The world, as we know it, has changed forever. The novel coronavirus continues to push, pull, twist, and transform what we have always done into something unfamiliar. Although change can be uncomfortable and uncertain, we can take comfort in knowing it is not always a bad thing, especially when talking about Telemedicine.
The Covid-19 pandemic is accelerating innovation and digital transformation across various industries, including, and especially healthcare. The pandemic is pushing telemedicine to the front of the line, making it easier for patients to get the care they need.
The Rise of Telemedicine Amidst A Global Pandemic
Telemedicine is quickly redefining the healthcare industry in a time of great necessity. In March 2020, when most states underwent a stay at home order, medical providers were forced to change the way they care for their patients.
Providers suddenly needed to implement a solution that allowed them to see all their patients from home, especially those at higher risk of becoming deathly ill from the virus.
The Pros and Cons— But Mostly Pros
With telemedicine, patients can talk to doctors from anywhere, at any time, a benefit that was once considered unnecessary. Now, patients are aware they can more readily access a visit with their doctor, or another family care doctor if they do not have one.
At the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, The White House lifted Medicare requirements for telemedicine visits. The lift of requirements allowed more providers to accept Medicare payments for virtual visits, which is incredibility pertinent during a time when the Medicare population is the most vulnerable.
The hidden cost of telemedicine, or fear of increased cost, was one of the reasons Americans were slow to adopt the technology. But in a time when there is no other option, patients find they can get an excellent level of care for the same or much lower cost.
Telemedicine tech enables doctors to remotely monitor the health conditions of patients suffering or recovering from a wide variety of illnesses. Remote monitoring is a tool that many providers have been leveraging for years, as it decreases the time patients need to spend in a facility and increases monitoring capabilities. This technology is proving to be crucial in continuing patient care in a world where Covid-19 increases the danger for high-risk patients.
Innovation Driven by Increased Demand
Before the pandemic, Americans were slow to use telemedicine. Investors poured billions into apps and websites that offer virtual consultations with physicians, yet it never seemed to take off entirely. A survey of 403 consumers from 2017 showed that 82 percent of consumers in the United States did not use telemedicine resources.
Now, researchers predict that doctors and hospitals could push telemedicine interaction to 1 billion by the end of 2020.
Microsoft Drives Digital Transformation in the Healthcare Industry
The rapid increase is forcing tech companies to step up to the plate and equip healthcare providers with the tools they need to meet the needs of their patients from afar.
For years, Microsoft has led the way in digital transformation within the healthcare industry and continues to level up amidst a global health crisis. Providers are turning to the Microsoft platforms to meet the increased demand for telemedicine and cloud computing capabilities.
Telemedicine with Microsoft Azure
Microsoft Azure is a dynamic set of cloud computing services that allows you to build, deploy, and manage applications on a vast global network. Both providers and payers, in the healthcare industry, can harness the power of Microsoft Azure.
IT professionals in healthcare facilities can build telemedicine systems using Azure cloud services. They can create a telemedicine solution constructed on four pillars: clients, communication, components, APIs and business logic, and storage and infrastructure services.
With an Azure-powered solution, users can connect any Bluetooth-enabled device and remotely tune it. Users can even manage globally distributed web content and communicate via text, voice, or video in a remote setting.
Telemedicine powered with Microsoft Azure serves as a strong foundation for users to fully utilize the comprehensive Microsoft Teams platform.
Telemedicine with Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams is empowering healthcare professionals to provide the best possible care from a distance. Teams enables providers to collaborate with secure chat, video, voice, and healthcare tools in one HIPAA and HITECH compliant place.
Microsoft Teams is a solution for every aspect of a healthcare organization. Physicians can connect with the people and real-time information they need to make crucial decisions. Nurses can orchestrate resources and care across multiple departments, enhance clinical workflows, and coordinate care with instant access to people and patient information.
Administrators can securely communicate with clinicians and staff, share valuable information, and collaborate in one place. IT professionals can rest assured, knowing clinicians and staff have a secure and compliant place to communicate.
Microsoft Teams for Healthcare goes far beyond only benefitting the professionals; the patients reap the most benefit from a highly collaborative and secure personalized care platform. From the moment patients enter a facility, throughout their stay, and after they leave, Microsoft Teams ensures providers know what is happening and what they need through every step of the process.
Future of Telemedicine
Telemedicine addresses more than just the immediate needs of the novel coronavirus pandemic. It tackles the challenges providers have been facing for years while breaking the barrier of lack of adoption. Covid-19 forces a digital transformation that many professionals and patients were not ready to meet.
But now, it won’t be easy to revert to how things were when we now know what we can achieve when we utilize innovative tools such as telemedicine that is powered by cloud computing and the Internet of Things.
Interested in more healthcare solutions? Check how The Bauen Group developed a custom healthcare solution that saves millions of dollars to a Medical Records Management Company.