The past few years have taught many people all around the world the value of telehealth platforms in making healthcare accessible. With the social distancing demands of Covid-19, patients and doctors have had to find new ways to have medical visits. Telehealth, an already up-and-coming field, came to the rescue. In fact, telehealth care visits in the US soared to a whopping 52.7 million in 2020. That’s an astounding increase from just 840,000 visits in 2019!
Telehealth platforms help anyone and everyone who provides and needs access to healthcare. They cut down on patient costs and the amount of time it takes to receive medical services, which means better patient health and easier appointments for doctors. Not to mention, there is little to no copay, additional fees, or surprise bills involved-which helps patients and providers alike.
So how do you make an informed choice between the many, many telehealth platforms out there? What should you look for when making a selection? What’s to come down the road for this exciting new option?
Essential Features of Telehealth Platforms
Successful telehealth platforms offer a wide range of functions to meet the needs of both patients and practitioners. On the patient’s side, you’ll need a platform with a variety of modalities, languages, and in-app appointment and payment features, among other tools. Practitioners also need guaranteed data protection and ePrescription capabilities.
A Variety of Modalities
The whole purpose of telehealth platforms is to make healthcare available 24/7, 365 days a year, which means it needs to function across a wide range of modalities. For example, Doctegrity offers access to care via real-time, store-and-forward, and mobile health (mHealth) options so patients can access services on their own time.
Real-time access provides hassle-free consultation, diagnosis, and treatment via live video appointment. Meanwhile, store-and-forward modalities allow physicians to send electronic medical communications in-person. Both of these keep doctor’s visits short, concise, accurate, and well-documented communication, which patients can then store in individual medical records.
Mobile health (mHealth) allows for more accessible treatment, allowing patients to download a telehealth platform right on their phones. And Doctegrity’s mHealth app makes setting doctor’s appointments, getting a diagnosis, and accessing resources easier than ever.
Telehealth platforms are supposed to expand the range of patients receiving treatment, especially in cross border telemedicine. One great way to do that is making telehealth available in various languages. At a minimum, the platform you choose should offer services in English and Spanish – which your employees are sure to appreciate.
At its core, telehealth aims to simplify the entire care transaction. Therefore, your chosen telehealth platform should be able to facilitate the appointment process from end to end. Make sure patients can make, change, and cancel appointments right in-app. A payment portal with a simple, hassle-free charging process will also be especially appealing for busy patients.
Help Out Your Practitioners, Too
Ideally, the telehealth platform you end up choosing will benefit patients AND participating physicians. Doctors will only work with HIPAA-compliant platforms to protect patient confidentiality, and for good reason. So employers need to choose a platform that encrypts any and all internal communications to protect doctor-patient interactions.
In the same vein, having the option of secure, digital ePrescriptions will save physicians the added work of making calls to place orders for their patients.
The Future of Telehealth: Emerging Trends and Technologies
With telehealth booming in response to COVID-19, technology will continue to expand around the services offered by medical professionals and their patients using teleservices. Needless to say, telehealth platforms are the way of the future and are critical to making healthcare more accessible.
Check Patient’s Vitals, From a Distance
One example of how telehealth platforms continue to expand service offerings is with distance vitals scanning tech-a key feature of LifeVitals by Doctegrity. It eliminates the need for in-person visits to check functions like pulse rates and oxygen saturation levels. Traditionally, these tasks used to be limited to in-person visits, but the rapid expansion of the Internet of Things (IoT) devices now makes it possible and easier to take these measurements remotely.
In fact, some leading experts predict that telehealth IoT devices will be fully integrated into our daily lives by the year 2050. With any luck, it could mean being able to check your vitals during a morning shower-maybe even a full MRI scan to match!
Bringing Telehealth On-Site
As the digital and physical continue to mesh, many providers are working on translating telehealth portals into real, physical spaces. On-site kiosks, for example, can give patients complete access to clinical services at work or while running errands.
Covid Testing—At Your Convenience
Given the rapidly changing state of the pandemic, companies like Doctegrity are working to make testing easier than ever. For example, SnapTest at Doctegrity offers innovative Covid-19 testing via telehealth platforms. Patients don’t even have to log in!
After stepping through an easy verification process and providing an ID card and photo of themselves, they’ll be prompted with test-taking instructions and then record themselves taking the test. Simple, secure, and compliant—because of this virtual proctoring, medical professionals can certify a patient’s Covid-19 test results without anyone having to leave their house.
Doctegrity: A Leading Provider
Telehealth platforms are the way of the future. However, not all telehealth is created equal, and it’s important to find one that actually suits your needs! A good, functional platform must have has the key features listed above AND is thinking into the future—like Doctegrity.
Doctegrity is a leader in the rapidly-developing telehealth industry, offering some of the best solutions thanks to its intuitive, comprehensive design and forward-thinking innovation. The platform provides head-to-toe coverage for primary care and mental health services, all in just a few clicks. They are committed to revolutionizing access to quality healthcare. Doctegrity memberships start as low as $29 per month for an individual or $45 per month for an entire family.
The telehealth industry will only continue to grow in years to come—and Doctegrity will remain on the front lines, leading the way in new flexible innovations and methods to keep patients safe and healthy. Want to know more? Let’s get in touch: give us a call or send us a message today!