Tag Archives: Telehealth

The Evolution Of The Health Tech: Positive Change Through Interoperable Solutions

The American Healthcare Industry has experienced many large-scale changes in the past few decades. This timeframe has afforded us many drastic reforms in the industry such as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or the widespread shift towards Value-Based Care. However, the most noteworthy and significant change is the gradual adoption of software solutions into the healthcare industry. The digitization of healthcare has brought numerous benefits to healthcare organizations that are able to streamline their day-to-day operations. More importantly, these solutions have made life easier for care providers and patients by simplifying the delivery of care. In order for these complex systems to operate, they need to display competency in Interoperability. 

How Interoperability Ties It All Together

Interoperability in the context of healthcare refers to the use of many complex systems and information technology (IT) to exchange and interpret health-based data. As many software systems were designed for specific tasks, the transfer of data between different systems emerged as a significant challenge. Interoperability allowed for different computer systems that operate on different platforms to interact with each other. This gave health organizations the ability to employ multiple systems for their varying needs. At the foundational level, interoperability is present in roughly 75% of health systems in the US. The incorporation of more advanced levels allows organizations to expand the scale of their services.

How Technology is Combatting COVID-19

The COVID-19 Pandemic has proved to be a challenging obstacle for the healthcare industry. While the pandemic continues to test the industry’s existing abilities, the prevalence of computer systems currently in use have helped in the fight to control COVID-19. The use of virtual health services has skyrocketed since the outbreak as clinics across the country shift their focus to COVID-19. Patients are able to access health services like routine check-ups from their tablet or computer. The significance of this service is that it ensures patients with chronic conditions can receive medical services without the risk of being infected with COVID-19. It also helps clinics establish stable cash flow and make up for revenue shortfall due to the pandemic. 

Examples of Interoperable Health Tech Solutions:

Telehealth

Interoperable Health Tech Solutions

Telehealth involves the transfer of healthcare services through a telecommunications platform. While the primary use of telehealth is for virtual conferencing between patients and physicians, it is also used for monitoring and educating patients. The most popular form of telehealth is video conferencing where patients and physicians can perform most tasks required in a typical check-up. According to the American Hospital Organization (AHA), 3 out of every 4 hospitals offer some form of telehealth service. Telehealth has proven to be a valuable tool in the fight against COVID-19, while also eliminating long wait times and nonessential clinical visits. Telehealth must be interoperable with other platforms in order to share Electronic Health Records (EMR). Reviewing these records is crucial for physicians who are deciding the next course of action for a patient. 

Remote Patient Monitoring

Remote Physiological Monitoring (RPM) uses real-time technology to collect vital parameters such as heart rate, blood pressure, weight, or any other relevant health-based measure. These devices are worn by patients to track the parameters of their health while simultaneously sending the results to a qualified health professional. This professional can analyze the information and intervene if there is any abnormal data. These gadgets have been extremely helpful for chronic care patients who can avoid the hassle of regular clinical visits. Clinics who effectively use these devices can significantly reduce the number of readmissions, which costs the industry over $41 billion a year. Interoperability is crucial in the RPM care delivery as data must be transferred from the patient’s device to the health system without any errors. 

Workflow and Referral Management

Remote Patient Monitoring

The goal of Workflow Management is to streamline the patient workflow by eliminating inefficiencies in the process. Tech solutions such as Smart Rooming help nurses room the patient and transfer the responsibility of care in a time-efficient manner. Referral Management is also an extremely crucial part of clinical operations. Referral Leakage, which occurs when a patient’s Referral loop is not closed, costs the industry millions of dollars a year. Interoperable platforms would transfer information from the physician to the specialist in a timely manner and without any gaps. 

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Primary Benefits of healthcare technology

While still extremely developmental in nature Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) provide a glimpse into the future of healthcare. AI and ML both use machines to perform human activities such as comprehension, interpretation, and analysis. Despite a limited role, they are both currently used for routine activities like streamlining workflows, patient education, diagnosis, and predictive analysis. AI/ML can help health tech innovators attain interoperability by assisting computer systems in receiving and analyzing data. 

