Guest post by Richard J. Scholz RPh, J.D., chief strategy officer, Optimized Care Network.
This is an exciting time in healthcare. The field is changing in terms of how and where care is delivered, who is providing those services, even how the care is financed. As the world around us becomes increasingly digital, the medical industry needs to keep up. I believe patients deserve convenient access to the best doctor for their particular case, no matter where that doctor is located. They deserve personal attention and a firsthand look at the images and results their doctor sees.
This is why I was honored to join other national telehealth leaders in the HX360 panel discussion, the Telehealth Turnabout, during HIMSS15 in Chicago. The group brought together divergent perspectives on the future of telehealth, including market opportunities for new entrants, novel opportunities for providers to extend care, capture new patients or establish a new revenue stream using telehealth.
At Optimized Care Network (OCN), we are challenging the healthcare industry to imagine having every world-class specialist available in one office — no matter where you are located. We are moving the industry and the people we serve away from reliance on brick and mortar offices.
Personalized digital healthcare is the future of quality medical care. New developments in technology are making healthcare providers more accessible than ever before. As the digital domain grows, providers and patients alike must be clear on the differences between telemedicine and personalized digital health. Telemedicine can involve seeking treatment over the Internet via a video conference, and personalized digital healthcare enhances your traditional office visit by adding state-of-the-art image sharing equipment and lifelike communication linking the patient in one location with the doctor who could be hundreds of miles away. The digital healthcare delivery offered in an Optimized CareSpace takes digital healthcare to the next level by personalizing it. You meet with a nurse, look your doctor in the eye via exclusive video technology, and you can see the medical images your doctor sees, giving you, the patient, a complete view of your healthcare.
As the industry employs more communication technology and offers more tech solutions, we cannot lose sight of the importance of forming a connection between patients and doctors, even when they aren’t in the same room. Healthcare should not be a do-it-yourself situation. If you’re not feeling well and trying to get a diagnosis, you need to be seen by an actual nurse and doctor. This becomes even more crucial if there is follow-up needed or management of a chronic disease.
As we move forward with innovations revolutionizing delivery of care, the industry needs to remain focused beyond just affordability and convenience. We can never dismiss patient satisfaction and quality of care. If we can accomplish this, the high-tech future of healthcare will be bright for patients and providers alike.