By ambarish giliyar, @iamgiliyar

Telehealth and its play in Digital Healthcare

Telehealth is the use of digital information and communication technologies, such as mobile devices, Cloud, Fitness devices, Health devices & sensors, AI-powered Messaging & Chatbot systems and more, to access healthcare services remotely and manage healthcare. These may be technologies you use from home or that your Doctor uses to improve or support healthcare services.

Since the Covid19 pandemic, Telehealth has burst into the limelight. The crisis has forced healthcare ecosystems and consumers to adopt and accept Telehealth as a Care delivery mode. For its predictions in 2020 Virtual Care report, Forrester expects over 1 billion virtual visits in US alone! There have been other market experts and researchers that are predicting massive growth for Telehealth due to Covid19 and also beyond (read here, here and here).

Given the above context, I have tried to explore and provide a simplified understanding of the new technology-enabled Telehealth options and how it affects Care experience, for Patients and Hospitals.

Digital Backbone for Healthcare Telehealth + Smart Telehealth + Intelligent Telehealth


Not just a front door, but a digital backbone

Telehealth will soon become a key part of digital transformation in healthcare.

  • The Cloud-EHR, omnipresent mobile devices and faster internet connections have provided new ways for Patients and Hospitals to interact. Care that used to take place only in brick-and-mortar settings can now occur digitally.
  • Hospitals and health systems are exploring a variety of virtual care models, many of which are underpinned by Telehealth technologies. The three types of Telehealth solutions can contribute to or complement the modern technology-enabled Care delivery, promising to meet the challenges of increased demand and changing needs. The industry situation is apt for Telehealth to be not just a front door, but as a digital backbone in the overall transformation of healthcare

The prospect of Telehealth and its imaginable benefits are a long way to be realized. The following are key challenges and issues that needs to be addressed;

  • Infrastructure challenges – Scalable technology, Mobile Internet quality, Broadband access and un-interrupted power supply (especially in rural areas)
  • Data interoperability and security
  • Payment parity - reimbursement and coverage for Telehealth services comparable to those of in-person services
  • National registries of Doctors & Nurses, Clinics & Hospitals, Pharmacies & Diagnostics, Unique ID for (Nation’s) Population
  • Simplifying, Standardizing & Streamlining consent procedures
  • Clinical pathways and protocols: Moving Patient Care away from a hospital typically requires training clinical staff to reorient the provision of clinical pathways and processes for Care delivery.
  • Workforce readiness: Align Clinicians and staff to support and advance virtual offerings with a focus on improving quality, patient experience, and cost effectiveness. Hospitals will likely need both a highly coordinated virtual team and in-person team.
  • Awareness & education among the Population
  • Last but not the least, the key to Telehealth success would be in bringing hospitality to Patient eXperience.

Telehealth has the potential to expand access, increase efficiencies and reduce costs. The technologies exists; health systems must find a way to implement & integrate Telehealth for digital transformation of healthcare services.

PS: This is a broad attempt to understand Telehealth options and re-imagine it to be a digital backbone of healthcare and not just a front door. Any feedback / suggestions are welcome.

By Ambarish Giliyar

a Marketer-Analyst. Is passionate about bridging User-Product gaps for consumer-ized solutions. He does this by generating Insights, evangelizing eXperience, personalizing Content and improving Engagement. Ambarish works with Healthtech / DigitalHealth start-up and/or companies that must innovate to transform+grow. He specializes in building Creative fore-sights, Market+Competitive analysis & Inbound Marketing from a Patient, Payer and/or Provider perspectives for increased access, reduced costs and/or improved outcomes.

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