Born out of necessity due to the pandemic, widespread trial and adoption of telehealth and virtual care platforms catapulted healthcare technology in 2020. Thanks in part to relaxed governmental regulations and a patient willingness to experience virtual healthcare, the success stories will continue to mount.
COVID Still Front and Center
While the U.S. is currently distributing three different vaccines, the rollout has been frustratingly slow. Although the new administration has pledged to speed up the process, COVID is still a widespread threat, and emerging variants of this infectious disease are beginning to crop up around the globe. The need for telehealth and virtual care will continue to be in high demand.
It’s expected that the incoming administration will continue adhering to the relaxed regulatory standards that allowed telehealth and virtual care to proliferate in 2020, while adding new waivers for virtual care in 2021. Costs covered through Medicare and Medicaid should continue, with the possibility of incentivized actions to further encourage widespread adoption and use.
While telehealth and virtual care gained a respectable foothold in acute-based patient care, we are now seeing an expansion into other caregiver markets, such as mental health, physical therapy, and the administration of pharmaceutical refills (aka ePrescribing).
The Rise of Virtual Care Platforms
As telehealth companies compete, the true value is in virtual care platforms. Expect to see the emergence of value-added features that speak to the patient experience, as well as the clinicians who treat remotely. The key will be to enhance—not add to—the clinical workflow.
With VitalTech’s market leading Virtual Care platform, VitalCare®, both patients and care teams are given contextualized, actionable data at the right time, in the right form to make proactive decisions about better care. This leads to better outcomes, healthier patients, and lower costs overall.
Post-COVID outbreak surveys among patients likely to utilize telehealth and virtual care services revealed a double-digit increase. What was once rare is now expected in healthcare and will remain even after COVID’s threat dissipates. Who knows how far these new methods of providing remote healthcare services can go for the industry as a whole?
At VitalTech we view healthcare and virtual care holistically. It’s much more than telehealth and monitoring vitals. If you add nutrition and medication management, activities of daily living and social determinants of health with a healthy dose of AI you start to develop a comprehensive and predictive model that can truly start to move the needle in patient care.
– Ernie Ianace, EVP Sales and Marketing of VitalTech