As pharmaceutical companies race to approve a COVID-19 vaccine this December, many healthcare experts see an end in sight for the pandemic. “We now have two safe and highly effective vaccines,” explained Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar during an Operation Warp Speed briefing, “[They] could be authorized by the FDA and ready to distribute within weeks.”
If these vaccines are distributed quickly, scientists believe the population will reach herd immunity by the summer. However, as the country rolls back social distancing measures, will telehealth and remote patient monitoring usage decline?
Many experts believe that telehealth usage should continue growing even when life returns to normal. They cite the following benefits to support their case.
Reduced Wait Times
Experts have found that telehealth and remote patient monitoring solutions reduce wait times in emergency rooms. According to one study of nearly 200 California hospitals in 2007, researchers found that crowded emergency departments were associated with longer hospital stays, higher costs, and a greater chance of death.
Corroborating this study in her own piece, Economist Lindsey Woodworth explains: “The longer patients wait, the more their conditions can deteriorate.”
After the pandemic, telemedicine will continue providing benefits to the overcrowded ER system. In addition to reducing hospital stays, remote monitoring can catch deteriorating health trends early to improve outcomes. For example, according to the American Heart Association, Alertive Healthcare reduces the risk of stroke and heart attack by 50% for enrolled patients.
During the pandemic, remote patient monitoring provided practices with stable and recurring income. According to client data, clinics that manage 100 patients with Alertive’s remote monitoring platform can earn up to $100,000 in average annual revenues.
Practices can also cut costs; the American Hospital Association concludes that telemedicine saves roughly 11% of annual expenditures. Experts believe this benefit will remain popular as the healthcare economy recovers from the pandemic.
Bridging the Language Divide
Telehealth platforms could better integrate translation software as many hospitals are understaffed to meet the rising demand.
According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), low English proficiency (LEP) patients have a higher risk of inadequate informed consent, a greater chance of hospital readmission due to poor communication, and longer hospital stays
By having better RPM technology, non-English speaking patients would be more equipped to communicate with their doctors to ensure better recovery scenarios.
Many telehealth platforms also provide a full suite of automated services to ease the burden of care. Some of these include billing, data analytics, and compliance. Healthcare systems should continue to invest in more integrated services.
By providing turnkey services for patients and providers, telehealth and remote patient monitoring platforms are here to stay. To learn more about Alertive, press here.
About Alertive Healthcare
Alertive Healthcare leverages the power of wearable (IoT) technologies to improve patient outcomes. Alertive’s HIPAA-compliant platform supports healthcare systems in providing better, more efficient care by monitoring physiologic data, making actionable treatment recommendations, and improving medication adherence.
Conceptualized and designed by physicians and healthcare technologists, Alertive’s digital health platform enables health systems to continuously monitor patient data and deliver seamless, integrated care. For more information, visit Alertive.com and follow @AlertiveHCare on Twitter.