Telecommunication (Telemedicine) And Healthcare Management
Technology has significantly advanced within the healthcare industry over the past decade. From the Affordable Care Act to wearable device technology, healthcare is transitioning to a more comprehensive, accessible, interoperable and personalized way of managing population health. Employers, health insurance brokers and health plan providers who do not adapt to the rapidly shifting health management landscape will struggle to keep up with the clinical and financial outcomes of those who embrace the new opportunities provided by modern day technology.
One example of a rising healthcare technology is telemedicine. Have you heard of it?
By definition, telemedicine is “the remote diagnosis and treatment of patients by means of telecommunications technology.”
Employers whose bottom line goal is to improve their health plan by improving the health of their member population are primed to take full advantage of telecommunications, or “telemedicine,” through the applications provided by telehealth technology.
A few example applications of a telecommunication healthcare network, as describe by ATA, include “patient consultations via video conferencing, transmission of still images, e-health including patient portals, remote monitoring of vital signs, continuing medical education, consumer-focused wireless applications and nursing call centers,” all of which translate to:
Greater Healthcare Accessibility – Allowing physicians to reach and influence larger number of patients with unprecedented patient monitoring.
A Shift from a Patient-centered Model to a Consumer One – patients have the information they need to make informed and educated healthcare decisions to optimize their health network.
Cost Efficiency – Telehealth technologies like the ones linked above help reduce healthcare costs by improving health network communication, chronic disease management through remote monitoring, and by reducing or predicting ER admissions and readmissions.
When it comes to telemedicine, the main objective for anyone looking to implement and coordinate a healthy benefits plan – be it brokers, employers or providers – is to gather the necessary resources expeditiously and begin incorporating telehealth technologies to strategically improve population health.