In the age of technology, convince is key. And as technology continues to advance, so will the rise in demand for more convenient options in all aspects of life, from groceries to healthcare; the ability for companies to provide quality goods and services faster than their competitors will ultimately decide who survives in the marketplace.
In the United States, more than 70% of healthcare providers are utilizing some form of telemedicine or telehealth services to connect with patients in an inpatient, outpatient, and ambulatory setting; as shown by new research conducted by HIMSS Analytics. And if current trends continue, the use of telemedicine services will only continue to rise, with the use of these services increasing from 54% in the last 4 years.
Overall, the increase in the utilization of telemedicine by healthcare providers isn’t difficult to understand. A study conducted by West Virginia University Professor Albeir Mousa showed that patients had a higher level of satisfaction after surgery when able to recover using telemedicine.
The study observed 30 people who were recovering from vascular surgery, 16 of which received a tablet to communicate with healthcare providers monitoring their recovery and the remaining 14 received standard treatment.
Those in the telemedicine group received an in-home monitoring kit that included thermometers, blood pressure cuffs, scales and devices to measure blood oxygen saturation levels, in addition to completing symptom tracking, satisfaction, and emotional wellness quizzes.
The research revealed that those in the telemedicine group that lived 60 miles or more from the vascular care center scored better on physical function, mental health, and role limitations than those in the standard care group.
Though despite telemedicine’s proven ability to increase satisfaction and patient recovery, there are still areas of healthcare that have yet to realize the benefits that telemedicine services provide.
Currently, only eight percent of pediatric Emergency Departments use telemedicine technology to monitor their younger patients, claiming these services are “too disruptive” despite studies demonstrating that in rural ERs, telehealth capabilities help provide better medication management and clinical outcomes in younger patients.
But despite these road bumps, the future looks bright for telemedicine services. As new research is conducted, and the years pass, telemedicine and telehealth services will continue to improve patient care as technology advances. This will create easier access to healthcare and potentially help reduce the cost of healthcare for millions of Americans; creating a happier, healthier world for us to live in. And that’s worth cheering about.