Telehealth: Short-Term Fad or Key to Improving Access to Affordable Healthcare?

While telehealth offerings have always held great promise, prior to 2020, their success was sometimes hindered by provider hesitation to adopt the technology, consumer reluctance to using virtual care, and a reimbursement methodology that did not value the investments required by providers or the positive impact on patients. 

That all changed practically overnight when COVID-19 struck.

Use of telehealth spiked to more than 32% of office and outpatient visits by April 2020, thanks in part to a relaxation of certain telehealth regulations designed to enable the continuation of care and minimize the spread of the virus by reducing unnecessary office visits during the public health emergency (PHE). These changes, albeit temporary, enabled providers and practices to test-drive telehealth offerings – and they quickly discovered that these digital technologies allowed them to connect with their patients more effectively and proactively. Now, nearly two-thirds of physicians view telehealth more favorably than they did pre-COVID and hope to continue offering virtual care. 

The Top100 Digital Health Companies In 2021

The TOP100 digital health companies by The Medical Futurist, – an infographic to keep track of the digital health market altogether.

The global digital health market continues its boom: with spectacular growth, it could
reach $ 660bn by 2025. Investors have poured an unprecedented amount of money into healthcare in 2020, reaching a record-setting year for digital health. Corporate, venture and even government funding had grown as startups, companies and institutions entered this new era of digital adoption.

And, even if this adoption sometimes clashes with the lack of the cultural shift in healthcare, the change is irreversible: the prospects for the future are looking grand for digital health and all the fishes that are swimming in these waters. A plethora of health startups have risen and continued to rise.

In order to keep track of the changes and the market itself, The Medical Futurist team has decided to put the most important companies onto one giant infographic: these are the TOP100 digital health companies in 2021.

Hospital of future: 4 steps towards sustainability

Hospitals need to undergo major transformation to address today’s healthcare needs. How can we achieve more sustainable and patient-focused care?

Hospitals for the sick have existed for centuries; places of refuge and healing that developed to become pillars of their local community. However, in today’s changing healthcare landscape, they are, in many ways, no longer sustainable and not ideally designed to address some of today’s most urgent healthcare needs.1

Factors influencing the changing role of the hospital

  • Increasing prevalence and economic burden of chronic diseases:
    Chronic diseases, or noncommunicable diseases, are collectively responsible for almost 70% of all deaths worldwide.2 According to the World Economic Forum, the cost of treating five leading chronic diseases – cancer, diabetes, mental illness, heart disease, and respiratory disease – could reach $47 trillion over the next 20 years.3  The overwhelming burden of patients with noncommunicable diseases in no longer feasible to manage in hospitals.4
  • Scientific and technological achievements: 
    Due to the advancement of medical knowledge, coupled to the rapid development of technologies, patients are now provided with alternative care pathways. Health conditions that used to require lengthy hospital stays can now be treated on an outpatient basis, or with a much shorter stay in the hospital.5  By necessity, hospitals are moving from being solely centers of inpatient treatment towards diagnostic and treatment services,5 and need to continue to find novel ways to add value.
  • Advancement of personalized healthcare: 
    The increase in available data, testing capabilities and technologies mean that the age of personalized healthcare is arriving. Prevailing business models need to be rethought to identify new growth fields, such as digital products and services, that are tailored to patient-centered health information.6
  • Shifting from fee-for-service (FFS) to value-based care (VBC): 
    Healthcare delivery systems are increasingly adopting VBC over the traditional FFS model as a means to improve inefficiencies and patient outcomes. This shift to reward providers for helping patients to live healthier lives in an evidence based way promotes preventive healthcare over reactive, or “sick” care.7

Remote patient monitoring to reduce readmissions and improve patient satisfaction

Digital technologies enable remote patient monitoring and access to care, which can help improve patient outcomes and alleviate health system pressures.

We talked to the cofounders, Tanvi V. Abbhi and Nora Zetsche, about the power of data-driven insights combined with intuitive technology to transform healthcare.

  • Disease management systems can serve as initial triage points to give patients feedback on whether they should seek medical help or not, which is especially beneficial now, when the world is collectively fighting a pandemic.
  • Patients diagnosed with NYHA class III or IV congestive heart failure were identified and enrolled in the Veta Health platform upon or soon after hospital discharge with the goal of measuring the impact on 30-day hospital readmission rates.
  • Following 45 days, patients enrolled in the Veta Health platform had 75% reduced hospital readmission compared to the control group and patient satisfaction also improved by 70.1 The pathway to success for remote patient monitoring solutions HT: Having been successful in offering digital solutions, what insights can you share to healthcare executives in this space, or who want to integrate digital technologies to further grow their business?
  • 3 Look beyond provider-patient relationships and provide opportunities for patients to participate in their health journey If the patient feels like they’re just following orders from a doctor, they might feel less invested in actually doing it (or worse, feel rebellious against it).
  • Sales to hospitals and health systems are not scalable when you are a startup.

Hospital Procurement: What You Need To Know?

​Last July, we published a blog on Mapping the Medical Sales Cycle, and a key part of the medical sales process includes understanding the steps involved in hospital procurement. The end goal for selling your medical technology very likely has important implications for physician and patient satisfaction (as well as clinical outcomes). However, the new reality is that buyers of your medical technology also need to understand the financial impact. 

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