Telehealth: Meeting the demands of the tech-savvy healthcare consumer

Healthcare in America is changing, and changing rapidly. One factor driving this change is the dramatic shift in consumer behavior. Smart phones, virtual office environments, and constant social media interaction with consumer brands are just a few examples of new consumer expectations – and opportunity – for the health care industry.

How can the healthcare industry better interact on a real-time basis with patients in a way that adapts to these new consumer behaviors and serves their patients with quality care? Telehealth. Telehealth is the provision of high-quality, real-time video encounters between patients and providers, enabling care anytime, anywhere, on any type of device – be it a web browser, a mobile phone or tablet, or a standalone kiosk.

But the advantages of telehealth extend beyond a response to these new consumer demands, it can also provide the “three c’s of care” that are potentially needed the most: continuous, collaborative and cost-effective care.

For example, patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes can receive more frequent check-ins to make sure their treatments regimens are effective. Telehealth can enable patients and physicians to collaborate with specialists remotely, reducing wait time and helping patients regardless of where they live. More frequent patient check-ins can help drive prevention of more serious conditions and reduce wait times. This improved access can mean greater cost efficiencies.

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Deloitte Consulting, governing structure, National Standards for Health Information Exchange, Telehealth

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