In the ongoing search for affordable high-quality care, telehealth is emerging as a powerful tool with the potential to transform healthcare delivery by increasing accessible, consumer-driven care. Mobile phones, tablets and computers are all gateways for physicians and healthcare providers to connect with a wider scope of patients.
Telehealth removes transportation and geographical barriers through remote patient monitoring, making it easy for patients to receive care without physically going to a hospital. By reducing in-person visits, telehealth platforms create more space in hospitals for serious and urgent medical needs as well as a more manageable patient load, helping to address the medical labor shortages in the healthcare industry.
New York Presbyterian Hospital, a national leader in telehealth and telemedicine, is investing more into innovative health information technology programs by expanding its already comprehensive NYP OnDemand telehealth services suite, pictured below. The organization hopes to provide cost-effective, convenient care to its communities.
On the support services provider side, Texas-based Carenet Health recently acquired Citra Health Solutions’ engagement and telehealth subsidiary, positioning itself as one of the largest telehealth providers in the nation with more than 65 million healthcare consumers. Hoping to have a major market presence, Carenet is focusing on expanding remote patient monitoring, which could potentially lower healthcare costs by reducing ER visits and re-admissions.
As more health plans and hospitals expand telehealth offerings, adoption of personalized on-demand healthcare delivery systems will likely become more frequent. Some industry analysts think telehealth could replace a large amount of in-person healthcare interactions with virtual communication between patients and physicians, increasing care efficiency.
Corporate Insight tracks web patient and mobile member experiences offered by leading groups of health systems and health plans, respectively. Within our health plan coverage group, we see leading insurers partnering with telehealth platforms, like Aetna’s partnership with Teladoc.
Although virtual care services are gaining traction—and attempting to tackle some pressing issues such as access to care and high costs—the level of impact telehealth could have on the healthcare system is still largely unknown. As expansion of telehealth services continue, the useful service could positively impact healthcare delivery in the future.