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The Rise Of Telemedicine During COVID-19 And Its Potential Moving Forward

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The Rise Of Telemedicine During COVID-19 And Its Potential Moving Forward

CloudMD was one of the sponsors for the Benzinga Global Small Cap Conference that took place on December 8-9, 2020.

Telemedicine has gotten a lot of attention as a result of COVID-19. Many people were forced to stay at home this year, and as a result, healthcare providers began looking for alternative methods to provide patient care. 

Telemedicine plays an important part for the future of healthcare delivery, which is a more holistic, patient-focused approach to care. It provides easier, more efficient access to healthcare when and where the patient needs it. Through these platforms, patients can meet with their healthcare provider through a virtual format. And while not every service can be performed virtually, there are a wide variety of services that can be done online. This includes virtual care, primary care, mental health care, specialist care, and education. 

Prior to the pandemic, telemedicine was still in its early phases of adoption with most patients yet to try online healthcare. But according to a survey conducted by McKinsey & Company, they found that the number of consumers now using telehealth services jumped from 11% in 2019 to 46% in 2020. 

Telemedicine is essentially changing how healthcare is delivered. And with U.S. doctors on track to log more than 1 billion virtual visits by the end of the year, it seems as though this sector of healthcare is here to stay.

Telehealth Services 

One such telehealth platform that has seen significant growth this year is CloudMD Software & Services Inc (OTC: DOCRF).

Through its patient-centric, hybrid (virtual and in-person) approach,  CloudMD provides the complete healthcare ecosystem and access to its network of primary care doctors, specialists and allied health professionals, mental health professionals, and healthcare information, prevention, and treatment plans. CloudMD also just launched a new Enterprise Division, which provides a comprehensive platform for corporations, insurers and advisors to address holistic healthcare and wellness for their employees. This approach results in better overall patient outcomes, faster return to work, and better ROI for employers.

Through their consumer telemedicine platform patients can book appointments, not just during the day, but on evenings and weekends. The AI Virtual Assistant can help with tasks such as taking a patient’s history and triaging for the doctor. Prescriptions are sent directly from the patient’s doctor to their local pharmacy. 

CloudMD empowers patients to take control of their own healthcare. Every patient automatically gets an electronic medical record when they see a healthcare professional from the CloudMD platform, which they have access to and can review their medical chart and lab results in real-time. Patients can talk with medical professionals through a secure chat, and the platform is accessible from any device. 

A Change In Perspective

The demand for virtual healthcare is growing. While the surge in telemedicine this year has been mainly driven in part by COVID-19, one survey showed that 76% of respondents said they were interested in using telehealth going forward.

Many care delivery organizations expect one-fifth to a quarter of patient encounters to be done virtually post-COVID-19.

The desire for such a platform moving forward is also made evident by the shift in many patients’ perceptions of telemedicine.

In an article from the Harvard Business Review, Jonathan R. Slotkin, MD, and his colleagues wrote that:

"A shift in patients’ perception of telehealth has perhaps been the most important in increasing adoption, with attitudes moving from, This provider must not think my problem is important since they are seeing me via telehealth, to This provider cares about me and therefore is seeing me via telehealth."

Overall, telemedicine is an excellent accompaniment to traditional, in-person healthcare. Through a virtual format, you can skip waiting for hours in a waiting room and make an appointment at a time that’s convenient for your schedule. Not to mention that its accessibility is crucial in helping to provide easier access to healthcare.

There are still developments and hurdles that need to be addressed in the telehealth sector, but the overall growing interest shows great promise for telemedicine as the next phase of healthcare delivery.

To learn more about CloudMD, click here.

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

 

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