The field of digital health is expected to continue growing as new innovative solutions are introduced, changing the face of the healthcare industry as we know it. The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed virtual medicine to the forefront of the industry, proving that virtual healthcare has valuable solutions to offer to both patients and care providers. Care teams that utilize patient care software are better equipped to offer higher quality healthcare while cutting costs and time.
Technological applications in healthcare are evolving rapidly, with more tech solutions being introduced every day. With the increased number of patient care applications on the market, new possibilities that were deemed impossible in the past are now a reality. Doctors and care teams have access to more patient data than ever before, enabling them to perform medical diagnoses and follow-ups with ease, easing administrative burdens, and streamlining the process from beginning to end.
Why software answers the call for care teams
Digital health applications will be the answer to most issues facing care teams and patients. Wait times at clinics or hospitals will decrease since patients can get an appointment much faster virtually. For example, the average wait time for behavioral healthcare could extend to several weeks but virtual scheduling could get a patient help within a couple of days, solving a major issue with overwhelming emergency departments around the nation. Between 2006 and 2014, there was a 44% increase in ED visits related to mental health. Relying on virtual care could help solve overcrowdedness at ED and get patients the urgent care they need.
One of the most surprising benefits of virtual healthcare has been the improved access to health services for underserved populations across the nation, making healthcare a more equitable environment for all patients, regardless of race. According to a study by the University of Pennsylvania, virtual health solutions have made it easier for underserved communities to access care, in addition to increasing the rate of follow-up visits after hospitalization.
The digital health market growth is not slowing down — in fact, growth is accelerating. The global market was valued at $96.5 billion in 2020 and is projected to grow 15.1% annually from 2021 to 2028, according to Grand View Research. The market is also forecasted to grow exponentially in the near future, jumping to a value of nearly $460 billion by 2030 according to data from Statista.
With any new technology, especially one as powerful and encompassing as digital health, resistance from care team members should be expected. However, when clinicians are educated about the benefits that digital health offers them and their patients, they will have the necessary tools to provide the best care possible.
Digital solutions can help provide a more personal touch to patients
Consolidating and organizing patient data in one place and streamlining the patient’s journey from start to finish will remove some of the most frustrating elements of the job for care team members. It’ll reduce errors and stress, all while shifting the focus back on providing excellent care to patients — returning a much-needed personal touch to healthcare.
Care teams that utilize these technologies will not be spending all their time performing admin tasks or filing paperwork and can focus their time and energy on delivering the right care to patients. Automating the process allows care teams to cut time, save money, offer better help, and improve health outcomes.
Get instant updates with remote care monitoring
Remote care monitoring (RCM) is a vital new tool for healthcare providers, allowing doctors and care teams access to patients remotely. As remote monitoring devices become more cost-effective for hospitals, you and your care team can benefit from 24/7 insights into your patients’ health status.
With RCM, care teams can spot emergency situations much faster and respond immediately. It allows care providers to monitor patients if anything serious comes up and act accordingly, as in the cases of panic attacks or low blood sugar, for example. It can also empower and educate patients with updates about their health. Using advanced software, clinicians can make precise medical diagnoses remotely and with better accuracy. This benefits all patients, especially those living in remote areas or those who have rare conditions and need to connect with the right specialist.
Providing seamless care
Patient care software helps to manage numerous processes in hospitals and health centers — providing communication tools, improving diagnostics, and raising the quality of medical services.
A Care Management platform allows care teams to effortlessly manage complex patient handoffs and touchpoints. Using a centralized communications platform like this gives care teams high visibility into all patient information and patient exchanges.
Since these platforms let patients use the communication channels they prefer, patients become more engaged with their care. Many of them also address common data privacy concerns to ensure your team meets healthcare compliance standards.
Patient care software can also reduce the percentage of errors present when dealing with paperwork. Welkin Health’s RCM software equips care teams with the necessary tools to achieve a higher level of care, moving easily between virtual and in-person medical services.
Enable simple scheduling
One of the biggest breakthroughs in digital medicine is lifting the burden of admin work off care teams — from online scheduling, billing, and follow-ups to internal communication — with the aim of strengthening the relationship between the patient and their care team. Patients can schedule appointments from the comfort of their homes with little to no wait time, offering the convenience patients need to stay engaged amid a busy schedule. Patient care platforms can also send appointment reminders and follow-up emails to stay connected with patients.
Technology supports patient-centered care
Technology in healthcare is pushing the industry forward, meeting patients’ varied needs in convenient and accessible ways. The rapid growth of digital health is shaping the future of care. New and innovative solutions are readily available to benefit both patients and care facilities, and the healthcare field will have to adapt to these rapid changes eventually. Medical care platforms are becoming a critical asset to any care team, resulting in better health outcomes for patients.
Perform more precise surgeries and procedures
Medical visualization software that utilizes 3D models in virtual or augmented reality settings is one of the most exciting technological developments of our time. These technologies are helping doctors make more accurate diagnoses, obtain medical information that was not accessible before, and perform more precise surgeries. The applications are varied and advanced. They offer unprecedented tools that can do everything from educating resident staff to preparing clinicians for surgical procedures.
A real-life example of this technology comes from EchoPixel, a company that developed a software allowing surgeons to interact with generated 3D images in preparation for surgery instead of the commonly used 2D images. Their software uses specially developed glasses for viewing that replace the sizable VR/AR headsets used today, as well as a stylus to manipulate 3D images. Machine learning algorithms record how each interaction goes, enabling other doctors to interact with the 3D images the same way their peers did.
The need for faster regulation
As with many other new and groundbreaking digital solutions, regulation is lagging. Despite having privacy laws in place, such as HIPAA in the US and GDPR in the EU, privacy is not the only issue regulations need to keep pace with. Laws that meet these new advancements in medicine can speed the process of implementing software solutions in the healthcare field.
Digital solutions have the potential to change the field of medicine altogether, offering great advantages to both care teams and patients. Solving the accessibility-to-care issue with virtual medicine, addressing the shortage in doctors and nursing staff, organizing and coordinating data in better ways, and providing higher quality care are just a few. Digital platforms can create better health outcomes for patients while improving care teams’ job satisfaction by freeing them from time-consuming admin duties and shifting their focus back on the patient. Reducing the stress on your care team boosts downstream metrics like patient satisfaction.
Ready to learn more about patient-centered care? Read our guide: https://welkinhealth.com/benefits-of-patient-centered-care/