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Written By Guest Author: Dr. Ari Bernstein
Being a doctor requires me to be proactive in seeking ways to improve patient care. Covid-19 has allowed me to observe the shifts in my industry because of telehealth, a particular interest of mine. In addition to the advancement of telehealth, there are other ways in which healthcare may be changing due to Covid-19 and other influences.
How Covid-19 Has Changed Telehealth
Doctors have had to find ways to adapt during the pandemic to allow us to continue to see patients while also protecting both them and ourselves. The use of telehealth methods, offering patients phone and video consultations, is one of the ways this has been achieved. Telehealth is nothing new, but patients have often been wary of choosing it over an in-person visit to see their doctor. However, Covid-19 has led to people taking up telehealth appointments on a much wider scale.
Telehealth offers a range of benefits, from the reduced risk of infection, to a lack of travel time when seeking healthcare. The availability of telehealth is now much more expansive, and more patients are using it. Thus, although people will want to get back to seeing healthcare professionals in person, many are sure to continue to use telehealth services to help them manage their health. According to one estimate, there could be a 4,000% increase in telehealth claims nationwide.
Changes to Regulations
In the past few months, regulatory bodies have had to show more flexibility in order to take quick action against the pandemic. For example, the FDA released new formal guidance on virtual clinical trials in March, which may lead to more virtual trials after the pandemic. This is not to say all of these trials will be successful — however, reaching this point already marks a big advancement in telehealth as an industry, and offers a significant amount of growth potential in the future.
Expanded Healthcare Availability
It’s possible that the lessons learned from the pandemic might mean expanding healthcare accessibility. The availability of government-sponsored programs could be on the rise, moving slightly further away from private healthcare.
The healthcare industry might also find potential to improve data access, thanks to Covid-19. The pandemic forced the recording and sharing of data to become more efficient, while still maintaining patient privacy as an utmost priority. One result of this increase in efficiency may be further and faster development of patient data, making it easier for doctors to share information and for researchers to study data analytics.
The future of healthcare should be centered around optimization and efficiency. In these interesting times, pressure may force a large amount of adaptation, including the rise and improvement of telehealth, which has the potential to be a big player in the future of healthcare.
Dr. Ari Bernstein’s bio:
• Bestselling author with Jack Canfield for their book “Success Formula”, and has been featured on Entrepreneur Magazine, Yahoo Finance, Market Watch, CBS, NBC, Fox, IBT, and Wall Street Journal.
• Board-certified internal medicine physician and has experience in emergency medicine, primary care, urgent care, sports medicine, pain management, nutrition as well as health and wellness.
• Investor and on the advisory board for Fruit Street Health, a CDC endorsed virtual diabetes prevention program that helps people lose excess weight and decrease their risk for type 2 diabetes.
• Dr Bernstein assisted Fruit Street as an investor and advisor for CovidMD, a telehealth company for patients to be assessed from the safety and privacy of their homes.