The healthcare industry continues to utilize technology in ways that most didn’t see viable ten years ago. Telehealth has become a topic that is warranting more and more discussions. The viability of this system relies heavily on the technologies utilized to facilitate the applications.
Some healthcare organizations use Electronic Health Records (EHR) and Electronic Medical Records (EMR). While others go further and add patient portals and Virtual Visits applications, all of these are applications of the telehealth system, and all of them provide unique value to the quality of care each healthcare organization can provide. EHR’s and EMR’s help doctors and patients access their health records safely and more readily. While simultaneously encouraging the cooperation of multiple doctors at once. They are accelerating the diagnosis process, which ultimately trickles down and provides treatments for patients in a more timely manner. Patient Portals and Virtual Visits allow patients the unique convenience of setting a time and place, to see their doctor, that suites their busy lives.
These all sound great, right? What about the technologies required to facilitate these applications on the telehealth system? This has been a huge discussion in the healthcare industry, leaving many questions unanswered. Questions like what mobile devices are qualified for use? How do we keep this data safe? How do our patients feel about it, and what about Remote Patient Monitoring?
The topic of Remote Patient Monitoring has been a particularly hot one. Remote Patient Monitoring is the vessel that pulls together EMR’s, EHR’s, Virtual Visits, Patient Portals, and healthcare wearables into a top-notch mobile healthcare system. These portable systems will drastically decrease the cost and time of healthcare visits, diagnostics, and monitoring systems, but there are still some kinks in the system. One question is, who will pay for these wearable devices and tablets?
Luckily The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has a finalized plan that will reimburse healthcare organizations for specific remote patient monitoring through telehealth services.
Another mountain to climb in the telehealth discussion is, how will healthcare providers develop the software for these systems?
This question is answered by the technology giants of the world like Google. They are already in the process of partnering with edge computing and artificial intelligence specialists to improve the capabilities of telehealth systems and Remote Patient Care while also helping to connect hospitals and patients.
Though there may be challenges as the telehealth paradigm continues to expand, many large and well-known companies from many different sectors are working day and night to provide solutions that any hiccups along the way. Have you implemented any telehealth systems in your practice? It might be a good time to start!