What does the rising demand for digital interaction mean for the healthcare industry?
Recently around 2500 consumers were surveyed about their comfort level with contacting their physician digitally. Nearly half of those surveyed said they were comfortable with contacting them digitally and have already used available technology. This survey, done by Ernst & Young, says that consumers are hungry for more connection. It seems that 36% of consumers are interested in having at home diagnostic testing, 33% are open to using their smartphones to share data and 21% would prefer video consultations.
What could be motive this shift in how we interact with healthcare professionals?
The main motivator for this shift is that virtual data sharing will reduce wait times and lower the cost of healthcare. Physicians seem to agree, since two thirds out of the 350 surveyed claimed that digital technology will improve care and reduce the burden on the healthcare system. In fact, 64% of physicians surveyed think it could help reduce doctor and nurse burnout.
What does virtual direct-to consumer healthcare benefit the industry?
It means an increase in access to rural communities
Improvement in outcomes and lower cost
It easier for patients to use
This technology is still in its early stages and whether it will actually save money is still being debated since some research is showing that the tools to integrate it can be costly.
The healthcare industry is changing, but is telehealth and digital appointments where we are trending towards?
It seems that this is currently the direction that the industry is going. Congress recently passed a new budget bill that not only outlines the budget and goals for the next two years but included the creating high-quality results and outcomes necessary to improve the Chronic Care Act of 2017 that would have legislators funnel more Medicare money into telemedicine. This would allow Medicare to cover more services for chronically ill patients. This type of legislation is going allow Accountable Care Organizations to use telemedicine more, as well as expanding the Medicare Advantage telemedicine coverage for all patients.
Is more integration of telemedicine and other digital technology the future of healthcare?
Only time will tell. Let us know your opinions on implementing more technology into healthcare over in the forums!