For a very brief period of time, there was an excitement around the minidisc, a more compact form of a CD, and why not?
It was easier to carry around and for a quick second, it even seemed like it hit a great consumer need. However, it failed quickly, easily outperformed by MP3s and similar devices.
It soon became a symbol for products that meet the need “half way”- this innovation was not the right solution as it only addressed a small part of the problem.
I’m here to claim that while current telemedicine has met some needs, it is still in its “minidisc version”, driven by the immediate challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. In my opinion, Telemedicine still doesn’t address the needs it should in order to meet its full potential- Effectiveness.
First came the pandemic. Telemedicine has made a great deal of change in patients’ and physician lives by improving accessibility and keeping the population safe. Beyond accessibility, Telemedicine has the opportunity to leverage technology to touch on an even bigger healthcare need which is to standardize care and help physicians make more informed clinical decisions.
Second came the perks. Physicians who see patients save some of their commute time and can juggle a few Telemedicine positions in parallel. However, there's no change in the effectiveness of the visit and treatment itself. If anything, some parts of the visit became even more challenging to handle remotely.
The question post pandemic remains-
How can Telemedicine evolve into a sustainable viable way of delivering healthcare?
I think the answer relies on increasing effectiveness by closing actual clinical loops.
Legislation aside, to make an actual change with Telemedicine, healthcare providers will have to adopt technological solutions that are clinically proven and efficient, yet light on integration so they can actually close clinical and workflow loops.
One of the ways Kahun helps healthcare organizations make their Telemedicine services more efficient is by closing the clinical loop of the patient intake. Our customers’ patients use online clinical assessments which are then available to their physicians in a structured way prior to the virtual visit. The entire clinical assessment is evidence-based and is referenced to medical sources, thus supporting more informed clinical decisions and increasing the efficiency of the patient-physician encounter.
If you work for a health organization that operates Telemedicine services, make sure you take the MP3 mindset (or why not, even better the Apple Music mindset!) by adopting technological solutions. It makes all the difference.