Tag: Devin Partida

5 Digital Health Services That Are Here to Stay

By Devin Partida, technology writer and the editor-in-chief, ReHack.com.

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented the medical industry with one of its most significant challenges yet. While the virus has pushed health care systems to their breaking point, some positives have arisen from this hardship. The demand for digital health services has skyrocketed, and many of these tools will continue to improve health care after the pandemic.

Healthcare organizations have had to turn to new technology in response to the extremes of COVID-19. In doing so, the medical industry has become more resilient, safe and efficient than ever. Many of these technologies are so advantageous that they’ll become standard practice in post-COVID medicine.

Many digital health services will remain long after researchers find a way to halt the pandemic, but here are five of the most significant.

1. Remote Consultation Services

Few medical technologies have been as crucial during COVID-19 as telemedicine, specifically remote consultation. Between January and early June, telehealth adoption rose by 50% as concerns over catching the virus in hospital waiting rooms grew. In April, remote consultation accounted for almost half of all Medicare primary care visits.

Now that so many health systems support remote consultation, it won’t likely go away. These services have improved public safety and made health care more accessible. In a nation where access to health care has traditionally fallen short, that’s an indispensable resource.

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5 Ways Virtual Tech Is Advancing Healthcare

By Devin Partida, technology writer and the editor-in-chief, ReHack.com.

Healthcare technology is experiencing something of a golden age at the moment. The world is undergoing an unprecedented period of technological advancement, and the medical industry is at the forefront of this revolution. One of the most promising instances of this trend is the adoption of virtual tech in healthcare.

From virtual reality (VR) to teleconferencing to 3D modeling, virtual technology takes many forms. Nearly all of them have applications in the healthcare industry. These technologies show so much potential that 96% of medical centers plan to expand their use within the year.

Here are five of the most prominent ways virtual tech is pushing healthcare forward.

1. Reducing Exposure to Contagious Diseases

Perhaps the most popular application of virtual healthcare is telemedicine. Patients can consult medical professionals using videoconferencing technology. Since they don’t have to go to a hospital, they don’t have to expose themselves to other, potentially contagious patients.

The reduced need for hospital visits has proven particularly advantageous during the COVID-19 pandemic. Telemedicine interactions increased 37 times over from February to April, during the height of the outbreak. Virtual communication allowed people to access healthcare without risking contracting the virus.

2. Reducing Medical Costs

Eliminating frequent hospital visits can also save patients a considerable amount of money. An emergency room visit costs $1,917 on average, and not every condition warrants a hospital trip. By contacting medial experts through virtual healthcare instead, patients can avoid many of these expenses.

Hospital fees aside, telehealth saves patients money through reduced travel times. In a nation where health care costs are a widely publicized and controversial concern, anything that allows for affordable care is welcome. Some people won’t even seek medical attention due to financial troubles, so monetary savings could also save lives.

3. Making Expert Care More Accessible

Virtual tech in healthcare can also improve the quality of care patients receive. In some areas, especially more remote or impoverished locations, patients may not have access to expert care. Tech like teleconferencing and even remote-controlled medical bots can allow the world’s top doctors to help people virtually anywhere.

Hospitals can also explore the advantages of new tech or services through virtual exhibits and demonstrations. These interactive spaces allow staff to experience the benefits of a new system before paying for them. That way, hospitals can make informed decisions about purchasing new healthcare tech and possibly upgrading their services.

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How Vendor Neutral Archives (VNAs) Are Changing The Medical Landscape

By Devin Partida, technology writer and the Editor-in-Chief of the digital magazine, ReHack.com

Devin Partida

The healthcare industry, like many other sectors today, is becoming increasingly digitized and data-driven. This transition into a digital landscape comes with various benefits but can complicate some matters as well. As medical trends lean toward digitization, solutions for accessibility and interoperability are essential.

On average, healthcare organizations manage 8.41 petabytes of data, up 878% since just four years ago. At the same time, most of these organizations experience at least one data disruption a year. The medical industry needs better data management, and vendor neutral archives (VNAs) provide it.

VNAs give medical facilities an interoperable solution for data access. Here’s a closer look at how these solutions are changing the industry.

Increasing Data Accessibility

VNAs are one of the most promising healthcare trends today because they address one of traditional systems’ most glaring flaws — inaccessibility. A VNA is an archiving system that stores and consolidates data from across all departments in a facility. Thanks to their neutrality, VNAs can store nearly any kind of file and work on any system.

Vendor-specific systems make it challenging for staff to access data from different departments. With these approaches, doctors have to use various platforms to view different files, which can take precious time. The time doctors spend trying to access all the different data they need is time spent away from tending to patients.

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How COVID-19 and Telehealth Are Affecting Healthcare Compliance

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By Devin Partida, technology writer and the Editor-in-Chief of the digital magazine, ReHack.com

The coronavirus pandemic has caused massive changes around the world. As people adjust to the new normal, they may notice some differences associated with COVID-19 and telehealth. Here’s an in-depth look at those changes.

Telehealth adoption rising

United States government officials announced changes in mid-March that dramatically increased access to telehealth in the nation. The changes included allowing providers to use everyday technologies to connect with patients, offering more telehealth treatment coverage to Medicare beneficiaries and making such options available at lower costs than traditional appointments.

The increased access and provider flexibility are temporary, intended to remain only for the duration of the country’s health emergency. However, some people believe the changes could bode well for telehealth in general, such as by giving adoption of the technology a sustained boost.

Analysts at Frost & Sullivan predict a 64.3% year-over-year growth increase for the telehealth sector this year. The researchers mentioned the need for social distancing as a central factor influencing the surge. However, they cautioned that the telemedicine industry contains an ecosystem where numerous parties affect adoption rates and healthcare compliance standards.

Medical practices can increase income through telehealth visits

Many people avoid face-to-face treatments now due to the risk of virus transmission. However, even before COVID-19 became a threat, people faced other obstacles that made in-person care more complicated, such as a lack of transportation or mental health struggles that made them nervous in public.

Jason Popp, a partner at Alston and Bird’s healthcare litigation group, pointed out how making telehealth more accessible introduces more revenue streams for medical facilities: “When the pandemic started, physicians in practices were seeing big changes because they couldn’t see patients anymore.”

Popp continued, “Now they’re quickly adapting to the change. Otherwise, they’ve got limited revenue because patients aren’t coming to clinics or certain facilities. It’s been a bit of a wake-up call to practitioners who were previously kind of opposed to telehealth. Now they’re seeing there are immense benefits. After the pandemic, many will continue to provide telehealth.”

A temporary telehealth waiver connected to the coronavirus pandemic expands access to people beyond rural areas. Popp viewed that regulatory change as the most significant and hopes Congress will eventually make it permanent. Other parties familiar with telehealth say the sector is scaling up so rapidly that reverting to pre-COVID-19 healthcare compliance standards would prove difficult.

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