Will COVID-19 accelerate the long term adoption of virtual patient care? In response to the global pandemic and stay-at-home orders, healthcare providers began offering alternative options to traditional in-person visits. Temporarily relaxed regulations facilitated this. And while some are betting the trend will stick, healthcare providers will need more than a longer-term change in regulatory compliance.

Certain aspects of healthcare will always require in-person visits. But there are some aspects of healthcare that lend themselves easily to virtualization. For example:

  • Patient education
  • Remote patient monitoring
  • Health screening
  • Wellness visits
  • Remote visits (due to travel)

Virtual healthcare also reduces costs for both the provider and the patient. Some benefits include:

  • Streamlined reimbursement
  • Increased patient satisfaction
  • Improved efficiencies
  • Fewer no-shows and cancellations

While the current pandemic pushed providers to adopt certain aspects of virtual patient care, doctors must embrace a systemic change in order to effect lasting change. Doctors will need to identify the areas of their practice they can move to tele-health and virtual care. Perhaps more dauntingly, they will need to look to technologies and solution providers to overhaul traditional processes and services that have been in place for decades and, in some cases, centuries.

Here are three areas we see that are ripe for improvement, given the right technology or service provider:

  • Digitization of patient records with improved accessibility and security;
  • Patient education and health monitoring using wearable devices; and
  • AI-enhanced virtual care to take advantage of the powerful cameras most patients have access to in the palms of their hands.

Next week, join us for a rockstar panel with Milton Chen, CEO at VSee.com and This American Doc; Michael Chen, MD and CTO of HIE of One; and our CEO Stephen Sklarew. They will discuss the rapidly changing world of patient care, honing in on practical and profit considerations, patient privacy, and the role of AI in virtual care. We hope to see you there!