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What are the Technology Trends in the Telehealth Industry?

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Predictions show that the telehealth industry could grow into a $3 Trillion market. The forecast has health giants struggling to compete with greater forces. The current telehealth technology trends have disrupted the industry. For instance, Amazon’s presence in healthcare is becoming more dominant. Amazon Echo can perform many skills designed by healthcare professionals. Other retail and technology giants are entering the telehealth industry, as well. Companies like Google, JP Morgan Chase, Apple, and Microsoft also see the value in telehealth.  

The competition in the telehealth industry has led to incredible advances and innovation, right when people need the value of virtual healthcare most.  

Within this article, you’ll find an overview of telehealth technology, trends, and the future of technology.  

About Telehealth Technology

Telehealth technology trends have evolved and improved dramatically since the start of the pandemic. The PHE drove many people to accept the technology- patients and providers alike.  

On its most basic level, telehealth technology connects patients and doctors from a distance. According to the Mayo Clinic, telehealth helps people in isolated and rural communities access healthcare. It also makes accessing medical specialists easier.  

Doctors who use telehealth enjoy improved coordination of care. Also, technology and telehealth combine to educate patients about their conditions.  

Telehealth Trends in Numbers and Facts  

  • The PHE spurred telehealth growth in ICUs. Sasangohar et al.’s study on telehealth in the ICU during COVID shows over 88% positive experiences, according to the data provided by patients and their families.  
  • The result of those positive experiences is that Health Care Organizations (HCO) are investing in the telehealth industry, despite around $323 billion in losses in 2020, says the American Hospital Association.  
  • cohort study revealed that from 2019-2020, telehealth use went from 0.3% to 23.6%, indicating that patients are shifting away from in-person visits.  

What are the current technology trends in the telehealth industry?  

  • The temporary exception from HIPAA violations increased Home Medical Equipment (HME) availability.  
  • Adults 65 and older dislike multiple steps in using technology. Around 61% own a smartphone, but they don’t want to download another app. Some telehealth platforms work around this by sending patients a message that prompts them to click “accept.” Then, they are sent directly to a HIPAA compliant video chat. 
  • Videoconferencing is one of the top trends in the telehealth industry. It offers patients the best of both worlds- the beauty of a house call, without anyone in their home. The videos are in-real-time, like a regular Zoom meeting. 
  • Store-and-forward technology is like videoconferencing. Providers record videos using store-and-forward technology to send to their patients or colleagues. The message is stored and forwarded to the recipient, who can watch the video and respond at their leisure. 
  • Electronic Health Records (EHR) enable providers to access patients’ records from any provider, anywhere.  
  • Internet of Things (IoT) devices offer real-time hospital information. With a simple question, you can locate information like: 
    • Lost and found
    • Parking
    • Contact
    • Visitors
    • Bill Payments
    • The hospital’s care team
  • Technological innovations are proactively impacting many aspects of the telehealth industry. Here are some examples:
    • Orbita‘s skill reminds patients to take their medications at the right time.
    • Avia Health partnered with Cedars-Sinai to create smart hospital rooms. Patients can control their environment and entertainment options and communicate with providers using an Amazon Echo.
    • One fascinating telehealth technology trend is wearable devices. Heartguide is a watch that takes patients’ blood pressure. It inflates like standard sphygmomanometers and is as accurate.  
    • Liberty Mutual Insurance‘s skill assists insurance shoppers by guiding patients through the policy purchase process through their Amazon Echo. If Alexa doesn’t find a quote matching your needs, she will connect you with an agent.  
    • The Mayo Clinic‘s skill provides hands-free first aid information through your device. You can access instructions for first aid for multiple accident types when you ask Alexa for help.  
    • By combining Artificial Intelligence (AI), Emotional Intelligence (EI), and Machine Learning (ML), HealthTap created the Dr. AI. Dr. AI provides diagnostic suggestions based on the medical expertise of more than 107,000 doctors with 140 different specialties. When a user provides the necessary data, Dr. AI responds with recommendations for the best treatment. If necessary, she can connect users with a physician. 
    • Health Care Genius explains healthcare terms and critical information, so users understand health insurance literature. 
    • KidsMD provides access to medication dosing information, and the user needn’t supply any personal information.  
    • EMTs save time during critical situations by using Brewster Ambulance Service‘s skill. Alexa provides information or lists procedure steps so EMTs can focus on the patient instead of searching reference manuals.  

What is the future of technology in healthcare?  

In the future, there will be more novel applications for the technology. The following trends are expanding their applications and will become even more prominent in telehealth: 

ML and EI team up to create technology that can:  

  • Monitor patients’ purchase responses, behavior, and hidden emotional responses 
  • Analyze them.  

Emotional AI is a telehealth technology that captures data and: 

  • Helps doctors understand the mindset of their patients.  
  • Delivers information on patient pain points in real-time. 
  • Translates body language, so you know which patients are ready to engage in a follow-up appointment. This allows you to focus upon patients who are fully engaged and enrich their experience.  

Disruption to care for those with chronic health conditions will continue to alter the healthcare landscape. As more patients take a proactive approach to their health, they will control their chronic diseases. The impact of those conditions on patients will dwindle, and the proactive approach will seep into other areas of healthcare.  

 

The key takeaway is that trends in the telehealth industry are rapidly multiplying. Patients who gave telehealth a shot during the PHE received more than expected. Instead of a simple appointment, they found a technology that enriches their lives. Many patients are avoiding illness with a proactive approach to healthcare. Moreover, the telehealth industry enables physicians to focus on patient care since physicians spend less time on paperwork. With tools like ML, AI, and EI, doctors have a partner in caring for their patients.  

Which of these telehealth technologies fascinates you most?