Lasting Impact of Covid: Fewer Doctor's Office Visits Thanks to At-Home Diagnostics

The following post was written and/or published as a collaboration between Benzinga’s in-house sponsored content team and a financial partner of Benzinga.

While treatment has long been viewed as the central role of our healthcare system, the COVID-19 pandemic brought diagnostics to center stage. Early and accurate detection was essential to enable timely interventions and prevent the disease from spreading as well as targeting patients who were most at risk for negative outcomes. 

After witnessing the pivotal role that diagnostics can play, we’re seeing increasing investment in innovative remote diagnostics technology that transforms the way physicians diagnose and manage patients. Here are some of the most profound changes and innovative solutions to date.

At-Home Diagnostics and Symptom Monitoring Improve Access to Care

Chronic conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure account for as much as 84% of healthcare spending in the United States. As a result, ongoing care and management is a core part of many care providers’ daily work. This is why remote diagnostics and monitoring technology is having such a major impact on patient care.

Now, patients can track symptoms and biometric data and have that data automatically synced to a patient portal that care providers can access 24/7. With that data, they can make treatment decisions and lifestyle recommendations remotely. 

As technology enables more of this ongoing care to be done remotely, the need for on-site patient consultations is dramatically reduced. This adds more flexibility to care providers’ schedules, reduces hospital overcrowding, which also reduces average wait times, and improves access to health services for patients who might otherwise have difficulty keeping up with regular on-site doctor visits. 

Managing cancer treatment symptoms is one of the areas this new technology has the potential to benefit patients and physicians most. In May 2020, Elekta (OTCMKTS: EKTAY) acquired Kaiku Health, a digital platform for tracking and reporting patient-reported symptoms during cancer treatment. It enables physicians to more closely monitor treatment outcomes and manage patients’ symptoms. 

In the chronic conditions space, Teladoc Health Inc. TDOC acquired Livongo, a biotech company that provides blood pressure and glucose monitors connected to a digital platform in an $18.5 billion deal last August. Earlier that year, Teladoc Health also spent $600 million to acquire InTouch Health, a virtual patient-consultation platform that enables care providers to conduct more patient visits remotely.

User-Friendly Wearables Make Patient Monitoring and Self-Management Easier

Another important change that diagnostics technology is bringing is improved patient adherence. With many chronic illnesses like diabetes and heart conditions, getting patients to adhere to treatment plans and consistently monitor systems and biometric data is key to improving health outcomes. However, it’s long been a challenge as the tools for monitoring biometric data like blood glucose levels or heart rate were clunky and difficult to use. As a result, physicians lacked access to comprehensive, ongoing biometric data that would help them monitor patient health and make better-informed treatment decisions.

Advances in wearables, like Livongo’s blood pressure and glucose monitors, have changed that. Biotricity BTCY, for example, is a medtech company that’s achieved triple digit revenue growth by doing what Livongo did for the diabetes space for the cardiac space. 

The company specializes in remote biometric monitoring solutions and has developed a sophisticated mobile cardiac telemetry, called Bioflux, that sends real-time electrocardiogram data to a secure online portal so physicians can monitor patients’ cardiac health remotely. With this, physicians have easy, 24/7 access to all the data they need to make informed treatment decisions remotely. 

After Maxim Group’s inaugural emerging growth conference this past March, an analyst from the industry-leading investment bank and equity research firm reported a one-year price target of $6 for BTCY, more than double its current price.

With easier-to-use devices that increase patient adherence and remote diagnostics and monitoring technology that gives patients access to more personalized care from home, the overall quality of patient care that physicians can provide is poised to improve rapidly over the next few years.

The preceding post was written and/or published as a collaboration between Benzinga’s in-house sponsored content team and a financial partner of Benzinga. Although the piece is not and should not be construed as editorial content, the sponsored content team works to ensure that any and all information contained within is true and accurate to the best of their knowledge and research. This content is for informational purposes only and not intended to be investing advice.

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