HIT CONSULTANT — Anthony Pannozzo, frog’s global health lead and chief design officer for North America & Aisa, shares three steps for how new digital tools will revolutionize care.
The impact of COVID-19 on the healthcare industry’s ability to innovate has been stunning. We have seen FDA emergency authorizations and relaxed regulatory guidelines enable the development of radical new ventilator ideas, accelerated timelines for vaccine development, and an extraordinary transition to telehealth services. Many of these actions were a response to the exposure of weak spots in our healthcare system, but even as those weaknesses have been shored up (in large part due to public health orders on masks, social distancing, and limits on gatherings), the use of telehealth visits is showing remarkable staying power.
New data from IQVIA shows that as states have reopened, telehealth visits have remained up by 2,500% from their pre-COVID levels. While it is clear people have experienced convenience benefits from telehealth visits, telehealth will likely remain a dominant channel of communication between patients and their healthcare providers (HCPs) after HIPPA compliance is reinstated. This presents a huge opportunity for HCPs and payers. Now that we have the attention of clinicians and patients, the telehealth channel has the potential to expand beyond “virtual visits.” The sheer volume of data generated through this channel, integrated with clinical and claims data, has the potential to create value that extends into wellness and prevention, as well as care management and treatment. In addition to the potential benefits for individual patients, digital health solutions keep people out of the clinic and help keep our most vulnerable communities safe.
As the rules of the new normal continue to be written, we believe HCPs and payers should reframe telehealth from the digitization of the old model and see it as the epicenter of the future of healthcare.