As technology continues to evolve, healthcare is moving right along with it. There’s the Internet of Medical Things. There are countless fitness wearables on the market for personal use that provide valuable health data. There are also critical medical devices (like insulin pumps) that connect to smartphones and other tools via Bluetooth. Still, there are remote patient monitoring and telehealth options that have become increasingly more available to the greater population.
Trends suggest that 2020 could be the year that telehealth becomes even more popular and prevalent than it has ever been. Let’s take a deeper look into the start of telehealth and where it will likely be going this year.
Starting with Resistance
Throughout the past 10 years, telehealth use has nearly doubled every year. At this point, only 8% of Americans have already used the technology. Nearly two-thirds of Americans, though, have said they’d be willing to try it. One of the primary obstacles to adoption isn’t coming from a lack of public or provider interest. This major delay is legal guidance — or lack thereof.
Many states don’t have laws in place to ensure that telehealth services are equal to in-office visits. Even in the states that do have these laws, the legislation is weak, loose and essentially ineffective. Because of this, many providers and patients are wary of using telehealth for fear that it might not be covered under their insurance — even though it technically should be.
There is good news, though. As telehealth has become increasingly popular with the general population, and as chronic issues like the opioid epidemic have continued to spread, there is increased pressure on lawmakers to fix these laws. This could pave the way for telehealth to become more widely spread in the coming years.
Patients Want to Try It
Unsurprisingly, millennials are the most common generation to want to try telehealth. In general, they want access to remote mental health care, and they’re also often price-conscious. Telehealth has often been promoted as a more cost-effective way to receive care, which could lead millennials to seek care more frequently. Millennials are also open to changing healthcare providers to one that offers telehealth options, so incorporating the technology into your facility could help you increase market share.
Even baby boomers are interested in using telehealth, as it can be a quick and convenient way for them to receive the care they want. Unlike millennials, baby boomers will not delay seeking care, and they’re primarily interested in using telehealth for their chronic conditions.
Telehealth on the Rise
Many people think 2020 will be the year for telehealth. As legislators are feeling the pressure to improve telehealth reimbursement laws, patients and providers will begin to feel more confident in payments and reimbursements. Healthcare facilities like urgent care centers also need to take a more proactive approach in promoting their telehealth offerings. With so many people open to trying the technology, now is the time to promote what you have.
Let’s consider for a moment that you have telehealth technology, but your patients don’t seem to be taking advantage of it. You might be promoting it to the wrong patients. By using PatientBond’s proprietary psychographic segmentation model, you can understand which patients are more likely to be willing to try virtual visits. With a short survey, you can determine a patient’s segment and gain insight on their lifestyle, habits, preferences and attitudes.
This information, then, helps you determine which patients are most willing to try telehealth. This way you can encourage their participation, thereby gathering data to then show other patients that this is a good tool. Urgent care centers, hospitals and other healthcare facilities can use the PatientBond patient engagement platform to help increase the adoption of telehealth in 2020. They can understand who to send information to, and then automatically send personalized, targeted messaging that will resonate.
Is 2020 the year for telehealth? Many experts certainly think so. What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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