As the global health crisis continues to rage, it has become clear that alternative ways to access medical attention need to be made available to keep both patients and healthcare workers safe. There has been an increase in the number of people needing clinical assessment, diagnosis, and treatment, but the available human resources and facilities make it almost impossible for them to get the help that they need. And that’s where virtual healthcare comes in.
Healthcare providers are seeking to improve access to health services through innovative technology. By partnering with technology providers, they can collect and assess patient data remotely to improve and allow for healthcare during the pandemic. And with convenient access to the required medical care, improving patient outcomes is becoming achievable.
Big industry players are now taking advantage of this opportunity to develop efficient systems that are making healthcare efficient virtually. But will virtual healthcare be the new normal after COVID-19?
Healthcare data interoperability
With the push for social distancing, self-quarantine, and solo living to help manage COVID-19 cases, there is an increasing demand for virtual fitness solutions, online speech therapy, and other integrative health interventions. Clinicians should be able to deliver quality care to patients without any health risk to both parties. And digital technology has made it possible with seamless data collection and analysis, as well as remote patient monitoring systems.
If health-data infrastructures are put in place, individuals can quickly and conveniently collect critical data to provide insights into their overall health. Automation and data-driven innovation for healthcare is driven by the urgent need to predict disease outbreaks and mitigate the risks. It increases the possibility of efficiently tracking and analyzing the collected metrics, with reduced workload and increased profit for the provider.
The integration of retrieved information into patients’ health records to receive personalized treatment is crucial. Collection of the required data is possible using the following tools:
An Electronic Health Record system securely collects and analyzes data related to patients’ health to provide deeper insights for handling their condition. The information is collected from a wide range of sources and then aggregated to ensure accuracy. With comprehensive information, including clinical observations, test results, and medications administered, it is possible to give accurate diagnosis when new symptoms arise for proper treatment.
When patients have particular concerns, they need professional advice to understand the implications of the recorded metrics. With an efficient Customer Relationship Management system, their health concerns will be addressed to their satisfaction. Reports and other critical information becomes readily accessible for improved patient outcomes.
As global smartphone users continue to increase, software that runs on these devices are developed to make life easier. Among them are “fitness apps” that provide an avenue for patients and clinicians to communicate and access data efficiently. They are available on different mobile platforms and can connect to various databases instantly.
Digital healthcare has been impacted by sensors that monitor health-related parameters in individuals. The sensors in some wearable electronic devices can record specific metrics that are transferable to a physician for further analysis. For example, AerBetic is a non-invasive wearable diabetes monitor that provides continuous glucose monitoring, enabling wearers to get an instant snapshot of their blood sugar levels. It also comes with an application that allows the user to set up alerts in order to communicate to a network of healthcare providers.
Digital health after COVID-19
It would not be easy to measure the impact of digital healthcare without first understanding the benefits of online therapy. Through online therapy sessions, patients can get professional help from specialists from the comfort of their homes.
People have now turned to virtual fitness tech to maintain a healthy lifestyle since social distancing implies zero visits to the gym. With uncertainty in the research and development of a viable vaccine, consumer preferences for accessing medical care will evolve continually. Virtual health is gaining momentum in a way that will likely transform the care delivery system we know today. These changes are bound to remain even after the pandemic has ended.
Interoperability, security, and workflow efficiency are some issues that virtual healthcare providers are likely to face. Innovative solutions are being developed as industry players try to fine-tune some of the digital strategies currently being used to fight the coronavirus. With more awareness about telehealth offerings, like remote monitoring, virtual visits, and other digital engagement tools, the gap between clinical consultations and treatment will be bridged.