The Covid-19 pandemic has altered visions for communications within telehealth platforms. With virtual care being embraced during the outbreak, the success of at-home diagnostics and wearables to aid telehealth visits has progressed the landscape for digital messaging that will enrich dialogue between healthcare professionals (HCPs) and their patients. Healthcare is a $4.1 trillion industry in the United States, during a time when a reported 58% of physicians view telehealth more favorable now than they did before Covid-19. Now, life sciences brands are poised to take the learnings from virtual interactions to enrich communications within telehealth platforms to enhance the experience for clinicians to grow the category.
Greater Accessibility & Health Metrics for Telehealth Consultations
With 80% of providers planning to continue to use telehealth platforms, it raises the stature of the digital medium as an avenue for patients to seek medical consultations without having to be at a medical facility. As the Covid-19 outbreak was spreading, telehealth consultations provided an option for people to eliminate the potential to be exposed to the virus while visiting their HCP. Now, the embrace of the digital ecosystem unlocks the permanent accessibility to virtual care for individuals with limited mobility or accessibility to transportation to visit in-person with their provider. The pandemic opened the industry to recognize that at-home diagnostic kits can be a successful part of testing programs, which leads to faster detection of health ailments following the screening. Hence, interactions can be held swiftly virtually once the results have been obtained. Also, with the convenience of telehealth channels, patients have the option for more frequent visits during more serious circumstances. As more at-home diagnostics are woven into online care, then the market will introduce new at-home testing to advance the virtual care sector.
Seamless Communications to Enrich the Telehealth Experience
Wearable and at-home diagnostic technologies are evolving the way life sciences brands examine data analytics. With a comprehensive overview of the medical circumstance of an individual, an HCP’s prescribing behaviors are monitored to aid the prescribers with messages that pertains to their therapy. As the volume of data increase from the devices, relevant messages need to be formulated to optimize communications during a clinician’s workflow. The data-based insights from the devices can add guidance to the type of messages being distributed to support clinicians.
The use of wearables and at-home diagnostics enhances the consultations that HCPs can conduct via telehealth platforms while accessing the health records and test results of an individual. With deeper insights into the health patterns of a person, the video sessions can be impactful to address an individual’s health conditions. The findings from the screening via the devices provides a seamless interaction between clinicians and their patient. With remote patient monitoring, the health data points gained with monitoring solutions empowers HCPs with up-to-date information on their patient’s daily activities. As both parties are apprised of the health results, then a unified dialogue can commence for therapy options.
Apple Watch is an Instrumental Device to Spur Virtual Care Communications
The consumer wearables market reached revenues of nearly $19 billion in 2019, and that year, Apple CEO Tim Cook stated, “I believe if you zoom out into the future, and you look back, and you ask the question, ‘What was Apple’s greatest contribution to mankind?’ it will be about health.”
Apple’s contribution in the healthcare space will shape the future landscape in the industry with the Apple Watch having a prominent function in the way telehealth visits are conducted. With the data being transmitted to HCPs, the role of virtual care in the sector is being elevated to better devise treatments and facilitate ongoing monitoring of patients. The technologies to detect arrhythmia, monitor blood sugar levels and support medication adherence with medication reminders, are virtual care elements that can be conveyed to clinicians for a more in-depth breakdown of a person’s health via their mobile device that’s consistently with them.
Wearables will continue to progress with being able to signify the signs of abnormalities with a person’s blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature and additional health metrics, which are valuable assets to support individuals for when they need to consult a medical professional. Even without the in-person interaction, the virtual care experience for patients is uplifted digitally with the cumulative health data analytics accessible to the HCP to devise strategies for better health outcomes.
Mobile Technologies Enhance the Real-World Impact of a Patient’s Health
The data from wearables and at-home diagnostics is a straightforward approach to quantify an individual’s health. An added benefit of using mobile devices is to eradicate exposure to radiation that comes during x-rays and CTs scans. As the category progresses to measure individuals, additional technologies will enter the market to provide options to consumers, such as the Our a Ring, which isn’t as prohibitive as a watch to wear throughout the day. Even wearing the device to sleep will provide a comprehensive analysis of a person’s sleep patterns.
Once the therapy has been prescribed, wearables and at-home diagnostics are essential tools that HCPs can rely on to closely monitor patients after they are discharged from a hospital and reduce the length of their stay. Even in the comfort of their home, patients can continue to be evaluated by clinicians and interact with them through telehealth channels to discuss the health metrics being shared via the technology devices.
As the usage of telehealth networks transforms virtual care, the advancements of wearables and at-home diagnostics will lead to more medical consultations taking place within the digital ecosystem. The prevalence of wearable devices will continue to evolve the space and lead data-based communications that impacts the virtual care appointments. By being able to monitor the physical behaviors of individuals, the advancement of virtual care will continue to be fueled by digital innovative solutions that utilize health data to foster a better telehealth experience.
About the Author
Stephen Hoelper is President, North America of Doceree, the first global network of HCP-only platforms for programmatic messaging. Doceree is aiming to address the acute problem of rising cost of healthcare by bringing in efficiency and effectiveness in messaging to healthcare professionals by life sciences brands on digital platforms with methodical use of data and creativity. Stephen has experience throughout his career conceptualizing and realizing healthcare go-to market strategies for start-ups and Fortune 50 companies. Learn more about Doceree at: doceree.com.