Virtual healthcare is closer than you think

In case you missed it, at the tailend of 2014, Price Waterhouse Cooper released a study about the future of digital technology in healthcare.

Tara Courtland

Communications Director Tara Courtland

PwC’s Health Research Institute surveyed 1,000 healthcare providers and industry leaders and came up with some predictions for the near future. Based on the results, patients could see e-visits, apps and at-home tests replacing some office visits relatively soon.

The study concluded that:

  • About 42 percent of physicians are comfortable relying on at-home test results to prescribe medication.
  • Half of physicians said that e-visits could replace more than 10 percent of in-office patient visits, and nearly as many consumers indicated they would communicate with caregivers online.
  • Roughly two-thirds of physicians said they would prescribe a mobile-device app to help patients manage chronic diseases such as diabetes.
  • Nearly half of consumers and 79 percent of physicians believe using mobile devices can help clinicians better coordinate care.

While these and similar digital advances have long been discussed as possibilities, the high percentage of providers and patients who say they are already comfortable with using them is a good indication that they’re not far off.

Regulatory changes would be needed for most of these tech-based treatments, of course, but a strong push by providers and healthcare executives could get these types of advances approved and running in comparatively short order. The financial savings to both patients and providers would be enormous.

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About Tara Courtland

Tara Courtland is the communications director at NEMT.
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