staff shorten the time that patients need to stay in hospital, as well as enabling them to treat some people without them having to be admitted in the first place.
Data released by business process outsourcing company Sykes and reported in Hospitals & Healthcare this month showed that the US has had a positive reception to telehealth resources. In fact, 88 per cent of respondents who tried telehealth during the pandemic would like to continue having remote medical appointments even after the pandemic, according to the report.