The HealthScore team spends a lot of time immersed in healthcare and technology – which works really, considering it’s what we do. And what we do is really exciting. As a health-tech company, we get to work at the cutting edge of an emerging industry, bring creativity and innovation that helps our clients achieve their outcomes, and we get to create a positive impact in the lives of thousands of people. Many times, we find ourselves working with some of the best people out there.

We love seeing this space develop and grow for the people who need it the most. In the words of our marketing team, “this stuff is really cool!”

The intersection of technology with all functions of life is becoming more and more normalised. In fact, the presence of technology is now so commonplace that we have come to expect it wherever we go. But sometimes, we really should just take a step back and appreciate how incredible it is that a doctor sitting in one corner of the world is able to connect with their patient sitting in an entirely different corner.

It’s this excitement and innovation that keeps us going. So we wanted to share some of the upcoming innovations in telemedicine that we’re excited about seeing soon. Granted that many of these innovations are still happening in the Western world, but the landscape in India is rapidly changing and adapting; and we can’t wait to see these being implemented, en masse.

  1. 1. Changes to Patient Screenings & Engagement

If the telehealth trends, growth patterns, and patient feedback are anything to go by, we actually have a great opportunity on our hands to create a more positive experience for patients by leveraging technology.

A component of that experience includes changes in the way patients are screened for their appointments and how the relationship with them is maintained, which begins before the actual consultation.

Tools such as online questionnaires or self-assessments shared by hospitals or home care facilities can help in determining the severity of symptoms and help patients get allocated to the right level of care.

Before the consultation begins, sending appointment reminders through SMS or chat messages can help ensure that the patient continues to stay engaged with the doctor or care facility. The added benefit here is that the possibility of no-shows and cancellations also decreases.

Post-consultation follow-up can include frequent check-ins and reminders going out to patients that are tailored to treating their conditions or symptoms. For example, a patient who requests a consultation for their diabetes check can receive lifestyle advice and dietary recommendations, along with reminders to stay active, from their care provider.

“Coming directly from a doctor, the advice will always hold more weight. As an industry, we need to get really good at communicating the care in healthcare” says cSoft Founder, Chiamala Aravamudhan. “We have to make patients feel like they’re seen, like they’re heard, and like we care about their wellness and recovery. If they feel the doctor is vested in reducing critical care needs or hospital stays, then they’ll be more likely to return and develop a strong relationship with the care facility.”

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  • 2. Provider-to-Provider Services

“We’re excited about seeing smoother communication between providers become a reality. In fact, telemedicine is allowing care providers to collaborate across long distances in ways they couldn’t have before.

Take, for instance, imaging services. Hospitals in the U.S. have no deployed technology that allows radiologists and technicians to assist, train, and guide junior radiologists in far-flung, sister locations. The use of telemedicine in this scenario allows doctors to collaborate with each other in real-time, while the patient is on the table and being scanned.

The advantages here can have an immediate impact on patient care and on the patient’s health. With access to high-quality imaging and telemedicine capabilities, if doctors collaborate and take decisions about the treatment plan in real-time, patients can bypass unnecessary repeat testing.

This also opens up the possibility of patients receiving timely diagnoses and treatments

  • 3. Wearable Tech

Wearable tech is perhaps the “coolest” side of tech that even the patients get to see. Millions of people across the world are no strangers to “smart tech” or wearable healthcare devices that monitor an individual’s blood pressure, blood sugar, heart rate, time spent exercising, footsteps, and more.

Along with those phone calls, they receive additional phone calls when a therapist is running late or if they need directions to the patient’s home. Then come the calls for follow-ups, patient feedback, and more.

In fact, according to research done by Deloitte Global:  “320 million consumer health and wellness wearable devices will ship worldwide in 2022. By 2024, that figure will likely reach nearly 440 million units as new offerings hit the market and more health care providers become comfortable with using them”.

Wearable technology is now evolving and beginning to extend beyond monitoring vital statistics of a patient. Many devices keep a patient connected with their doctor or hospital 24/7 and send alerts in case of abnormalities, such as atrial fibrillation, which can be a major cause of strokes.

Where devices such as smartwatches are largely used for monitoring patients, smart patches can be used for monitoring and even for dispensing medication. Also on the spectrum are wearable ECG monitors and biosensors that come in the form of gloves, bandages, socks, or implants.

One of the most significant advantages of wearable technology is that it allows patients and their families to spend more time away from healthcare facilities, and get the help they need in more economically viable ways.

The future of telemedicine is becoming more and more exciting as we keep moving forward. Alongside the growth of the industry and the economic impact, sheer human ingenuity and creativity are on full display, as care providers put on their best thinking hats to help patients live fuller, happier, and healthier lives.

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