virtual care technology

virtual care technology

According to a new report.

The Digital Medicine Society and Omada Hello surveyed nearly 800 buyers for the report – 528 employers, 107 payers and 129 benefits consultants.

Two-thirds of employers and 69% of payers and consultants say virtual care is an extremely high priority for their organizations. This is because they believe the way care can have a positive effect on the workforce – for example, more than half of those surveyed believe virtual care can improve patient health outcomes and the way providers address the social determinants of health.

However, respondents were not as passionate about virtual care’s greater impact on the healthcare industry. When asked specific questions about the impact of care modality on the industry, less than half of respondents reported positively.

Only 29% of employers and 34% of payers and consultants said virtual care will dramatically change the way healthcare is delivered and outcomes are achieved. When asked if they agreed that “the sky’s the limit” for what virtual care applications can achieve in the future, 36% of employers and 33% of payers and consultants agreed.

Most respondents doubt that virtual care will become the primary healthcare model for most situations over time.

A lack of understanding of what virtual care actually means, loose industry definitions and inconsistent implementation models are some of the reasons benefits buyers remain skeptical about virtual care’s ability to revolutionize care delivery, according to the report.

For example, many healthcare stakeholders still do not understand the difference between telemedicine and virtual care. With telemedicine, providers aim to recreate the 1:1 experience of traditional in-person care without changing the pattern of the patient’s care journey. But with virtual care, providers are looking to provide a wider range of remote services, such as clinical and non-clinical treatments for a variety of conditions, the report said.

Most benefits buyers currently only use telemedicine, so they likely lack the expertise to consider use cases that go beyond that model, according to the report. It showed that almost 85% of employers used telemedicine, but only 68% used health coaching and only 45% used remote monitoring devices.

“Telemedicine is simply digitizing in-person care — conversely, impactful virtual care is reshaping the way care is delivered, putting the patient at the center and using technology to enable proactive, continuous management. This transition is essential to making significant strides in patient care,” Megan Zweig, Rock Healthchief operating officer, said in a statement.

The report also highlights that today’s benefits buyers are faced with a seemingly endless sea of ​​companies calling themselves virtual care providers, regardless of the type of care model they offer. This fact does not improve buyers’ murky understandings of virtual care.

Photo: ipopba, Getty Images

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