The healthcare industry is going through a technological evolution that is not only improving the quality of care patients receive, but also the way they receive it in many cases.  Mobile technologies and telehealth services, specifically, have created new opportunities for providers and patients alike.  There are many ways telehealth is already helping both patients and physicians and improving care.  But, beyond immediate healthcare needs, as telehealth adoption continues to grow, it will help create a generally healthier society.

Here’s a few ways how:

Convenient access

Whether due to distance or timing, one of the reasons people don’t always seek healthcare is it’s not always convenient.  Telehealth eliminates geographic barriers to both primary care providers and specialists, enabling patients to seek advice for many conditions at any time, regardless of location.  This not only gets them a diagnosis faster, but reduces the spread of contagious conditions.

Better communication and information sharing

Designed with ease of use in mind, telehealth apps and websites encourage patients to update their medical information regularly, ensuring physicians have the most up-to-date details when consultations are required.  It also enables any event triggers that have been set up for various conditions to work effectively.  In today’s digital-and mobile-first society, patients are acutely comfortable with using mobile apps and online resources and are more likely to include these updates as part of their regular activity, especially with app, text, or email notifications available.  This increase in information sharing allows physicians to provide faster and more accurate diagnoses and feedback, leading to shorter illnesses in the short term and better information to prevent recurring events in the longer term.

Patient/doctor relationships

Relationships are built on trust and familiarity.  Through more and better information sharing and more convenient access to physicians via telehealth platforms, trust and familiarity both grow, driving better relationships and encouraging even more engagement, the key to long-term well-being.  Increased comfort with physicians increases the likelihood that patients will seek treatment for recurring or new conditions, or even seek advice on how to avoid conditions altogether.

Increased awareness and self-management

In addition to living in an age of sharing, today’s patients are also very keen on self service, and are likely to favor healthcare solutions that help them maintain healthier lifestyles.  There are many health and wellness apps in use today that are already increasing awareness and encouraging healthier lifestyles.  In fact, 96% of health app users believe their apps have improved their quality of life.  Telehealth mobile and web apps can similarly encourage healthy behaviors, based on specific conditions or objectives.  Integration with activity trackers or other wearable devices to monitor and track prescribed regimens allows patients to track their progress, driving long-term awareness of conditions and vital statistics and leading to a desire to maintain healthier lifestyles.

By eliminating gaps in doctor-patient relationships and access, telehealth can drive healthier society by increasing quality of immediate care.  Perhaps more importantly, though, the impact of building awareness and better doctor-patient relationships, telehealth has the potential to improve long-term health and wellness in the long term.

To find out how telehealth can help build your practice, click here.