Technology is transforming how medical care is conducted. In addition to new diagnostic tools and treatment options, healthcare professionals have more ways to interact with patients, to monitor their condition and provide early warning of possible health risks.
A new study commissioned by KPMG takes a look at what healthcare providers are actually doing in terms of “virtual care” services. This includes digital health initiatives such as patient portals and telehealth programs. The results show that nearly one third of all the healthcare organizations polled are currently using video services to interact with patients. More than a third are using remote patient monitoring. And about three-quarters indicated that they are currently using some form of telemedicine, at least on a limited basis.
Telehealth programs can make more efficient use of time, for patients, physicians, and healthcare staff. It can solve some of the problems posed by geographical distance, which is especially a problem in many sparsely populated rural areas. Connected mobile and wearable Health Tech devices make it practical to share patient data with healthcare workers on a more frequent basis. As the industry transitions from a fee-for-service model to one that provides value-based support for keeping patients healthy and out of the hospital, it is likely that healthcare organizations will continue the fast pace of telehealth adoption.