Primary Benefits

The influx of interoperable systems has revolutionized the healthcare industry. Listed below are the main benefits of these solutions. 

 

  • Improved Patient Experience: One of the main focuses of these innovative software solutions was to improve the overall experience of patients. The introduction of Telehealth and RPM increases access to healthcare for all patients. Tools such as AI and ML are life-saving as they quickly and accurately diagnose conditions. 
  • Simplifying the Care Journey: In the traditional Care Journey, patients may have to spend an entire day in a clinic while physicians shuttle back and forth to tend to them. Software Solutions have streamlined this process by assisting clinics with scheduling, rooming, and diagnosis. Nurses, Physicians, and Clinical staff can allocate their time more efficiently, resulting in a smoother Care Journey for patients. 
  • Optimal Operational Efficiency: Health Organizations are able to maximize the use of their resources thanks to health tech solutions. Using tools like Referral Management and Care Orchestration allows organizations to streamline patient workflows. This helps them serve more patients without having to expand or increase costs. 

 

Increased Profit: Perhaps the greatest benefit for organizations is the ability to increase clinical profits. Efficient software solutions help organizations identify and eliminate inefficient practices. At the same time, solutions like RPM provide additional revenue streams for clinics with little additional cost. While Interoperable solutions may incur an initial cost, effective development and use of the product will have a positive impact in the long run.

Talk to us to understand more about the advancements in the healthcare industry and we will guide you to achieve our common goal “Quality Care for All” seamlessly.

Emerging Technologies that will shape the Future of the Healthcare Industry

The Healthcare Industry has witnessed a great deal of innovation over the past few centuries. Some pioneering breakthroughs include the discovery of vaccines, antibiotics, and insulin. Developments such as these have drastically increased the overall quality of life for billions of people across the planet. These substantial improvements over the past two centuries have led to the emergence of recent tech-based health innovations.  

How the move to Value-Based Care affects Innovation

The Healthcare industry has witnessed a shift towards “Value-Based Care” over the past few decades. This model focuses on the patient outcome more than any other factor. This has influenced technological innovations to be patient-centric rather than purely profit-focused. 

RPM Devices

how remote patient monitoring helps to achieve value based care

Remote Physiological Monitoring (RPM) is a form of real-time telehealth that employs the use of technology in the live collection of vital parameters such as heart rate, blood pressure, weight, or any other relevant measure. These compact gadgets track and send these parameters to qualified health professionals who can analyze the results. RPM devices give patients the opportunity to monitor their condition on a daily basis without constant clinical visits. These devices have allowed providers to remain updated with their patients when a physical visit is not possible. Effective use of these devices is proven to decrease the number of readmissions, which costs the industry over $41 billion a year. The RPM market is expected to grow to $2.7 billion by 2020, per a projection by Research and Markets. If RPM devices can prove their value in a competitive health tech market, they may become an integral part of human life. Their compact nature can allow them to become as ubiquitous as a wristwatch, especially for aging populations. 

Telehealth

what are new advancements in telehealth

Telehealth involves the transfer of healthcare services through a telecommunications platform. While it includes monitoring and education, it is most commonly used as a tool for virtual appointments between providers and patients. Commonly used Telehealth platforms involve the use of a video/audio system with the ability to send EHR/EMRs or other health records by message. Telehealth acts as an added revenue stream as the CMS reimburses providers who employ telehealth services. For patients, telehealth means they can access high-quality healthcare from the comfort of their homes. The use of telehealth has rapidly grown over the past decade as 75% of hospitals utilized a telehealth platform in 2017 as opposed to 35% in 2010. In the long run, telehealth can help eliminate nonessential patient visits which waste both time and resources. With technological advances, telehealth might soon adopt a “virtual reality” based format. This can increase patient-provider interaction while enhancing the quality of care.  

