Telemedicine has quickly become the norm, and it's no secret why. Thanks to advances in wireless technology along with the genesis of COVID-19, the door was opened for any business that was already on the precipice of exploding. More people opt to utilize telehealth services daily over traditional, in-person office visits. That can be attributed to convenience, cost-effectiveness, and people being more willing to embrace technology. Is telehealth here to stay permanently, or will it slowly fizzle out as society acclimates back to life before the pandemic?
It's known from historical events that technology rapidly improves over time, and healthcare technology is no exception. After two years of people abiding by stay-at-home government orders, their reality and day-to-day lives became digitized. Whether working from home, purchasing more products on Amazon, or ordering food online. With the convenience of telemedicine, if you need a doctor's checkup, you can meet via secure video conference on your smartphone or computer anytime. Technology is changing healthcare from all directions, from appointment bookings to the appointment itself. EHR programs like TriMed EHR offer a private and secure telehealth platform, which is easy to use and allows for seamless scheduling. Therefore, it saves you on travel time and expenses while maximizing convenience.
While on the subject of technological advancements, you no longer need to use a computer with a clunky, rudimentary camera setup to be able to video chat. Smartphones, iPads, tablets, & laptops are easily attainable and affordable depending on the product model. In addition, almost all of those listed smart devices have video chatting capabilities at the touch of your fingertips.
Regulatory barriers involving healthcare that would have taken years to change were seemingly resolved in days. Video conferences with a physician weren't always HIPPA compliant, causing physicians to usually only participate in telehealth services with known patients (patients who had several visits already) as opposed to new patient appointments. If those rules stayed in place during the pandemic, it would cause various unnecessary issues regarding COVID-19 testing and treatment.
Thankfully, many barriers preventing people from remotely consulting their doctors were loosened and/or lifted — and those changes seem to be permanent.
Before the pandemic, physicians were paid less for telehealth visits than in-office visits. Insurance reimbursement was only available for a limited number of patients, resulting in some physicians not getting paid. Therefore, there wasn't much of an incentive for doctors to fully adopt and implement telemedicine services. However, with the onset of COVID-19 and social distancing measures, in-office visits were left in the rearview, and the rest was history.