Home doctor visits are taking on a new meaning in the 21st century. Instead of a doctor on your doorstep, the doctor will see you through a video chat on your computer, tablet, or smartphone. Medical care carried out using an Internet connection is commonly called telemedicine. Industry analysts report that video doctor visits will become so popular this year that the “tele” prefix will be dropped, and visits will simply become a regular part of patient care.
According to a study recently released by Vidyo, Inc., a video technology company, healthcare delivery organizations (HDOs) are increasingly committed to telemedicine. The study found that more than 75% percent of respondents are currently operating or planning to launch telehealth services in 2018. HDOs say that telehealth ranks as one of their top four IT investment priorities; two-thirds of respondents plan to spend 20% or more of their technology budget on telemedicine solutions alone. The survey includes responses from more 300 clinical and IT professionals in the health-delivery field. Patient satisfaction with telemedicine ranks high, according to those surveyed. Faster diagnoses, patient privacy, and the ability for several doctors to consult on complicated cases contribute to satisfaction. Satisfaction scores for video-enabled solutions rose to 83% for virtual visits, 84% for acute care management, and 90% for chronic health support. Patient benefits should be the main measurement of the telemedicine’s effectiveness, according to Vidyo officials. The company created an infographic to share data from the study.
Most patients who see a doctor regularly are already familiar with creating a login and password to access their medical records online. As this familiarity grows, it will be a logical next step to request a video visit for both routine sicknesses and more serious conditions. Delivering healthcare electronically where appropriate can improve patient outcomes and help reduce costs. As 60% of Vidyo’s survey respondents noted, telehealth solutions created improvements in efficiency, timeliness of care, ROI, and patient health.