Artificial Intelligence

how Artificial Intelligence hep in healthcare industry

Artificial Intelligence (AI) involves the use of machines to perform human activities such as comprehension and analysis. In a healthcare setting, it can be used to make an advanced interpretation of health-based data. The amount of investment in health-based AI is projected to grow from $600 million to $6.6 billion between 2014 and 2021. AI can make patient-specific care plans by accounting for millions of variables involving the patient’s health condition and trajectory. AI could potentially open the door for “Precision Medicine,” which could be a landmark development in modern medicine. While this method is still highly experimental and embroiled in controversy, the prospects of an effective model remains promising.  

The Impact of COVID-19 on Health Tech Innovations

The COVID-19 Pandemic has placed a heightened focus on the current capabilities of the Healthcare industry. The pandemic has offered both challenges and opportunities for technological innovation. One of the primary flaws of the industry that COVID-19 has highlighted is the prevalence of unnecessary and inconvenient patient visits. As health centers across the country have been focused on tackling the pandemic, patients with other conditions have been encouraged to stay home and receive virtual care. Many patients are able to mitigate their existing conditions without time-consuming visits to a clinic. At the same time, this provides an opportunity for a widespread adoption of telehealth services. Many providers have experienced the efficiency of virtual health services and will continue to invest in these solutions. Clinics without such platforms will likely adopt telehealth to address their lack of virtual care services. The pandemic will no doubt leave an enduring mark on the healthcare industry. The lessons learned from the pandemic will surely shift the focus of innovations towards virtual health solutions. 

Talk to us to understand more about Value-Based Care and we will guide you to achieve our common goal “Quality Care for All” seamlessly.

Remote Patient Monitoring helps achieve Healthcare’s Triple Aim

What is Triple Aim?

Triple Aim is a framework developed by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement that describes an approach to optimizing health system performance.

  • Improving the patient experience of care (including quality and satisfaction)
  • Improving the health of the populations
  • Reducing the per capita cost of health care

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has emphasized the significance of achieving the “Triple Aim” objectives. Therefore, the entire healthcare industry is working to harness the Triple Aim concept to enhance overall outcomes.

Achieving the Triple Aim goals is quite challenging. Improving access to care is one of the prime drivers in achieving Triple Aim, which fundamentally helps improve patient experience of care, treatment outcomes of the population and reduce the per capita cost.


how Aging Baby Boomers related to triple aim

Aging Baby Boomers Drain Financial Systems

There are roughly 77 million Baby Boomers in the U.S. (born between 1946 and 1964). Of that group, about 10,000 are reaching age 65 every single day, and that trend is expected to continue into the 2030s.

It is a fact that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) cannot afford this increased cost of medical care for this large aging population. The new payment model i.e. the shift from fee-for-service to value-based reimbursement is intended to inspire and reward for providing quality care across the care continuum at a reduced cost. This also helps improve patient health outcomes, patient experience, and reduce readmission rates.


triple aim and remote patient monitoring

How Does Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) help in Achieving Triple Aim?

Today, to treat patients remotely healthcare organizations are getting the entire patient data into their systems to get them in front of their physicians and specialists. Innovations and improvements in healthcare technology have allowed patients to survive diseases and get immediate medical attention when most needed. Remote Patient Monitoring is one of the solutions that play a crucial role in helping the baby boomers population, and help healthcare providers to get closer to attaining Triple Aim.


how Remote patient monitoring helps in improving Patient Experience, Population Health, Reduce Costs

Remote patient monitoring can help providers in value-based repayments through a proactive focus on disease prevention, early involvement, care management, chronic care management, and patient monitoring. This optimized management of care to a greater extent has helped the manner in which physicians provide care and how patients manage their own health.

Improves Patient Experience

Remote patient monitoring along with other Telehealth solutions allow patients to get involved in their treatment by monitoring/updating their vitals, following care plans, diet, etc. This improves patients’ self-awareness of their medical condition and also helps them connect with their provider when needed. The care model allows patients to engage in their care on a day-to-day basis and drives patient adherence, self-involvement, and better health outcomes which means improved patient experience.

