Health Care has been the essentially the same for decades. You call a doctor, make an appointment, and then visit their office to get your issues addressed. Whether it’s for being sick or just routine care, the process is pretty much the same. It’s an in-person, at-the-office experience for more or less everyone. We take time off of work, drive to the doctor’s office, and spend at least an hour or two out of our day for the process. But with advances in technology and more and more things being done online or remotely – is that the new future of health care? For some, it will become the norm.
In today’s age almost everyone has a smartphone that is capable of connecting to thousands of apps, devices, etc. Phones and other technology allows doctors to gather medical intel remotely – be it heart rate, blood pressure or other vital readings necessary to keep patients healthy.
For patients who have chronic conditions, remote care could be a game changer – not only can physicians monitor conditions like diabetes from a far, but the quality of care and efficiency also improve – in addition to reduced healthcare costs. Every years hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized with heart related issues – the costs of treatment isn’t going down – but with remote care, the cost of routine patient visits could decrease since they won’t need to visit offices for check ins as much.
Much of the costs associated with routine heart health maintenance can be addressed by remote monitoring – an implanted device works when a transmitter syncs with the device collecting data about the heart’s activity, such as its rate and rhythm. The transmitter then sends that information to a hospital, clinic or physician’s office on a set schedule. Providers can promptly review and evaluate the data and make timely interventions and remote follow-ups, as needed. This gives people peace of mind knowing they’re connected with their doctor and can go about living their lives without having to travel to the doctor’s office or hospital for emergency visits.
When looking at the costs of remote care, it can drastically reduce the number of in-hospital device evaluations, hospital admissions, the length of stay per cardiac hospitalization, and follow-up office visits. All of these advantages make remote monitoring a critical tool in health management, especially for chronic conditions that contribute greatly to high healthcare costs.
According to a new study from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), 68 percent of physician strongly intend to use remote patient monitoring technology in the future. These tools allow doctors to be in two places at once. Keeping an eye on a patient via video, looking at their medical records on their smartphone, studying their X-rays and CT scans from wherever they are, and completing almost any other tasks that are part of their regular work.
Instead of only being able to help a few patients at a time, doctors can now keep track of and treat a couple hundred patients at a time, all in a way that is cost-effective, scalable and doesn’t compromise patient health. This technology allows medical professionals to make decisions that both save money for their patients while also offering the highest level of care, without having to worry about overhead or bed space or any of the considerations they face today.
Beyond remote monitoring, more and more physician groups and insurance providers are offering remote patient visits online! Fear you have the flu, strep throat, pink eye or an unexplained rash – many patients now can simply login online, access a health care provider face to face and get a quick visual diagnosis. The benefit? You don’t have to leave your house, and if you are indeed infectious, you are keeping your germs to yourself. Often these online doctor’s visits are incredibly affordable since there is reduced cost for the insurance carriers, that savings can be passed on to the patients.
Senior Vice President, Commercial Lender