“Telehealth leaves us with no excuse not to find the help we need – for body and soul – no matter where in the world we are.”
– Dr. Eric J. Hall, Columbia University
As the name suggests, telehealth is the integrated merger of technology with healthcare. Whether it is a robotic surgery taking place remotely, online communication between patients and medical practitioners, or doctors discussing complicated cases via video calls, telehealth solutions have taken the healthcare segment by storm. Telehealth has become a dominant technology that is acting as a backbone for modern-day healthcare operations and communications. We can thus say that the digital world is winning over with a strong impact of technology in healthcare. Regardless of where the stakeholders are located physically, digital health services are seamlessly offered to them.
As you now understand what telehealth is, it is worth exploring how telehealth as an emerging technology solution is revolutionizing healthcare services.
Telehealth Solutions – Redefining Healthcare Digitally
As per a new study by researchers from NYU Grossman School of Medicine, a swift rise in “virtual” visits during the COVID-19 pandemic helped transform how medical practitioners offered care in the United States. No longer just a part of the American healthcare delivery but also a way to significantly boost cost-effectiveness and quality of healthcare, virtual visits have emerged to be a crucial part of telehealth. Technology has made virtual appointments possible, a part of the shift towards making healthcare more convenient than before.
The best part about virtual clinics is that they come with their own set of benefits. Benefits of telehealth include mitigated burden of treatment, social and psychological advantages, better therapeutic alliances, and most importantly, innovative solutions to overcome the challenges that come in the way of transitioning from in-person to virtual care.
Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) Technology
- About 30 million US patients will use remote patient monitoring tools by 2024.
- RPM technology cuts costs and improves patient outcomes.
- The global RPM systems market will be more than $1.7 billion by 2027.
All these findings and facts by Insider Intelligence are enough to emphasize the relevance of RPM technology, one of the new technologies emerging in healthcare. The following technologies fall under the umbrella of remote patient monitoring.
Telehealth apps like web-based or mobile apps used for uploading information, like blood glucose readings. Such information is helpful for the doctor or medical care team diagnose health problems and offer the proper treatment.
Wearable devices help to automatically record and transmit information, including blood glucose, heart rate, posture control, tremors, gait, sleep patterns, or physical activity.
Remote electronic respiratory monitors allow pulmonologists to virtually support patients while preventing exposure for anyone in their practice to COVID-19, especially when patients undergo their lung function testing and measuring.
When used effectively, RPM technologies reduce hospitalizations, lessen re-admissions, and shorten hospital stays, thus increasing the quality of life .
AI-backed Computer Vision
In recent years, computer vision applications in healthcare have resulted in more accurate diagnoses of illnesses. Innovations in AI-backed computer vision tools enable improvements in recognizing patterns to identify diseases without any error. In 2019, Cleveland Clinic, Ohio, US, launched a center to promote artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare. In this telehealth example, the center is undertaking multiple ongoing cancer-focused projects. They include developing models to offer personalized results, anticipating resistance or response to chemotherapy using multiple machine-learning (ML) algorithms, and improving cancer detection in pathology slides through computer vision.
The importance of computer vision technology in healthcare can be reiterated by saying that doctors can now detect minor changes in tumors to determine if it is malignant. Besides, with medical imaging, CV tools can assist in the detection, prevention, and treatment of several diseases.
Mobile Health (mHealth)
According to a report by the Pew Research Center, over 60% of Americans with smartphones use their devices to search for health information. About 60% of these smartphone users have downloaded a mHealth app. Mobile health apps place expert insights, vital healthcare solutions, and educational resources into the hands of patients. They can thus aid people with tracking cancer treatment programs, bettering mental health practices, maintaining exercise regimens, and augmenting breastfeeding routines. Besides, mHealth apps can integrate with Electronic Health Records (EHRs) to guarantee comprehensive and up-to-date patient data. Common mobile health solutions comprise electronic health records, online/remote consultations, wearable devices, health and fitness apps, and internet-connected medical devices.
Are you Leveraging the New and Emerging Technologies in Healthcare?
Emerging technologies in healthcare, such as remote patient monitoring, mHealth, and computer vision, affect significant changes in healthcare in the form of telehealth. Telehealth takes a key role in embedding technology within healthcare, boosting the effectiveness of healthcare IT solutions. Healthcare businesses can take timely advantage of the growing influence of technology by aligning with Enterprise Application Development service providers to fast-track application development powered with the latest technology to lead and maintain their position of dominance.