- Trends and overall directions in which Telehealth is moving globally:
Healthcare is now routinely delivered by telecommunications-based services in all developed countries and an increasing number of developing countries. Telemedicine is used in many clinical specialties and across numerous healthcare settings, which range from mobile patient-centric applications to complex interactions amongst clinicians in tertiary referral hospital settings.
The wide-scale adoption of telehealth dates from the 1990s, but its development in the early stage was constrained by the limited telecommunications infrastructure and the high cost of peripheral devices allowing user access. The twenty-first century has seen an explosion in the availability of these aspects, and telehealth is taking advantage of this situation.
Several classification schemes, or taxonomies, have been proposed to describe the context in which telehealth applications are found. These generally include at least the three broad characterizations of the relevant clinical specialty concerned, the connectivity technology being used, and the care model being supported. The range of clinical applications has steadily expanded to include more complex and demanding specialties, such as intensive care or emergency medicine. From the technology point of view, the exponential expansion of telecommunications infrastructure is helping to drive new telehealth technologies, especially as broadband becomes ubiquitous. New care models are sometimes a by-product of these technologies, and concepts such as patient centricity and networks of caregivers are emerging as healthcare trends driven at least in part by this technological explosion.
Early telemedicine developments were popularised around the ‘teleconsultation’ model of delivering healthcare despite a physically separated clinician and patient. This practice has become widespread, and the associated behavioral and technical issues have been well documented. Economic analyses have shown that cost effectiveness of synchronous telemedicine vary widely according to the delivery setting. Contemporary directions in synchronous telemedicine are now addressing less obvious and less simplistic areas, where high impact clinical benefits can be obtained at the expense of more complex interactivity and a more sophisticated technical environment.
- Who are the main players in this area (Major firms):
The major firms are as follows:
– American Well
– Doctor on Demand
– First Opinion.
– Pager App
- Analyse how Telehealth can be applied to the pharmaceutical industry with the goal of tying and linking customers together, and increasing sales (from point of view of pharmaceutical companies and pharmacies)
The continuum of care concept extends beyond the traditional definitions to a comprehensive, coordinated system of care designed to meet the needs of people with complex and/or on-going problems efficiently and effectively.
A continuum of care is patient-oriented, not provider or payer-oriented. The orientation is to organize services according to patient’s needs, not according to a provider’s convenience or a payer’s rigid guidelines. The ideal continuum takes a holistic approach emphasizes wellness rather than illness and need not be owned by a single entity. The key is to be able to give patients access to the services they need when they need them.
Striking a balance between high tech and high touch patient care, telehealth solutions allow nurses, clinicians and coaches to provide appropriate clinical services in tandem with behavioural and motivational coaching. A more convenient, consistent and efficient approach to the delivery of healthcare, telehealth solutions empower patients and their families to make better decisions resulting in improved outcomes, lower costs and reduced pressure on limited resources.
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