Access to healthcare 24/7, 365 days a year? There’s an app for that. In fact, there are thousands. From blood glucose monitors to heart rate apps, your iTunes App Store or Google Play has everything you can think of health-related, plus more. We are entering a digital healthcare revolution. Strap yourself in.
“I think the biggest innovations of the 21st century will be at the intersection of biology and technology. A new era is beginning.” – Steve Jobs
Telehealth. What is it? According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “telehealth is the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support long-distance clinical healthcare, patient and professional health-related education, public health and health administration.” Telehealth is available on your smartphone, tablet or PC.
Telehealth is here and it’s not going anywhere. In fact, it has grown by approximately 50 percent this year in the U.S. and that trend is predicted to continue. Healthcare research and analytics firm, IHS, predicts telehealth will be a $2 billion industry in the U.S. by 2018. Consumers are starting to buy in. The U.S. telehealth patient population is predicted to grow to 1.8 million by 2017. That’s a 600 percent increase from the 300,000 patients today.
When was the last time you woke up at 3 a.m. with a terrible cold? With telehealth, you can now grab your smartphone off your nightstand and see a doctor immediately from the comfort of your bed. Through video consultation, your doctor will be able to provide you a diagnosis and even write you a prescription. Telehealth is extremely convenient and very cost-effective. The American Medical Association says that the quality and standard of care with telehealth is the same as visiting your doctor or specialist in person.
With thousands of health apps and 24/7 access to doctors via telehealth, the healthcare industry is changing dramatically. What is your organization doing to keep up with this trend?
Dr. Smartphone will see you now.