Virtual Healthcare Is Exploding: The Latest Trends and Growth Curve
Doctors and other healthcare professionals often treat patients in person in a location like a hospital, clinic, or medical office. However, thanks to developments in digital technology, medical practitioners may now digitally diagnose, treat, and manage the care of their patients.
Virtual healthcare, or telehealth, witnessed unprecedented growth during the COVID-19 infections and has now gained laudable recognition in the healthcare sector, adopted by many. That is because while the pressures on the healthcare ecosystem have increased with the pandemic, telemedicine has aided with the social distancing measures put in place and continues to make it accessible, affordable, and possible to treat patients with mobility issues.
As this sector continues to expand, important technological use trends have evolved that will positively influence the future development of virtual healthcare services. Some of these are
1. Improved Treatment of Chronic Conditions
Worldwide, chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, Alzheimer’s, and kidney disease affect 1 in 3 individuals. Most of the time, people may avoid and treat chronic diseases by altering their lifestyles and receiving preventative treatment. The majority of these patients, however, do not complete their treatment, do not take their repeat prescriptions or renew them, and do not show up for their scheduled follow-up sessions to assist them in managing their symptoms.
This disregard for a treatment plan increases the severity of illnesses and costs the healthcare sector billions of dollars annually. Telehealth can increase patient participation and adherence to a treatment plan while simultaneously lowering the care plan’s cost.
2. Increasing Acceptance of Virtual Healthcare
Virtual healthcare, or telemedicine, which was once widely embraced as a method to reduce the amount of community transmission during the peak of COVID-19, is now seen as a financially viable first line of therapy for follow-up and non-urgent consultations for many patients.
Today, many patients utilize telemedicine to have prescriptions renewed, get ready for a visit, examine test results, or get information. This expansion is apparent since telehealth usage has stabilized above pre-pandemic levels. We may anticipate seeing healthcare providers and insurance companies collaborate to increase telehealth’s accessibility and availability.
3. Increased Attention to Mental Health Wellbeing
When the pandemic hit, mental health services were interrupted. Individuals already getting treatment found their support groups disbanded, their clinic visits canceled, and their options for coping with their symptoms severely restricted.
Many therapists, counselors, and medical professionals have rapidly started using video conferencing to help their patients. Thus, teletherapy and telepsychiatry were developed. With the advent of virtual care settings, which offer a wide range of services from online consultation to at-home labs to lifestyle support to prescription delivery, it is now possible to meet everyone’s essential needs.
4. Improved and New Data Sharing
It is nothing new that telehealth systems provide more user-friendly and practical data exchange, resulting in an upward growth curve. For example, several telehealth applications integrate with and connect with fitness apps to acquire data such as step count and heart rate directly from a person’s devices. When combined with electronic medical records, this offers medical providers a complete image of a person’s lifestyle and aids in painting a clearer picture of their present health.
Telehealth applications’ notion of integrated data sharing is motivated by interoperability, which is the capacity to access, share, integrate, and jointly utilize data in a coordinated manner inside and across multiple organizations. The future of telemedicine lies in this, and medical professionals must realize that to optimize patient advantages, they must move beyond merely presenting and documenting information.
5. Remote Patient Monitoring and Wearable Technology
Telehealth is becoming important for those with chronic diseases, which brings us to the next trend for the future: wearable technology. These gadgets have made it simple and effective for the healthcare sector to start remote patient monitoring. They let medical professionals observe their patients’ activity levels, heart rates, blood pressure, sleep patterns, and glucose levels in real-time.
By integrating these devices with a secure telemedicine platform and electronic health records, members of care teams can take action at the first hint of a problem. So long as patients have faith in the security and privacy safeguards in place, wearable technology and the sharing of data produced by these devices with healthcare practitioners are certain to expand.
6. Convenient Pediatric Virtual Care
A sick child is never easy to monitor. Children are frequently good at hiding their symptoms, struggle to communicate, and frequently exhibit shyness or fear while speaking to medical professionals. When they require long-term monitoring, this becomes very challenging. However, child care monitoring can make it more comfortable for parents and lower the cost of high-quality care.
The use of pediatric telehealth will increase over the next several years thanks to the next generation of parents, who are more accustomed to utilizing virtual technology than prior generations.
7. Growing Technology Investments
Lastly, telehealth cannot exist without the necessary technological foundation. The acceptability of virtual healthcare services is made possible by the development and widespread usage of digital health technologies, such as COVID-19 tracing applications, wellness trackers, telemedicine, and virtual health apps, all of which can be used from the comfort of home. Further knowledge and technological investments will make telehealth projects and applications more successful.
The pandemic brought to light the labor crisis that has existed for some time and the lack of healthcare personnel. However, the workforce will experience even less stress due to investments in technology that supports the expansion of telehealth, and they may even be able to provide better care.
Some noticeable trends have become evident since the widespread adoption of telehealth services. The healthcare sector benefits greatly from telehealth, and we will use this ground-breaking technology well into the future.
Leading platforms have demonstrated that telehealth services make healthcare more accessible to people and can improve public health, increase access to treatment, lessen the strain on the medical staff, and ease the financial strain.
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