Opening of the Digital Doors

Guest Authored by Vivify Health

Every morning, from Monday to Friday, with a steaming cup of hot coffee, our day at Vivify Health begins, where our Chief Clinical Officer conducts an internal meeting discussing the current COVID scenario in the US, the number of cases recorded, red zoned states, sharpening or flattening of the curve and how are we coping with it. The meeting comprises of personnel across departments discussing their experiences working with our customers, physicians, and payers. It is so heart-warming to listen to their stories as they closely interact with front-line workers each day.

There is a feeling of hope and pride amongst all of us as we have been providing support to these real heroes for more than a decade now. More importantly when the clinicians share how physicians walk up to them and tell them that “telehealth and Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) are here to stay”, we all give each other a virtual pat on the back for contributing some way or the other.

Opening of the Digital Doors

Since the onset of COVID-19, hospitals have been preparing themselves for the worst. Physicians were overwhelmed and anxious as to how to manage the onslaught of nervous patients with limited resources. Soon there were buckets created to segregate patients – suspected, COVID but asymptomatic, COVID with symptoms, and finally those who need to be hospitalized. The reports came and as per the data, 80% of the patients do not need to come to the hospital.

As physical doors closed, the new digital ones swung open, making the COVID recovery virtually seamless. Consumer adoption has skyrocketed from 11 percent in 2019 to 46 percent of consumers now using telehealth. Pre-COVID, the annual revenues of telehealth players were approximately $3 billion with most of the vendors focusing on the “virtual urgent care” segment. With the current scenario of consumers and providers adopting telehealth, $250 billion of current US healthcare spend could potentially be virtualized.

The adoption of digital weapons by providers is safeguarding the lives of the patients and has helped healthcare ramp up their treatment capacity. Virtual care has shielded their lives and their livelihoods. Patients are receiving the treatment and care in a timely manner while enabling independent physicians and their care teams to reclaim a portion of their lost revenue.

Driving Digital Change

Telehealth and RPM solutions are quick to address the gap in the health systems overwhelmed by COVID-19. These digital weapons are at the forefront of digital disruption across healthcare systems delivering remote care virtually for any condition. Thereby, there is an immediate need to incorporate a next-level digital approach that utilizes RPM and telehealth solutions while –

  • Helping and educating patients self-identify at home
  • Reducing the chance of spreading the virus while efficiently using the limited resources
  • Helping health care professionals scale care
  • Ensuring care reaches patients in rural areas
  • Maintain care for any condition, anytime
  • Avoiding a rebound effect
  • Increasing provider revenue during difficult times.

Genie is out of the bottle and how

When the pandemic began, Seema Verma, Administrator, CMS, hinted at the future of telehealth by stating “I think it’s fair to say that the advent of telehealth has been just completely accelerated, that it’s taken this crisis to push us to a new frontier, but there’s absolutely no going back” and hence it became pretty clear that telehealth and RPM would become essential for physicians to treat their patients remotely. Lately, Federal, Medicaid, and Medicare programs have overwhelmingly expanded telehealth policies while removing the barriers in response to COVID-19.

The current crisis has demonstrated the relevance of RPM and Telehealth solutions in modernizing care delivery across the country. Decisive actions taken by the health systems today to modernize will help them stay ahead of the curve and deliver distinctive care to patients.

Editors Note:

Meet with representatives from Vivify Health and visit their virtual exhibit booth during the ATA2020 Virtual Conference, June 22-26th.