As the elderly population continues to increase and Baby Boomers continue to reach retirement age, the burden on an already strained healthcare system is only going to increase. One of the contributing factors is an increase in chronic conditions, which account for 60% of deaths globally. In the United States, almost a third of all people, and 80% of those over the age of 65, suffer from multiple chronic conditions.
Considering the percentage of healthcare spending associated with chronic conditions (86% of spending is on patients with at least one chronic condition and 71% on those with multiple conditions), its stands to reason that opportunities for reducing healthcare costs and reducing the burden on providers and patients is necessary. Connected health solutions are emerging as an opportunity to augment or even replace traditional healthcare.
Remote Patient Monitoring
Traditionally, patients have had to make frequent visits to physicians’ offices or even be monitored as inpatients in hospitals to effectively monitor conditions. RPM gives providers the ability to monitor conditions on an ongoing basis using connected technologies, reducing costs for patients, providers, and payers. In addition, there is a reduced burden on patients to schedule and meet appointments.
Transportability of patient data and information between physicians and specialists facilitates remote analysis and consultation, increasing the coverage capabilities by leveraging trained professionals remotely. This means that providers have access to various specialists at all times, reducing the cost on local providers and maximizing those expert resources, who are able to provide analyses across geographies. Remote collaboration also reduces the impact of timing, allowing care to be delivered at any time.
When warning signs emerge, virtual visits with nurses, PCPs, or specialists can provide quick analysis of evolving conditions to determine if an office or hospital visit is required or, ideally, to manage treatment in response and trips to providers. The ability to provide virtual consultations help reduce costs of office visits, while also helping reduce idle time for physicians and staff. Connected health services help increase staff usage as well as the number of patients they are able to assist, while allowing them to offer more convenient care at a lower cost.
With the current physician shortage, the ability to serve more patients cost effectively and efficiently is a multi-faceted benefit. Not only are providers able to deliver care to more patients in less time, but connected health solutions allow them to do so with lower costs of service. The ability to serve more patients without adding work hours can help reduce stress on physicians and help reduce burnout from long hours due to increased workload.
Connected health solutions offer technology-based solutions to augment or replace traditional healthcare delivery options that can help offset the increase in demand and relieve the strain on the system. The ability to deliver quality care to more patients more conveniently is a clear value proposition for connected health. As state and national regulators continue to understand the benefits connected health has on the entire healthcare community, they, too, will help drive adoption increasing the value of an investment a connected health solution.
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