COVID-19 has caused an acceleration in telehealth use across the United States. According to a published statistic, the number of Medicare beneficiaries using telehealth services during the pandemic increased 11,700%. Many doctors claim that broad telehealth adoption should continue after the pandemic, while others argue that in-person visits provide patients with better care. 

Overwhelmingly, virtual health services can provide long-term benefits if implemented effectively.

“The biggest innovation in telehealth is remote patient monitoring (RPM).” Sentinel CEO Nirav Shah says, “While video can improve health, RPM provides doctors with the most up-to-date information on the condition of patients.”

Robust remote patient monitoring platforms allow patients to record blood pressure, exercise, and diet. Better data allows doctors to communicate with patients virtually about any concerning trends.

In a research piece conducted by Sentinel and the American Heart Institute, patients using RPM had better health metrics overall; stable blood pressure was achieved for roughly half the population of hypertension patients.

Remote patient monitoring platforms also reduce the risk of a heart attack and stroke. Using data from customers, Sentinel’s solution lowers the risk of these emergencies by 50%. Older patients benefit the most due to heightened risk.

Practices can also produce new streams of revenue to reinvest in better patient care. A recent study by the American Hospital Association concludes that telemedicine saves roughly 11% of costs for clinics. Due to the lost income from COVID-19, this is an attractive option for many practices.

Medicare provides generous coverage for older patients. Individuals on private plans should review associated costs with their healthcare provider. Fortunately, many experts predict that plans will become friendlier to telehealth services as institutions better understand the long-term benefits; in recent weeks, for example, Congress introduced bipartisan legislation to broaden virtual health usage.

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Sarah Sutton

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