When it comes to health care, what do consumers want? According to the Deloitte 2018 Survey of US Consumers, consumers are looking for convenient and in-network health care providers, wearable devices and apps to use at home, and the ability to share personal health data from the wearable devices. These priorities suggest that consumers are ready to embrace in-home telemedicine, which can address all three desires easily.
With telemedicine, an in-network doctor anywhere in the state can evaluate and treat the patient remotely while the patient remains at home or at a nearby clinic. Traveling to the doctor’s office no longer becomes an issue, so patients aren’t limited to finding an in-network physician close to home. Each appointment becomes a convenient matter of visiting the local medical facility or turning on the telemedicine app at home.
Consumers are also being wooed by fancy technology; digital tools, wearable devices, and diagnostic at-home tests offer the option of gathering health data from the comfort of one’s home. These tools empower consumers to monitor their own metrics instead of waiting until the next office visit. This data can be automatically uploaded to the telemedicine platform for the provider’s analysis, which brings us to the third point.
Many consumers see the value in sharing their health data with their providers or with EMS during an emergency situation. They also understand that anonymous aggregate data can help health care research firms gain valuable information and help developers improve their devices. The former setting—sharing personal health data—must occur in a secure, HIPAA-compliant manner such as telemedicine. An in-home telemedicine endpoint can be setup to transmit the data from the patient’s digital tools or wearable devices to a nurse or physician for frequent monitoring and analysis; at the first sign of potential trouble, action can be taken.
By combining all three of these aspects through telemedicine within the patient’s home, we’ve set the stage for the future of health care delivery: Remote Patient Evaluation (RPE). And if that’s what consumers want, then that’s where we’ll be. Where will you be?