By Sharon Niv, Ph.D.
A recent survey conducted by Parks Associates estimated that over 17 million American households – nearly 20% of the population – would welcome access to live chats with medical professionals from their homes. Of the households that already have access to services such as this, prescription refills online, or doctors’ appointment booking online, 50% are already using such services, highlighting further that people are seeking ways to address their health concerns from the privacy of their own homes.
The study further found that 15% of surveyed individuals would welcome virtual post-surgery monitoring from their homes, and 13% wanted online medication management applications. These trends are in line with the thinking of experts, who believe that remote care is beneficial for both patients and doctors.
In an interview published in HealthCareITnews, Kevin Quinn, senior VP of sales and account management for AMC Health, outlines three top ways that remote care is beneficial. First, Quinn suggests, remote care provides more information and greater clarity to doctors. This relates to a stream of useful data that doctors are able to monitor with more regularity than they did during visits that staggered across months. This allows for much stronger understanding of patients’ health patterns, and much better targeting for treatment.
Second, Quinn suggests that this produces more understanding for patients, as well. Data monitoring and communication with physicians can help patients understand why changes in their health occurs, or which of their behaviors are most beneficial to their health improvements.
Lastly, Quinn believes that using large data sets to analyze patients’ health through these devices will yield better return on investment for management. A constant stream of data can help refine approaches to health care, improve outcomes, and better target investments. In this era of connectivity and big data analysis, the prevalence of remote care will continue to provide directions for new developments in healthcare.