Improves Population Health

At times, elderly patients in rural/remote areas find it difficult to reach the providers when in urgent need. There may be several reasons like lack of specialties, distance, etc. In such cases remote patient monitoring can help to a very great extent facilitating medical attention at doorsteps, eliminating long-distance travel, etc. Providing medical care to people of all ages of the especially aging population will help improve the health of the population.

Helps Reduce Costs

This care model will help move from reactive care to proactive care. Providing immediate attention will help reduce readmission rates, reduce hospital admissions, etc. thereby helps reduce the overall cost.

To treat patients remotely, healthcare organizations should adopt and use technologies that help them enhance care experience, improve patient health outcomes, and reduce overall cost.

Schedule a demo and talk to HealthViewX RPM Solution experts and get your RPM started in a jiffy!

Understand the importance, value and use of Telehealth during this pandemic

Understanding Preventive Care Services

Telehealth has become increasingly important and has seen a striking evolution during this COVID 19 pandemic and is especially capable of having a huge effect on how patients communicate with providers and receive care.

Telehealth refers to a broader scope of remote healthcare services. According to the World Health Organization, Telehealth encompasses, “Surveillance, health promotion, and public health functions.”

The National Consortium of Telehealth Resource Centers has published a video on “Telehealth Policy in a Post-COVID-19 World.” In this video, Center For Connected Health Policy (CCHP) tells what temporary policy changes might remain Post-COVID-19 and what could be issues that policymakers may think merit future action. This will help policymakers, practitioners, payers, and the public understand how to accurately discuss “Telehealth” and its key components.

Related Article: Telehealth to Ensure Care and Business Continuity Amid COVID- 19


telehealth and remote patient monitoring

Understanding the dynamics of Telehealth

Telehealth is presently delivered in 2 major ways:

Video Conferencing (VC) - This is used for real-time provider-patient consultations, PCP-Specialist/ Provider – Provider.

  • No special software downloads for patients to connect, just click the HIPAA secure link to join the video call, share videos, file, photos, messages, etc.
  • Patients and providers can connect from anywhere, improved access for remote patients
  • Easy text or email reminders, easy reschedules, patient self-scheduling.

Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) - This is used to provide appropriate support for patient self-management and helps in gathering patient data outside of traditional healthcare settings or helps transmit patient health information to health care providers.

RPM Benefits for patients:

  • No travel expenses and spending time on travel as the in-person visit is not required
  • Less interference with personal responsibilities like childcare, elder care, etc
  • No exposure to other potentially contagious patients

RPM Benefits for Providers:

  • Increased efficiency and revenue
  • Better patient care and improved health outcomes
  • Fewer circumstances that lead to no-shows

Importance, benefits, and use of Telehealth

Telehealth provides valuable features that help providers achieve health care’s triple aim – access to care, improved patient outcomes, and reduce cost to the provider. Telehealth removes obstructions of time, distance, and specialty lack. This includes remote, rural, and medically underserved urban communities.

  • It helps reduce readmissions, stops unnecessary hospitalizations, and ER visits.
  • It provides peace of mind to patients' family members as they know the patient is receiving the proactive care they need.
  • It incessantly captures and analyses real-time data and integrates alert algorithms, and helps identify patients who are at risk of emergency department visits (ER Visits) or hospitalization.
  • It is more reliable, enhances the quality of care, care coordination, saves costs, and time for both the provider and the patient.

Related Article: Role of Telehealth In Chronic Care

How to implement Telehealth:

Implement Telehealth into your existing operation and it has to be designed to complement your standard practices and workflows.

  • Plan a workflow analysis to reveal how this has to fit in with standard clinical practice.
  • Consider this technology as another tool for the delivery of normal services with the only difference of the patient being at a remote location.
  • Keep it simple.

