Digital healthcare is not new, however, it continues to grow through health tools such as wearables (think Fitbit), patient web portals, telemedicine and the rise of AI.
What is Digital Healthcare?
Digital healthcare can be summed up as the use of a digital tool that helps connect patients to their medical providers, or provides patients with the resources they need to make better decisions about their health. While digital healthcare may not completely replace the in-person doctor’s visit, it continues to disrupt the industry – especially with innovations and improvements in augmented and virtual reality.
What do all of these digital solutions have in common? Besides saving the healthcare industry billions of dollars, they are based on the need to provide patients with quality service in the most convenient and efficient way possible.
When you know what your patients want and need, even when they don’t, you are able to provide better service and better quality of life. One way to accomplish this is through patient satisfaction surveys. Patient satisfaction surveys have been used for many years to determine gaps in hospitals and healthcare systems services. While there are more structured surveys available that hospitals use to measure data, more and more hospitals and private clinics are using digital survey tools to conduct brief post-visit surveys to gauge a patient’s experience. As a result, these clinics get real-time results and are able to make changes sooner, no matter how small.
Survey tools are just one digital solution to getting quick patient feedback. Take a look at some of these other trends in digital healthcare that also improve the patient experience:
Patients who are looking for more one-on-one time with their physician in a safe and private environment can visit their doctor via mobile or web app. One such app, Maven, has patients use either their smartphone or computer to sign into a virtual clinic where they have access to a practitioner. Doctors can even prescribe medications through the app, which will be sent to the patient’s pharmacy.
Another example of this is the Doctor on Demand app. Doctor on Demand can provide urgent care, as well as preventative and behavioral health treatments. Their services are available through either video chat, messenger, or by phone call.
If a patient chooses not to speak directly to a doctor, mobile apps like these also provide a wealth of resources backed by medical professionals. So if a patient decides to self-manage their health and look for answers on their own, they can feel confident they are finding the right information.
Facetime With Your Therapist
Therapist appointments can often be tough to schedule, especially when you’re in urgent need of counseling. Mobile apps like Talkspace and Breakthrough provide therapy through one-on-one video chat. This technology has made it possible for patients to speak to a behavioral therapist whenever they want, from anywhere. What’s more, patients can talk to a licensed therapist for a set price a week, no insurance or referral necessary.
The biggest draw of these apps is convenience and accessibility. Patients can speak to someone they trust without having to drive to a physical location and clinics save money on waiting room costs and missed appointments.
Prescriptions Without a Doctor’s Visit
Now that consumer driven companies are entering the healthcare markets, prescriptions are becoming available without a doctor’s visit. Nurx provides prescriptions such as birth control and home testing kits and delivers them directly to the patient’s door. Backed by a team of real doctors, this digital solution once again eliminates the extra step of going to a clinic, but still provides the oversight required by a licensed doctor.
According to Forbes, blockchain is an emerging trend in healthcare as it can enable efficient healthcare data sharing. This is especially useful when patients switch providers and no longer have access to their past records. Blockchain can automatically retrieve patient history to give their new physicians a complete medical history. It is also said to improve upon security issues, keep patient records and data in one place.
Patient Satisfaction Survey Tools
As mentioned earlier, digital survey tools are a great way of gauging the services that mean the most to your patients. They are also useful when determining what kind of care your staff and doctors should be providing. Our clients in the healthcare industry prefer to use surveys to gauge patient’s reactions to new offerings and often use it to eliminate some of their lesser performing services.
Digital healthcare solutions empower customers to take control of their own health, without ever needing to step foot in the doctor’s office. While some patients prefer the in-person experience because they believe it to be more personal, there is something to be said for one-on-one face time with your doctor, especially if it’s in the environment of your choosing. And from the looks of it, digital clinics and scheduled consultations from a smartphone are only going to get more popular.