The rise of COVID-19 has fueled a boost in telehealth services. In a world of social distancing, telehealth gets around regulatory barriers the pandemic has built and its convenience is resulting in a major breakthrough in healthcare. As telehealth services continue to change how healthcare is provided, it will become even more important for pharmaceutical, medical device and health and wellness companies to advertise to telehealth professionals in order to sell their products or services.
In this article, we will explain the importance of the telehealth industry by exploring what telehealth services are, how telehealth improves patient care and if telehealth can prescribe medication.
What are telehealth services?
Telehealth is not a new concept, but an interest in the approach has been driven by an overwhelming need for patient care during COVID-19. In this process, patients can virtually connect with healthcare providers through videoconferencing, remote monitoring, electronic consults and wireless communications.
Telehealth has existed for over 40 years and as healthcare embraces it as a virtual solution to treat highly contagious patients during COVID-19, it’s becoming obvious that the trend is here to stay. According to American Hospital Association, 76 percent of U.S. hospitals are currently connecting with patients and consulting practitioners at a distance through the use of video and other technology. This new method of patient-provider communication makes it possible for patients to abide by stay-at-home orders and still receive quality care during the pandemic. As a result, Forrester now predicts that virtual care visits will soar to more than 1 billion by the end of 2020, including 900 million visits related to COVID-19.
How does telehealth improve patient care?
COVID-19 is a highly contagious illness primarily spread through person-to-person contact. To keep it from spreading, social distancing regulations have been implemented to put 6 feet of space between individuals, or encourage them to stay home. Telehealth is bridging the gap by providing virtual care at home for smoother and faster treatment. Whether it’s essential or simply a convenient alternative to an in-office doctor visit, telehealth is improving patient care in several ways.
Increases Access to Healthcare:
for patients living in urban and in rural areas
Faster Diagnosis and Treatment:
studies show a direct correlation between telehealth and faster diagnostic imaging in stroke patients
to patients by treating them safely in the comfort
of their own home
Telehealth is more than just a trend caused by the rise of COVID-19. Patients are noticing the benefits and it’s becoming more common in health systems across the United States. In 2018, the telehealth sector stood at 49.8 billion and has only continued to grow. A recent Global Market Insights report found that telehealth is projected to swell to $130.5 billion by 2025.
Can telehealth prescribe medication?
Before COVID-19, it was required for patients to have at least one in-person appointment with providers before a prescription could be issued. But recent changes have been made by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), that allows DEA-registered physicians to issue prescriptions for all schedule II-V controlled substances via telemedicine under certain conditions. Telehealth patients are now able to receive prescriptions via digital pharmacies or home delivery and since COVID-19, claim lines have increased greatly. In March 2019, telehealth claim lines made up 0.17 percent of all medical claim lines and have since grown by 4,347 percent.
Why Do We Need Telehealth?
Now, more than ever, the demand for healthcare is at an all-time high, hospital space is limited and enabling telehealth professionals to treat patients has been one positive step forward during this difficult time. Telehealth shows the world the future of patient care and it allows health systems to treat more people in a comfortable, remote setting, so they can meet the skyrocketing demand and stop the spread of COVID-19.