By Adrián Savarese
Virtual care is here to stay, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of telehealth. It’s understood that there are some healthcare visits that must be done in person and virtual care will not completely replace in-office care.
Telehealth is the use of phone, video, internet and other technologies (like web and mobile Apps) to perform health care, and when done right, it can be just as effective as in-person health care.
Right now, people, doctors and clinics are learning how to use it and adapting to this new ecosystem.
Analyzing functional aspects, there are three main types of telehealth that provide a 360° of coverage: online, offline, and remote monitoring.
It is a live, two-way interaction, usually over video or phone using a regular phone call, web or mobile App. Health care providers generally prefer video conferencing with the camera one over phone calls because aside from tasks that require physical touch, nearly anything that can be done in person can be done over video.
Patients and doctors might have a chat conversation to ask and answer questions, describe symptoms, make appointments, and for other general communication. For this instance, answer delay is tolerable because it is not something critical but it will affect to the customer experience.
Patients can use devices at home to get objective data that is automatically uploaded to health care providers. Devices exist to measure blood pressure, temperature, heart rhythms and many other aspects of health. These devices are great for getting reliable data that can show trends over time. Researchers have shown that remote monitoring approaches are as effective as – and in some cases better than – in-person care for many chronic conditions.
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