As we’ve said here frequently, the virus crisis has accelerated changes throughout the U.S. and the world. In most cases, these changes were already underway but the response to the pandemic has made those changes happen even faster. Telehealth and remote patient monitoring are two of the biggest examples in the health and medical arena. These services are being adopted rapidly, typically driven by medical services or health-related hardware companies.
Brace yourself, because the big guns are getting involved now. Lenovo was the #1 personal computer company based on worldwide units sold in 2019, with nearly a quarter of the total market. The company has just announced its “Virtual Care” service that gives healthcare providers a way to support patients with chronic conditions, without them having to leave their homes.
The key to the service is a tablet that includes “Rosie,” a digital assistant that guides patients with reminders and instruction. The physician can also provide specific connected hardware as required by the patient’s condition, such as a blood pressure monitor or a blood glucose meter. Patients can take their vital signs and have the data relayed to the healthcare professional in real time. In many cases, patient care can be modified such as changes to medications, without requiring an in-office visit.
One study using a similar system by one of Lenovo’s healthcare partners resulted in an 18% reduction in hospital readmissions. That can represent an enormous cost savings for a healthcare system. The Virtual Care system is slated to be available during the third quarter of 2020, and given Lenovo’s capacity to scale the program to reach large numbers of patients, we will be watching to see what impact it will have.