Implementing sustainable Telehealth is the need of the hour. Talk to HealthViewX solution experts to understand how to instantly launch a Telehealth Program into your practice. Schedule a demo today, get up and run quickly, get started in a jiffy irrespective of the size of the operation.

Capitalize on the Benefits of Telehealth to Ensure Care and Business Continuity Amid COVID- 19

The adoption of telemedicine shifted into hyper-drive over the past month, with virtual health-care interactions on pace to top 1 billion by year’s end, according to analysts at Forrester Research.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many barriers obstructed the lack of adoption of Telehealth. Cost/ budget, different opinions in consensus decision-making, implementation challenges, migration from the current process, upkeep of old technology, delay in decisions, many physicians seeing technology as impersonal, etc. were all some of the barriers to adoption. But now all of those barriers have dramatically collapsed.

Shift in care delivery mode amid the COVID 19 Pandemic

Hospitals and health systems everywhere are staring at a sharp slump in revenue. To stay afloat healthcare systems are exploring and evaluating a variety of virtual care models, and ramping up Telehealth adoptions. Their technology teams are working around the clock to deliver infrastructure support to facilitate Telehealth. Health systems are urging their physicians and patients to obviate the need for in-person visits, and instead use Telehealth visits to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

March Telehealth visits surged 50% amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to research from Frost and Sullivan consultants.

Virtual Care is the need of the hour:

Virtual care/appointments have quickly become one of the most important tools to ensure care continuity for patients while keeping safe during this pandemic. One of the Telemedicine providers has reported a spike in video requests to more than 15,000 per day. Forrester expert analysts estimate that virtual visits could top 900 million this year based on the current projections for coronavirus infections in the US.


Related Article: Learn how the COVID-19 pandemic is transforming healthcare with technology

Enabling Change – Telehealth into the spotlight

The care that used to take place only in brick-and-mortar settings can now occur digitally. Telehealth is stepping up into the spotlight and helping providers to ensure care continuity. Hospitals are enabling changes to assure care delivery, provide uninterrupted care, meet the needs of their staffs, and complement their existing workflows in the current scenario. It is evident that hospital CIOs should invest in Telehealth technology to help care continuity while also ensuring business continuity.

Telehealth is part of a larger digital transformation in health care. Telehealth technology benefits hospitals and health systems in many ways and some of them are enumerated below:

  • Improves patient engagement, builds capacity to expand access, improves outcomes & reduce costs
  • Increases specialist access availability and capacity, provides 24/7 access to care, improves access & fill gaps in care
  • Enables virtual care and virtual appointment
  • Enhances clinical relationships with partners and within specialty networks.
  • Implementation/expansion of value-based care models.

Apart from the ones listed above, Telehealth helps in point of access for urgent care, specialty consults, post-discharge management, health counseling, chronic care management, referral management, and many more.

Telehealth usage has expanded recently in many use cases. Some of them are listed below:

eConsult - Templated communications where PCP’s consult with specialists to send and receive information on patient care and discuss patient care.

Virtual Care - Distant specialists connect in real-time to a PCP or a clinical setting to deliver care.

Remote-patient Monitoring - Providers remotely monitor patients via connected/mHealth devices.

Virtual Appointments/ Video Visits - Provider connects directly with the patient via video to conduct the equivalent of a visit.

eVisit - Provider connects with patients via email or secure messaging to provide clinical advice or support.

Patient Acceptance of Telehealth Services - Among patients surveyed after their initial encounter, 97% were satisfied with the experience and would recommend the program, and 74% felt that the interaction actually improved their relationship with their provider.

Why Telehealth?

Health care providers saved almost $2,750 per patient when using Telehealth instead of in-person physical therapy when discharged after knee-replacement surgery.

Health systems that don’t address the expectations of their patients will be challenged by competitors and new market entrants. Telehealth helps to treat patients in a more effective way, and is an efficient way to use limited staff and resources. Telehealth will help reduce costly readmissions, improve clinical outcomes, and make healthcare services even more impactful.

