Transforming Population Health Through Telehealth & Remote Tools

10 health experts weigh in on the tools and technology impacting population health.

While not a new concept, remote care and telehealth took the spotlight during the COVID-19 pandemic. By all accounts, distance care outperformed expectations and will remain an integral part of the healthcare landscape.

Still, there are questions about what's next for digital tools in population health. How can telehealth and at-home health care solutions improve patient health? Should providers and payers work together to improve access to telehealth and remote care?

We rounded up answers to these and other questions from ten industry leaders representing different aspects of the care continuum.

Robert Kaul

CEO of Cloud DX

LinkedIn | Twitter

Access to, and use of, home-healthcare is mediated by a complex back-and-forth between providers and payers. Typically, a new home health technology like virtual care will find support from a single type of payer in a limited use case. Once it proves efficacious, it may be requested by wider groups of providers. There's a lot of inertia in this ebb-and-flow. Payers need to see that they will be getting better value with the new care mode—providers will not embrace the new mode until they are paid to do so.

The pandemic turned this endless dance on its head by restricting the previous face-to-face modes of delivering care, leaving virtual care modes as the only option. This led to payers removing restrictions on delivering care virtually during the public health crisis. Providers—even those skeptical of the new care mode—were forced to try it by these new circumstances. It turned out that the research on virtual care was broadly correct—as a care mode it is more efficient and easier to use than the status quo ante. Therefore, we now see virtual care becoming standard, possibly many years earlier than it would have been without the COVID pandemic.

Cloud DX provides patient monitoring hardware, software and recurring revenue services in a frictionless, reimbursable transaction model, coupled with a sales strategy that's driving rapid adoption among global healthcare providers.

Kasparas Aleknavičius, MD

Head of Medical Affairs at Kilo Health

LinkedIn | Twitter

Depending on the context, remote care solutions usually tend to give actionable insight for the patient to act upon. They are usually straightforward, possess lower risk, and often are tied to the behavior change of the specific patient. That's why remote care solutions assess patients with many questionnaires and requests to input the data—so they can digest everything and give recommendations.

Last but not least, remote care solutions offer education and guidance. When the person is newly diagnosed, he may know next to nothing about his own condition. Mobile apps, in this case, offer scientifically correct but easy-to-understand information about the condition. It is always connected with the guidance part and leads to daily readings, tasks to complete, and medication reminders.

This all results in patient empowerment: the patient slowly becomes an expert on the condition he is living with, and moreover, he becomes knowledgeable to take specific actions, interpret his own symptoms and feelings and take his own desired action to solve them.

Kilo Health develops digital lifestyle interventions that lead to a healthier life by preventing, managing, or treating various health conditions.

Matthew Fisher

General Counsel at Carium

LinkedIn | Twitter

Remote care should be seen as just another form of healthcare and not a replacement for other means of delivering care. If that perspective can be adopted, namely the establishment of a revised continuum of care, then clear opportunities for better collaboration can occur. To a degree, it also involves letting remote care evolve over time as real-world use informs better approaches. A key is letting that evolution occur and not allowing unknown fears to get in the way.

Carium offers flexible telehealth and remote patient monitoring platform that enables providers to deliver relationship-based, digital care at scale across multiple clinical specialties.

Sonny Kohli, MD

ICU/Critical Care Doctor and Chief Medical Officer of Cloud DX

LinkedIn | Twitter

Improved and more consistent monitoring reduces the likelihood that complications turn into emergent cases. Clinicians can see irregular trends and become involved earlier and should concerns ever arise, care escalations from patient to care teams are much quicker and more efficient. We all know that prevention and proactive care is the best healthcare we can have; this is especially so for aging in place, post-surgical monitoring, and chronic illness care—all cases where we want to reduce exacerbations, admissions, and/or re-admissions.

Patients can also experience better mental health. Increased accessibility connects the doctors and patients much more closely. Patients feel comfortable and assured they're being monitored and experience less anxiety. Of course, this is increasingly important for patients whose mental or physical health makes leaving one's home a challenging event.

