Advancements in technology have allowed for people to now be treated by physicians anywhere in the world. This form of servicing patients is known as Telehealth. As a result of the COVID pandemic, this virtual practice has seen significant growth in the past two years. Is Telehealth the future of the healthcare industry? Read below to see how Telehealth is shaping healthcare.
What is Telehealth?
Telehealth is a way of utilizing communication technology to be medically serviced virtually. Examples of Telehealth include video conferences, computers, cameras, phone calls, and more. Telehealth is often mistaken for telemedicine. Telehealth is an umbrella term that includes Telemedicine as well as other remote healthcare services.
Telehealth is convenient not only for patients but also for physicians. It allows for patients to be treated by a professional in the comfort of their home, while also allowing the doctors to treat patients from anywhere in the world. It can be difficult for people with busy schedules to find a time to make a visit to the doctor. However, Telehealth now makes it easier for a doctor to visit and care for their patients.
COVID’s Impact on Healthcare and Telehealth
The U.S. The Department of Health and Human Services states that Telehealth visits increased 63-fold during the Pandemic. There were approximately 840,000 visits in 2019 to an incredible 52.7 million in 2020. COVID brought awareness to Telehealth by its ability to allow people to receive healthcare while being able to social distance. This social distancing allowed to slow the spread of COVID and other infectious diseases from patients or physicians. The increased awareness brought by COVID will forever change Telehealth since individuals that are elderly, ill, or immunocompromised can receive the healthcare they need without fear of diseases.
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Benefits of Telehealth and Remote Patient Care
The decision whether to buy or lease equipment varies depending on one’s situation. True North notes that equipment and software can range from a few hundred dollars to upwards of $30,000 for high-quality equipment. These high costs do not factor in additional costs such as training and maintenance for the equipment. In total, the cost of remote care can be too expensive for some to participate in this practice.
Since there are such high costs in remote care, leasing allows for clinics to scale their Telehealth program as their patient list grows. Leasing exposes the clinic to less risk since they will not be purchasing unneeded equipment. Care Innovations argues that a leasing option will help keep operating costs low and reduce patient charges each month.
There are numerous benefits to Telehealth for both patients and physicians. These benefits are making the healthcare industry more efficient and safe. The variety of benefits also allows for the expansion of virtual services and home care. Since Telehealth is still a new market, its full potential is unknown. What we do know is that the development of Telehealth services has significantly improved in recent years. Currently, this form of healthcare is making the expensive healthcare industry more affordable and attainable to consumers and healthcare facilities alike.
How Does Telehealth Fit into Asset Tracking?
Telehealth involves several components outside of communicating with patients virtually. As more patients are able to be treated from home, the equipment necessary to sustain treatment must also be at home, too. This includes blood pressure machines, heart monitors, and more.
As these machines tend to be of high value, healthcare systems need to track them to ensure they prevent theft or misplaced items.
With an asset tracking solution, healthcare companies can more easily keep track of leased equipment to make a major impact on ROI.
What Link Labs is doing to Help
Link Labs is helping Telehealth with its asset tracking and monitoring system, Airfinder. AirFinder is a Real Time Location Systems (RLTS) Solution that monitors equipment through various connectivity options, such as Bluetooth Low Energy (LE). Since Airfinder uses off-the-shelf tags, it is more affordable than other RLTS products, including longer battery life. AirFinder is also easy to install and can be customized and configured to meet a company’s specific needs.
The Healthcare industry will never be the same as a result of COVID. However, Telehealth is allowing the industry to move forward and constantly improve. If you are a company that needs to keep track of your Telehealth equipment, Airfinder is the product for you. Book a demo with us today to learn more about our AirFinder solution.