Development or strengthening of health systems or hospitals can be leveraged across multiple sites by connecting physicians, specialists, imaging or diagnostic centers, hospitals, etc. Virtual care will not only improve the care quality and health outcomes but also will improve timing by eliminating travel and as well bringing in specialized care as and when needed.

Are you looking for Telehealth Services for your patients?

Schedule a demo and talk to our solution experts. Our experts will help you implement the solution and get your practice started with Telehealth Services in a jiffy!

Learn how the COVID-19 pandemic is transforming healthcare with technology

The COVID-19 pandemic and its global sweep is scaling exponentially across the globe. We are witnessing that health systems across some of the COVID-19 affected countries are stretching beyond their ability to handle this pandemic. The affected countries have geared up and are urgently scaling-up aggressive measures to tackle the disease and combat COVID-19.

Unfortunately, even some large health systems in developed countries are designed to handle regular patient loads and not pandemics. The international community has asked for US$675 million to help protect states with weaker health systems as part of its Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan. Right from mid-March till the first week of April, the number of cases of COVID-19 outside China has increased 13-fold, and the number of affected countries has tripled.  Patients with an extreme disease from COVID-19 need average respiratory support of approximately 13 days and the number of new patients that can be accommodated during this prolonged outbreak is really low.

The rapid growth of cases can alter a public health emergency into an operational crisis if containment flops. Proper planning and response will require multidisciplinary effort from physicians, healthcare professionals, nurses, respiratory specialists, supply chain, pharmacists, etc. 

Here’s how technology is helping through its virtual care potential and other advancements

Healthcare workers on the front lines are overwhelmed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The number of calls they receive from patients who want to talk to their respective physicians about COVID 19 symptoms is unimaginably high. As a result, health systems are suggesting their patients to use self-triaging tools to check for the COVID-19 symptoms before putting them through to their doctors. Chatbot’s have also been reconfigured with FAQ’s and assessment related to Coronavirus symptoms. 

The current COVID 19 outbreak scenario is terrifying and the major concern for many of us throughout the world.  Due to the sudden spike, patients triaged for COVID-19 should wait long in a virtual queue. During this long wait patients get frustrated and impatient, and also puts many patients in a state of panic and anxiety.  In one of the articles it is stated that the number of virtual visits have gone 10-15 times more after the COVID-19 outbreak. 

This insists on the need for health systems to standardize and streamline processes eventually to handle intake volumes and have the technology in place to manage such pandemics efficiently. It is said since the COVID-19 outbreak Telehealth visits/usage has increased by approximately 500% in the last few weeks. While some of the health systems have already successfully adapted to new healthcare technologies there are still plenty out there who have not thought about it yet.

It is time for health systems to realize, the power and potential of Telehealth, bring it into the mainstream and take it at one stroke to transform care delivery. Likewise, remote patient monitoring is also equally important to monitor chronic conditions patients and patients who are at high risk or suspected of contracting the virus during such pandemics.

The COVID-19 pandemic may be a turning point as we look at the future of healthcare across time horizons, how we live and work, and perhaps the planet’s future. During such situations, a certain degree of reprioritization is needed to speed-up the digital transformation of healthcare delivery.

Mainstreaming of Telehealth

Telehealth is on the rise during the COVID-19 pandemic. The HealthViewX platform supports patient-to-provider, provider-to-provider and multi-party collaboration from the onset of a condition. The platform supports both audio and video calling, and live-chats along with document transfer. Allows patients to join from any device like mobile, laptop, tabs, etc. It enables healthcare organizations to customize Telehealth experience for providers and patients, thereby enhancing the quality of patient care, raising patient engagement and improving patient experience and health outcomes.

For further customization, the platform engine helps build digital tools and platforms on-the-fly with no-code or low-code to orchestrate care journeys and facilitates transitioning to value-based care. The current system definitely needs to adapt to modern healthcare technology.  

Talk to us to understand more about healthcare technology advancements.