A comprehensive approach could lead to increased adoption of the technology.
Patients and physicians appear to be growing more satisfied with telemedicine. In fact, telehealth adoption is up 340%.
But not all health systems are implementing telemedicine programs effectively.
Sean Mehra, chief strategy officer and co-founder of HealthTap, a technology company that offers a suite of health apps, told Inside Digital Health™ this week at World Health Care Congress 2019 that healthcare leaders need to stop thinking of telemedicine as a solution that only addresses part of the problem and something that focuses specifically on chatting with a doctor online.
What’s more, healthcare should even consider moving away from the term “telemedicine” and instead refer to these platforms and services as virtual care, he said.
The journey to receiving care starts the moment an individual has a question or concern about their health.
“How do we add utility to people then?” Mehra said.
If a patient needs care, whether it is virtual or in person, any access solution must connect them to the appropriate care. And after the visit, it is important to ensure that the patient follows the instructions given by the physician to actually get better. Virtual care solutions need to focus on this entire process, Mehra said.
If telemedicine accomplishes this goal, it could make care access more seamless, Mehra said. And that just might lead to more engagement and adoption of virtual care platforms and services.
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