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The Future of Telehealth Goes Far Beyond Virtual Appointments

by | Jan 21, 2022 | Blog

Work isn’t the only aspect of modern life that’s benefited from a hybrid approach. Telehealth seems poised to move in that direction, too. And telehealth upgrades that will improve the overall telemedicine experience for both patients and healthcare organizations can’t come too soon.

Of course, the future of telehealth got a recent kick-start. During the pandemic, consumers and medical personnel made incredible use of virtual appointments. According to the FAIR Health Monthly Telehealth Regional Tracker, telehealth visits rose 3,000% between November 2019 and November 2020. Today, the trend continues, yet telehealth’s full potential remains largely untapped. What more can telehealth do beyond connecting patients with providers through video?

With the innovative use of integrated medical devices, telehealth can become an extension of the medical industry. In essence, it can turn healthcare into a hybrid experience that crosses geographic and time boundaries across the continuum of care for patients and providers. And just as hybrid work models have eased corporate life for professionals, hybrid medicine-telemedicine systems can prompt higher telehealth patient satisfaction.

What are some creative uses for telehealth to complement traditional in-person care offerings?

Virtual Optometrist Appointment

1. Making healthcare touchpoints more convenient

Telehealth platforms like AGNES Connect and Connect N’ Care and allow providers to connect with patients and address their conditions on the spot with capabilities for sharing medical device data and exchanging documents and images in real time in addition to videoconferencing. Patients receive high-quality care without traveling to and from appointments, which is especially valuable for patients requiring care from faraway specialists.

With more convenient care experiences, patients are more likely to engage with providers, driving deeper loyalty and relationships. This also creates a more predictable flow of revenue for healthcare organizations. 

 

2. Improving the interactive clinical experience

With the integration of telehealth devices, patients can play a larger role in their health and providers can have access to more objective data. For instance, a patient’s vitals and heart-lung sounds can easily be “seen” from afar and shared in real time with a doctor for a true clinical evaluation.

Providers can selectively integrate medical devices to grow their telehealth programs into multiple specialties. They can also provide the best possible care because they always have access to informative diagnostics. Getting subjective data via a virtual appointment usually isn’t enough to make a clinical conclusion, but coupling a patient’s subjective data with objective data gleaned from connected medical devices enables a clinical diagnosis.

 

3. Opening doors for pre- or post-care

Certainly, some situations and medical conditions can’t be addressed via telemedicine. Nevertheless, telehealth can be valuable even in those cases when used for pre-procedure screening, post-procedure care, or ongoing management of chronic conditions. As a result of the pandemic changing the way doctors see their patients, patients are now very comfortable relying on device-integrated telemedicine so their doctors can “see” them without being in the same room with them.

From the clinical side, providers have to train staff on fewer platforms when they use integrated telemedicine systems. After all, the same platform connected with integrated medical devices can be used for multiple specialties, levels of care, and departments. This wide range of applications doesn’t require the provider to add more software or technology vendors into the mix to grow, either. A telemedicine platform licensing model that is based on the organization site — and not the number of users, providers, or visits — is critical for scalability.

The future of telehealth involves a hybrid model capable of improving patient satisfaction and extending access to care across medical specialties. To realize this future, healthcare organizations must evolve beyond the video-only model with a device-integrated approach. Find out how AMD’s HIPAA-compliant, cloud-based AGNES Connect virtual platform with connected and fully integrated medical devices can help. Contact us today to discuss your telemedicine program requirements.