Future Health - 3/30/21
Kevin As A Broken Record – I realized the other day that I’ve been advocating the use of telehealth and telecare technologies for more than a couple of decades at this point. So, it is with some gratification that I noted some
recent data that reveals a marked increase in the use of telehealth services as a result of the pandemic. The trend toward the use of telehealth services has been growing for a long time. However, it was placed on steroids as a result of the pandemic (See the chart to the left and expand if needed). Why? Primarily because the use of telehealth services allows providers to provide a set to services to individuals who would otherwise delay and simply not seek health care in the first place. Such actions result in increased morbidity and even mortality in some cases. Virtual interventions are a way of mitigating those risks. In fact, the data shows very clearly a change in attitude among the public and providers, alike, as follows:
- About 74% of patients in the U.S. said they would use telehealth services,
- About 74% of patients are comfortable with communicating with their doctors using technology instead of seeing them in person; and,
- About 67% of patients said that using telemedicine somewhat or significantly increases their satisfaction with medical care..
But, the more exciting change – which is only now beginning to expand appreciably – is the use of “telecare” as a capability in the virtual care environment. Telecare is the actual delivery of health care services using remote technologies for care delivery. Given some of the trends in bandwidth availability, use of robots, sensing technologies; and, use of artificial intelligence and machine learning – the ability of providers to deliver care will be ever more dramatically altered in the coming couple of years (perhaps my prediction this time will not be so far in advance as the last one which took the better part of three decades to accomplish 😊).