As telemedicine becomes more widely adopted, we are noting its advantages over traditional medicine. In many cases, telemedicine is a better and more reasonable form of healthcare. When we talk about the future of healthcare industry, it is obvious that telemedicine and digital health play integral roles. In a recent article featured in FierceHealthIT.com, Dr. Ezekial Emanuel, health economist and bioethicist at the University of Pennsylvania, offered a distant view of the healthcare industry’s future.
Dr. Emanuel, a keynote speaker at the recently-held New York eHealth Collaborative’s Digital Health Conference, estimated the death of almost 1,000 acute care hospitals due to the Affordable Care Act. He further said that while top hospitals will perform complex medical procedures and surgeries, the focus will shift from in-hospital recovery to enabling the patient to recover from his/her home using telemedicine and home-visits for continuity of care. Emanuel said that the use of digital tools will facilitate accurate data extraction for medical claims and electronic health records. The use of telemedicine and digital tools may help curb escalating costs.
Dr. Emanuel’s vision that “[t]he hospital won’t be the locus of care that it has always been,” likens to the ones shared by both Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute in San Diego, and Eric Dishman, chief healthcare strategist at Intel. In 2013, Topol had told FierceHealthIT,
“The only reasons to have hospitals in the near term, thanks to the advances of remote monitoring capabilities, will be intensive care units, which are not going to go away, and operating rooms, as well as pre- and post-operation recovery areas,” Emanuel said. “But the remaining monitoring can be done at home, and will be far less expensive. Additionally, there won’t be as high of a risk for infections.”
In a 2012 interview with FierceHealthIT, Eric Dishman said that passing of health reforms will “unleash the innovation hounds” and more so because “now there’s economic incentive that can allow that to happen.” He added that face-to-face visits will no longer be a necessity, and could become totally optional by 2022.
What does this mean for healthcare professionals? A new survey published in the American Journal of Managed Care, offers the interesting perspective of healthcare professionals about the adoption of telehealth: Conducted on nearly 1,500 Michigan primary care providers, the study revealed that most respondents believed using health IT would impede their ability to see patients in the future, and thus impact the quality of care provided.
As innovation looms over the healthcare horizon, it is important to weigh the benefits and the drawbacks of these changes. Do you think the benefits of the digital innovation within the healthcare landscape will offer more advantages or challenges?
About Bob Higginbotham
Bob Higginbotham, CTS-I, CTS-D, is the Avidex National Manager of Healthcare AV. Bob has spent his 30 year career in leadership positions in the AV industry including extensive design and build work in healthcare facilities. He owned and operated a successful AV business in Texas with multiple offices in several cities where he managed a staff of over 100 employees. Bob has served as a technical consultant for a major AV manufacturer, led the technical sales team for a national video conferencing provider and provided technology auditing services for several private education facilities. He has a unique working knowledge of audiovisual technology as well as multiple certifications in audio engineering, acoustics, AV design, CQT system commissioning and video transmission systems. Bob holds a BA in communications and has recently served as board chair for a large private school. He brings his years of technical knowledge and leadership experience to Avidex where he leads the national healthcare AV team. Contact Bob at firstname.lastname@example.org