Let’s just say it: Telemedicine is booming in today’s healthcare landscape. 74 percent of employers offer telemedicine benefits; 72 percent of hospital providers and 52 percent of physician groups have telemedicine programs. What was once seen as a special option for rural communities is now available to everyone, thanks to advanced telemedicine solutions that help healthcare delivery teams offer quality care to patients all over the world.
Several factors are driving the virtual care revolution. Aging Baby Boomers have created a large elderly population in need of at-home monitoring and virtual services. At the other end, Generation Z and Millennials are looking for the same speed and convenience from healthcare that they get from Uber, Amazon, and Lyft. 92 percent of them want telemedicine capabilities from providers.
So why are so many telehealth companies becoming irrelevant?
Direct-to-Consumer Model Limitations
Let’s revisit the purpose of telemedicine: bringing quality care to patients who can’t get to the right provider (or any provider at all). Virtual care can be a godsend to patients in remote locations, such as rural villages, oil rigs or research stations, as well as patients kept at home by disability challenges.
The problem is that most Direct-to-Consumer telehealth companies don’t deliver quality care.
With these services, patients speak to a stranger over a video screen, who diagnoses them based on whatever symptoms they report. It’s no more advanced than a Skype session. These telehealth providers are offering the fast food of the healthcare industry and they’re leaving both patients and providers dissatisfied, as noted in a recent KLAS research report.
The Direct-to-Consumer telemedicine model is problematic because:
- Patients don’t always know what symptoms are relevant or worth sharing
- These telehealth apps can only treat minor problems like sore throats
- They don’t use devices that integrate with other data-driven devices
- The patient’s PCP has no idea of medications prescribed or symptoms that could indicate a more serious condition
Only evidence-based virtual care offers truly responsible medicine – partnering the convenience of televisits with clinical data, patient choice, and provider collaboration.
Partnering Data with Convenience
Unlike a symptoms-focused video call, GlobalMed’s integrated hardware and software delivery systems provide a hub for a secure, evidenced-based telemedicine encounter. Our eNcounter® platform integrates consumer-facing functionality with data-driven devices. Designed with interoperability in mind, eNcounter is modularized to fit into providers’ existing systems.
As Dr. Joaquin Fernandez Quintero of TeleMedik Innova Health Solutions said, “Our healthcare improvement model is incredibly unique. The eNcounter® platform empowers us to deliver on our mission to provide access to high-quality care across all Puerto Rico.”
Because clinical data is so important in quality care, GlobalMed also offers both live video-conferencing and Store and Forward capabilities. Providers can transmit electronic healthcare records such as images (MRI, CAT, PET and others) or lab results to a specialist in real time or for later review when it’s convenient for them – with all data kept safe in the highly secure Microsoft Azure environment.
By emphasizing the medicine in telemedicine, GlobalMed is not just bringing quality care to the people who need it most, but elevating the role of virtual services in global healthcare.