Is Virtual Health the New Normal for Care Delivery?
Virtual health and telehealth solutions have been around for years, but patients and providers prefer face-to-face interactions to receive and deliver care. However, this changed dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic. As various stakeholders in the healthcare ecosystem learned to operate online, patient adoption of virtual health services also increased by over 50%.
So, does that mean virtual health is the new normal for care delivery? Let’s explore it by first understanding what virtual health applications are?
Virtual Health Applications
Virtual health extends across three broad areas:
- Telehealth: Live telemedicine solutions, on-demand information transfer, and remote patient monitoring.
- Care Navigation: Patient self-care, search, and scheduling of care services through intelligent tools.
- Digital Therapeutics: Treatment optimization, therapeutic interventions, and replacement therapies.
Types of Care Delivered Virtually
Technological advancements have enabled care providers to interact with their patients in real-time and offer quality care virtually. Still, virtual health solutions are limited to certain types of healthcare, these being:
- Primary healthcare
- Diagnostics and monitoring
- Behavioral healthcare
Virtual health adoption is limited to surgical services, specialty care, and acute care (ICU).
According to a CB Insights survey, 60% of patients treated during the pandemic expressed willingness to try telemedicine, while 48% of care providers admitted to having treated patients virtually. By the end of 2021, a billion telehealth visits are expected to occur, with a steady rise in patient adoption of virtual health solutions. In addition to patients and providers, payors realize its value and review their processes to cover virtual care delivery comprehensively.
Distinctly, virtual health is shaping up to be a care delivery standard, especially for services that don’t require physical interaction. Find out more digital solutions for industry-specific business functions with Cogent Infotech.