TELEHEALTH & TELEMEDICINE DEVELOPMENT
If COVID-19 is affecting your workplace and personal life, you’re not alone. Even before coronavirus, the telemedicine/telehealth sector was up 53%, and represents the fastest-growing place of care, making it one of the few safe silos to invest in during this period of economic uncertainty.
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What is Telemedicine/Telehealth?
Telemedicine (also referred to as telehealth) allows healthcare providers to utilize multiple forms of technology to remotely serve their clients. In many cases, this means telemedicine allows doctors of all specialties to meet with patients over video chat to consult, and even diagnose conditions, without the need for an in-office visit. The telehealth sector has been outpacing every other healthcare vertical as far back as 2017, and we expect this divide to only increase in the wake of COVID-19.
How has Telemedicine/Telehealth been impacted by COVID-19?
As of March 17, 2020, an $8.3 billion funding bill allowed for less stringent restrictions on telemedicine services. Medicare and Medicaid the largest population of US-based health insurance are now authorized to pay for telehealth services. Previously, Medicare could only cover telemedicine visits on a limited basis.
The COVID-19 outbreak has been instrumental in advancing telemedicine policy. Until recently, many insurance providers restricted access to telehealth, but due to the prevalence of Coronavirus, and the national emergency that ensued, federal law now allows doctors to connect with patients using more remote mediums than ever before including non-HIPAA-compliant smartphones and tablets (even FaceTime and Skype).
While the Coronavirus won’t plague the world forever, its implications will be long-lasting. Telemedicine is no doubt the way of the future, and healthcare providers who don’t get on board in 2020 will certainly begin to lose business opportunities as patients seek more flexible providers.
What are the long-term implications for Telemedicine/Telehealth in the US after COVID-19?
The state of the union under COVID-19 has led to federal government officials adjusting their telemedicine stance from acceptable to encouraged as a way to reduce person-to-person contact while allowing for excellent medical advice through a remote medium.
Have KitelyTech Build Your Telehealth/Telemedicine App
At KitelyTech, we specialize in building systems across a wide variety of verticals. For telemedicine, this translates to exceptional business knowledge including HIPAA compliance and best-practices for patient-focused platforms via custom software and mobile applications.
Based on our depth and breadth of experiences in the medical field, we’re also able to deliver on expedited timelines from an initial meeting (for web platforms, custom software, mobile apps) to launching a minimum viable product (MVP) compared to our competitors. We are equipped to help healthcare providers bring a non-HIPAA compliant product to market to capitalize on short-term economic advantages, while also planning for a long-term approach and solution once HIPAA constraints are back in place.
In recent years, telemedicine companies have been optimistic about the government and market shifting towards telehealth solutions. Now that the outdated restrictions are being bypassed in the face of an emergency, it is clear the federal government recognizes telemedicine as a long-term solution, in addition to a more immediate control for COVID-19.
Low risk of contagion
- Telehealth means patients can leverage technology to discuss ailments with doctors remotely
- Telemedicine boasts dramatically lower rates of contagion than those of medical practice waiting rooms
- The average telemedicine visit costs $40 for a patient, compared to $300-$600 for the average uninsured office visit.
- Medical practices save money, too. Fewer in-office patients translate to lower overhead costs
- Medicare and Medicaid both allow for various types of telehealth appointments
- The policies of private insurance providers vary, but all are trending towards accepting and covering telemedicine and telehealth appointments in the near future, if they don’t already
- Many patients who are exhibiting symptoms are unlikely to take time out of their schedule to physically visit their PCP. Telemedicine offers an opportunity for these same patients to receive healthcare consults and treatment
Economic & social productivity
- Telemedicine reduces the spread of infectious diseases and improves the economy. It offers otherwise-reluctant patients the opportunity to both have an infectious disease diagnosed to prevent the spread of said virus and treated to allow the employee to return to work and society as soon as possible
- Patients can save time driving from their place of work to their doctor’s office and back. This will result in fewer sick days in the pursuit of in-office appointments, and more regular conversations with patients about their health
Explore Your Telemedicine/Telehealth Options with Us
At KitelyTech, we can help you explore the telemedicine and telehealth markets. There is a great opportunity for you to create a system that can provide better, more affordable, and more accessible healthcare to people in need. We have the experience, resources, and skills to help you do that. Contact KitelyTech to see how we can help you build a new telemedicine or telehealth app.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Companies with little experience in telehealth and telemedicine systems tend to have a lot of questions. We’ve compiled many of the most common questions that we try to answer to help companies better understand these systems. These questions include:
How can I Get Telemedicine Apps?
There are many telemedicine apps available on the market, and the number is growing thanks to recent changes in health care. It is also possible to have telehealth apps developed for your company. Deciding which option is best for your company depends on your available resources to support such a system.
When Should You Use Telemedicine Services?
The most appropriate time to use a telemed app to access telemedicine services is when you are not able to go to a doctor. This could be because you are unable to travel or you may have a highly infectious disease. Using a telemed app lets you stay isolated while getting the help that you need. However, you can use a telemedicine service any time that you do not need in-person services.
What is an Example of a Telemedicine App?
The best telemedicine app provides users with access to doctors in different specialities with minimal wait times and costs. Users also expect quality in the level of communication. Building the app to support different networks with reliable communication quality improves the overall experience, as well as improves the chances that users will continue to rely on the app when they need service.
What are the pros and cons of telehealth apps?
Telehealth mobile apps have several pros and cons that are worth considering. The most prominent benefit is access to healthcare without going to the doctor. For businesses, that means that there is a lower barrier between customers and care providers, which is one of the reasons why doctors struggle to maintain a constant flow of patients. Another major benefit is the ability to reach a much larger segment of the population since most people have at least one smart-device in their home.
The biggest downside to using telehealth apps is the cost of services. While most apps can be made free for users, the cost of healthcare can still limit their use of the app. It is also a problem that there are many people who are not comfortable using a smart-device. This is a bigger problem for seniors, which is one of the largest groups in need of medical care.
What are the Benefits of Telehealth Apps?
The best telehealth apps make it easy to access healthcare. The process should be as simple as picking up a smart-device and opening the app. This is a major benefit for people who are homebound, too sick to travel on their own, or work odd hours that don’t overlap with available healthcare hours. Telehealth apps can also reduce the cost of healthcare for users and providers. Doctors that primarily work through telehealth apps can have lower overhead costs.
Telehealth apps also extend the reach of healthcare providers to a larger segment of the population. With the need for healthcare increasing, the use of smart-devices makes it possible to reach people who do not have regular access to healthcare.
What are the different types of telemedicine services?
Telemedicine focuses on clinical services, such as seeing a doctor. Most of these apps are telemedicine apps for doctors designed to connect them with their patients. Telehealth app development focuses on other healthcare-related services.
Is there a difference between telehealth and telemedicine?
Telehealth and telemedicine are often used interchangeably, but there is a difference. Telemedicine app development often focuses on creating systems to connect users with physicians. Telehealth app development often focuses on connecting users with healthcare-related services. This could include healthcare training, non-clinical care services, mental health services, and more.
What is the future of telemedicine services?
Telemedicine is becoming widely accepted by many people, governments, and healthcare organizations. Telemedicine software development is becoming a more favored option for development studios looking to have an effect on the healthcare industry. Many experts expect that telemedicine app development will increase dramatically in the near future. Major players, like Google, already have apps on their platforms. For example, Teladoc is available on the Google Play store.