Tag: remote monitoring

How COVID-19 Will Transform Healthcare With A Shift to Virtual Patient Care

By Michael Seres, founder and CEO, 11 Health.

Michael Seres

Hospitals across the globe are experiencing a demand incomparable to any event that most of us have experienced in our lifetimes. Providers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic tirelessly and courageously dedicate countless hours and immeasurable amounts of energy to combat this virus, all while compromising their own safety and the safety of their families.

This strain on the health care system stretches far beyond patients with COVID-19, as people with chronic diseases such as diabetes, Crohn’s, cancer and their providers struggle with the best way to manage their illnesses. With few medical resources available and the risk of exposure to the virus, a new way of providing care is desperately needed.

The Case for Telehealth

One might ask how these patients receive the care they need if they are unable to physically visit their provider and support team. Many are being forced – or choosing – to wait indefinitely until the risk of exposure and provider demand declines. As the United States and every country moves forward and learns from this crippling pandemic, it is apparent that there is an absolute need for a bigger emphasis on remote patient monitoring and telehealth services to provide effective care. The need is so significant that legislation is being passed to support the uptake of remote treatment options and to ensure health care facilities have high quality internet connections.

Telehealth services allow patients to be seen by a provider through video calls, giving the traditional face-to-face feel that many experience in general appointments with their providers. However, the extent of the personal interaction may end with the action of the provider, such as a prescription or advice on at-home care options.

Remote Monitoring: From Improved Workflow to Empowering Self-Management

Remote patient monitoring typically includes a support platform that allows a patient to monitor and manage their disease, often with the support of their health care team, remotely and over a period of time. The term telehealth is often wrongfully used interchangeably with remote patient monitoring. The two work together, but are not the same. Telehealth interactions are often part of a larger, ongoing remote patient monitoring system.

There are various types of remote patient monitoring platforms. Some are created with the intent to enable easier workflow and patient management for the physician, others are created to support patient self-management. Some cardiology devices such as pacemakers and ICDs use remote patient monitoring directly by sharing data on the performance of the device and the heart’s response with the physician.

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The Most Useful Technological Advancements In Healthcare

It’s no secret that healthcare has greatly improved with the advent of technology. We all know the drill. The usual benefits that we’ve been able to derive from technology comes in the form of better data management, clearer communication, minimized margin of error, and the improved accuracy and efficiency of medical diagnoses.

These are all the usual advantages we hear and read about, and it’s come to a point that these are now part of the norm. Nowadays they are generally integrated into the system of any hospital. But there’s a downside to that. These advancements are sometimes forgotten because they’ve become so common in the healthcare business.

So, as a gentle reminder to appreciate the things that we already have, these are some of the ways that technology has definitely improved the healthcare industry:

Improved Communication

 The link between doctors and patients has definitely improved because of technology. For example, if you find yourself involved in a vehicular crash, there are two people you’re going to want to call: Car and bus injury lawyers and doctors. Because of their busy schedules and HIPAA regulations, most doctors can prove to be difficult to contact.

There are several platforms on the internet that allow you to get in touch with a doctor to ask for medical advice. There are many apps that are also able to translate spoken word into a language that whomever you’re speaking with is able to understand, which is handy when traveling in a foreign country.

Better Data Management and Sharing

Gone are the days when patient files had to be physically stored in filing cabinets. There was the problem of these files taking up physical space, of course, but there was also the problem of having to organize these files. Human error is always a factor, but as the scope of work increases, so do the chances that an error may be committed. Today, we are able to store medical data in computers, which also means that we are able to recover data when needed. You never know when medical data may be needed by professionals from other fields of study. Whichever the case, data management is far more secure and far more efficient today than it ever was.

Remote Observing and Alerting

 Thanks to home monitoring systems, doctors are now able to check on their patients without the need to be physically present. This reduces the costs involved with recurring clinic visits and the time spent doing so. Patients will also be able to alert emergency medical personnel if something is wrong. This is especially vital for patients who have a pacemaker put in.

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