Covid-19 Impacts on Telemedicine

Before the current pandemic, telemedicine was one of the slow rising stars of change in the healthcare industry. There was the promise of access to real-time care for those living in rural areas. A transformed patient experience was often mentioned in parallel to having more options for accessing care (eg. through a smartwatch, desktop computer, tablet, smartphone, connected patient devices, patient device hub, etc.) The promise of what could be possible through telemedicine also extended to clinicians and their ability to deliver carere remotely to more patients, while decreasing their overall manual administrative burden. Now, in a Covid-19 world, telemedicine has become more of the guiding star on how to deliver care anywhere that the patient is located. The age of patients coming into their physician’s office for every single visit is officially over. The pandemic has forced every institution that has enabled the development of civil society, from healthcare to education, to adopt electronic methods for dispensing services. Due to Covid-19, “telemedicine”, something that has been previously thought of as a buzzword, has been catapulted to center stage as the de facto solution for providing care.

Telemedicine will be here to stay long after a vaccine for Covid-19 has been developed. There will be a couple of key drivers for this:

  • Patients will have become used to receiving care in their home to one degree or another. As more and more care activities and events happen in the home, patient expectations for online access will only increase. The idea of having to leave the home to attend every single care related appointment will become archaic to most.

  • The majority of the aging population has access to some type of Internet enabled device, whether it’s a desktop computer, smartphone, or a tablet. Even for those that don’t, C24 has partner hardware solutions which allow the patient and provider to communicate directly without purchasing any expensive devices or needing access to the internet.

  • Care delivery and management will only continue to be more integrated with our daily lives. It’s not just about going to a doctor’s appointment and taking medications as prescribed anymore. Adherence to treatment plans, lifestyle changes, and physical activity also play a huge part in patient outcomes, and therefore must also be taken seriously.