Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, virtual medicine progressed faster than most medical professionals thought possible. In fact, virtual visits to physicians increased by over 11,000 percent according to the CDC.
Traditional face-to-face healthcare quickly took a backseat to virtual connections. That didn’t just help physicians stay in touch with patients during a pandemic.
Those advances led to improved access to specialists, lower healthcare costs, and improved control of chronic diseases. Perhaps that silver lining in the pandemic catapulted the industry towards the future of connected healthcare.
What is Connected Health?
Essentially, connected health refers to a universal structure used to maintain both telemedicine and telehealth via connected healthcare devices. These connected health solutions offer numerous benefits to patients and healthcare organizations.
Connected healthcare services benefit communities and the entire country. With the pressure quickly realized during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, connected care health services provide a proactive way to move forward.
Healthcare organizations face an unprecedented strain, which led to the evaluation of new methods of offering care to patients while reducing costs.
What Does Connected Healthcare Do?
Healthcare organizations constantly look for innovative technologies, methods of empowering patients to better manage their health, and caregiving strategies that prove more affordable. The future of connected healthcare offers all of that.
Connected health brings together remote health monitoring systems, integrated healthcare solutions, and telehealth solutions. Connected health solutions apply to remote diagnosis and intelligent technologies, making health management a reality.
Integrated healthcare gives physicians the power to virtually see, diagnose, treat and monitor patients. This empowers patients to better manage their health through the improved convenience, increased accessibility, and reduced costs that come with connected healthcare.
By fusing together health information exchange, care transformation, and healthcare IT adoption, you create a backbone for connected healthcare solutions.
What are the Benefits of Connected Healthcare?
The connected healthcare space, which utilizes smart systems, wearables, sensors, and the Internet of Things (IoT), offers multiple benefits. A few of the benefits – some for patients and some for hospitals and medical practices – include:
- Boosts Quality of Life – Monitoring patients via connected healthcare sensors or other tools gives them a sense of assurance and safety. They feel secure knowing their health gets monitored carefully. By empowering patients with a sense of control, the depression some patients experience with chronic health condition often melts away.
- Improves Access to Healthcare – Connected technologies allow healthcare professionals to deliver care outside of doctors’ offices and hospitals. This helps eliminate common barriers to care, such as chronic conditions that make it difficult to get to healthcare facilities and location limitations. Today it’s possible for clinicians to not only see and assess patients virtually, but also adjust connected devices instantly when needed.
- Lower Cost of Care – Finding ways to lower the cost of care continues to be a top challenge within the healthcare industry. But through connective healthcare, cost reduction proves possible. It reduces the financial burden on patients and on the entire healthcare system.
- Improved Patient Outcomes – Improved access to care, lower cost of care and enhanced quality of life for patients result in positive patient outcomes.
Healthcare System Benefits
- Better Illness Prevention – Technically this benefits both patients and healthcare systems, but moving towards connected healthcare aids in the prevention of illnesses. The rise of connected devices brings together different types of smart technology to help patients consider environmental concerns, diet, lifestyle, and hereditary concerns. It also reduces the rate hospitalization.
- More Agile Appointments and Treatment Plans – The connected healthcare space also provides more agile appointments and treatment plans. Instead of physically waiting within healthcare centers, patients receive many types of care from work or home. Smart wearables allow for the ability to receive a diagnosis and treatment from home. This reduces the risk of disease transfer while freeing up hospitals to treat patients in-hospital who need it most.
- Reduction of Provider Errors – Today’s healthcare system heavily relies on patient/doctor conversations and qualitative data. Big data helps connect various areas of the healthcare space, helping physicians predict and determine the best course of action for their patients. It allows doctors to be more confident when choosing the correct course of action while minimizing clinician error.
- Continuing Healthcare Innovation – Healthcare organizations fight to stay on top of day-to-day tasks, making it tough to stay ahead. Connected healthcare brings solutions that make both condition analysis and daily planning easier. It also looks to the future of healthcare by coming up with new innovations that continually improve care and patient outcomes.
Remote Care and Connected Medical Devices
Connected medical devices allowing for remote care run the gamut from Fitbit to wearable heart monitors, blood glucose monitoring systems to medical alert systems. They’re important because they enable doctors to monitor their patients remotely.
Some of the most valuable connected medical device innovations include:
- Blood pressure monitors
- Blood glucose monitoring systems
- Anticoagulation testing devices
- Continuous glucose monitors
- Heart rate monitors
- Electrocardiography devices
- Medical alert systems
- Pulse oximeters
- Smart scales
- Hand-held Doppler monitors
- Medication monitoring devices
Traditional models of medical care delivery continue to grow outdated while the future of connected healthcare looks bright. Welcome to the future of connected health that relies on technology-enabled care options, paving the to increase remote healthcare delivery.
Connected healthcare offers more than a solution to the current needs surrounding healthcare during a pandemic. It impacts the landscape of future patient care, as well.
The trend continues to grow, and healthcare organizations must begin making a transformative approach toward adopting new technologies. It helps them deliver connected healthcare solutions coupled with excellent patient care.