Cloud DX provides patient monitoring hardware, software and recurring revenue services in a frictionless, reimbursable transaction model, coupled with a sales strategy that's driving rapid adoption among global healthcare providers.

John Lynn

Founder and Chief Editor at Healthcare IT Today

LinkedInTwitter

Technology has bridged the communication gap for patients. Even the senior population has proven that they can use technology as part of their care. Prior to the technology we have today, we had to do episodic visits in the office. Technology is turning that paradigm on its head as care for a patient, collecting patients' health info, and influencing a patient can happen 24/7—and not just in episodic visits to the clinic.

The other advantage of technology is that it can scale to the problem. We don't have enough clinical professionals to be able to monitor all patients 24/7. However, technology can scale to that problem and escalate patients to humans as human intervention is necessary. Without technology, we couldn't even be considering this type of approach to care.

Healthcare IT Today is an online publication that provides Healthcare and Health IT commentary and answers the unasked questions about current healthcare trends.

Jeff Bowman

Marketing Manager at RemetricHealth

LinkedInTwitter

Equally as important as the implementation of telehealth is a reliable platform for monitoring vital patient biometrics. While video captures visual signs of illness and stress, real-time monitoring of vital signs — blood pressure, oxygen saturation, air capacity, etc. — can transform telehealth from a stopgap measure to a long-term, viable healthcare solution.

RemetricHealth helps physician groups, hospitals, home health agencies and payers improve patient outcomes and achieve strategic goals by closely monitoring symptoms, vital signs and medication adherence between healthcare visits, alerting healthcare providers if intervention is needed.

Nancy Mimm, DNP

Assistant Professor of Population Health Nursing at Harrisburg University

LinkedIn

Telehealth is a valuable tool that helps create equality in access to care and allows real-time access to treatment, preventative care, and health education for all ages. At-home care is vital to improving health outcomes. An at-home environment reduces unnecessary exposure to other illnesses and reduces the cost of care. At-home care also improves both health and well-being by allowing providers to teach clients in their own homes will they will need to continue to care for themselves and their families.

Harrisburg University offers a variety of degree programs in science and technology.

Matt Grammer, LPCC-S

Founder and CEO of Kentucky Counseling Center

LinkedIn

As a licensed therapist and owner of a mental health company that operates with Telehealth, I am really excited about the opportunity to offer patients remote care solutions. Oftentimes when people are dealing with a mental health issue such as anxiety or depression, leaving the house to seek therapy can be an added challenge.

Since we've introduced Telehealth services, we've been able to serve more patients, hire more therapists, and have even started expanding to other states. It's incredibly important for people to be able to find the care they need in the most convenient way possible.

Kentucky Counseling Center is one of the largest online mental health companies in the southeast US.

Maddy Bjorklund

Healthcare Consultant at Concord

LinkedIn

Telehealth, remote monitoring, remote, and dialogue are, in essence, options to keep people healthy and stable, so they don't end up tripping into something that does require a clinic visit. There's a flavor of this that can be very proactive. And there's certainly a convenience factor.

Supporting these channels is an opportunity to exercise population health to the nth degree. It can help get away from a system that sees patients on a one-by-one basis, on a schedule, taking up time, taking up bricks and mortar.

Concord is a business consultancy solving problems with strategy, design, and, most importantly, technology.

Yonatan Adiri

Founder and CEO of Healthy.io

LinkedInTwitter

The world is depending on us—the healthcare industry—to bring creative and accessible solutions that will improve the health of our communities. This year, we have to widen our lens to make sure the health disparities gap doesn't keep growing beyond repair.

Healthy.io is the first company to receive FDA class II approval for a smartphone-enabled urine test. The urine test can be used at home to identify chronic kidney disease.

Interested in More Expert Insights About Remote Patient Monitoring and Telehealth?

Our latest ebook Bridging to Better Population Health includes insights into how providers and payers can use technology to optimize the ways they serve their shared populations. In addition to remote tools and telehealth, the ebook also discusses the topics of population health, price transparency, payer and provider data and technology.

 Click below to download the ebook Bridging to Better Population Health.

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