Report: Telehealth Innovation in 2014

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January 7th, 2014

TelehealthTelehealth's Growing Popularity

The future of telehealth is set to come alive in 2014, according to a recent study by Intel Health & Life Sciences Group. The Intel Healthcare Innovation Barometer polled 12,000 adults across Brazil, Chine, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan and the US to gauge their opinions on integrating health and technology. 

Eric Dishman, General Manager of Intel Health & Life Sciences Group, revealed that from the study, “most people appear to embrace a future of healthcare that allows them to get care outside hospital walls, lets them anonymously share their information for better outcomes, and personalizes care all the way down to an individuals specific genetic make-up.”

Many of those polled voiced their concern for making healthcare accessible outside of medical facilities and made it clear that personalized medicine and care is the way of the future.

Dishman continued, “When given a choice between getting the same care as others who have their symptoms or getting care based on their own genetic profile, two in three respondents chose customized care…Care must occur at home as the default model, not in a hospital or clinic. New technologies can bring decision support, health monitoring and health coaches into the home.”

The report revealed key insight into areas of the healthcare industry that could benefit from the integration of mobile technology. Many supported the introduction of new technologies resolving patient/provider relationships and real-time health monitoring. Some of the key findings are presented below.

  • 70% of respondents are receptive to using toilet sensors, prescription bottle sensors or swallowed monitors to collect ongoing and actionable health data.
  • 60% prefer a personalized healthcare regimen to collect ongoing and actionable personal health data. Sixty six percent of people prefer a personalized healthcare regimen designed specifically for them based on their genetic profile or biology.
  • 53% said they would trust a test they personally administer as much or more than if it came from a doctor.
  • 84% would anonymously share their personal health information such as lab results, if it could lower medication costs or overall costs to the healthcare system.
  • A higher percentage of people said they are more willing to share their health records (47%) than their phone records or banking information.
  • 57% believe traditional hospitals will be obsolete in the future.
  • 72% are willing to see a doctor via videoconference for non-urgent appointments.

Telehealth In The ICU

Intel’s findings follow up on a more recent report that investigated the role of telehealth in 56 ICU units, 32 hospitals and over 110,000 patients throughout the US. The study revealed how telehealth can help doctors and physicians treat, monitor and respond to a patient under intensive care.

Recently, the CMS adjusted its fee schedule to allow more people in rural areas to qualify for telehealth services, including home-based telehealth services. In an ICU, telehealth has allowed specializing physicians to work from remote site and can promote coordinated care across multiple hospitals or medical facilities.

The study reported the following findings regarding the impact telehealth had throughout the observed sample.

  • The length of stay in an ICU for patients served via telehealth procedures was 20% lower than those in non-telehealth units.
  • Telehealth patients spent half a day less in the hospital for a seven-day stat than non-telehealth patients; one day less in a two-week stay; and 3.6 days less in a 30-day stay.
  • Remote help can save as much as $10,000 per patient, while allowing specialists to help in hundreds of cases a week instead of a few in one hospital.
  • About 9,000 ICU beds nationwide are monitored under a telehealth system – about 12% of all adult ICU beds.

Ultimately, telehealth innovation will set the foundation for how healthcare providers engage with their patients. However, subsequent effects could include lower costs & spending, greater transparency, access to priceless patient data, and an increase in the quality of care provided.

To learn more about how telehealth can provide smart solutions to cutting costs throughout your facility or the benefits of accessing healthcare services via telehealth, visit www.payerfusion.com.


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