Health Trends Post COVID: A Spotlight on Telemedicine
Access to products and services including healthcare services reduced when coronavirus hit the globe. The count and frequency of patients visiting healthcare facilities went down due to the far-reaching effects of the virus, particularly in public health facilities.
It’s normally hectic, time-consuming, and expensive to visit primary specialists and healthcare facilities in the US. These obstacles can cause inconveniences to ill patients trying to access or get assistance from healthcare providers.

Telemedicine is one the health trends post COVID

But thanks to telehealth and other health trends post COVID, people can get medical assistance remotely. This trend is rapidly transforming medicare to more effective, convenient, faster, inexpensive, and safer solutions.

Most US citizens can now enjoy medicare thanks to telehealth solutions. A recent study indicated that about 90% of health organizations have already started implementing or creating telemedicine programs into their systems.

These organizations include both large and small-scale healthcare providers. But even with the benefits and improvements this tech offers, healthcare providers must take into consideration its challenges and complexities.

Understanding Telemedicine
Gone are the days when patients sat long in waiting rooms before enjoying medical assistance. Today, telehealth offers quick healthcare services to patients from wherever they are.
Telemedicine is an ideal solution for many people, especially those from remote areas lacking adequate medical facilities and services.
Telemedicine has been in use and massively evolving for about a decade now, with North America being the largest market worldwide.
Some of the factors that led to telehealth’s rapid transformation include:

  • A high number of digital users,
  • High costs of traditional healthcare services, and
  • Mobile-health development in medical institutions.

With these trends, healthcare givers can access patients’ medical reports remotely, use more evidence-centred approaches, and interact with other caregivers to develop more informed healthcare strategies and precise diagnoses.

What Are Some Key Health Trends Post COVID?
Here are various telehealth and health trends post COVID:
1. Automated Conversation & Remote Monitoring
Telemedicine enables healthcare providers to treat many people from their homes. With the various smart monitoring gadgets, patients can easily monitor chronic ailments and communicate well with their care providers.
a) Today, caregivers can obtain automated communication devices to remind, discharge, instruct, or coach their patients using mobile alerts, texts, or IVR.
b) Data-mining equipment can pinpoint groups of people in danger, thus enabling healthcare providers to respond in time.
An example of this tool is New York’s COVID-19 Rapid Response Union, which partnered with Amazon to provide notifications via SMS to a population of over 10,000 individuals in case of danger or signs of significant risks.
These tools also improve healthcare aftermaths by reducing absentee appointments, hospitalizations, enhancing adherence to dosages and medical schedules.
According to the current CMS reimbursement rules, physicians should offer close monitoring to individuals with heart-related ailments and chronic problems to help them follow given care plans.
2. Improved Cybersecurity
Since telemedicine is a bigger and crucial part of healthcare, cybersecurity is now a bone of contention. Previously, the healthcare field faced many cyber-attacks, but this reduced when telemedicine chipped in to protect patients’ private data.
Health trends post COVID should prioritize investing in platforms with robust cybersecurity systems to avoid HIPAA violation fines, information breaches, brand embarrassment, and data loss.
Such solutions must meet compliance, privacy standards and regulations, encrypt sensitive information and restore data after power outages and cyber-attacks. Unfortunately, it is difficult to completely prevent hackers from breaching these systems.
Therefore, system managers should react quickly to breaches and prevent their occurrences through regular system updates.
3. Artificial Intelligence Solutions
Telehealth leaders and innovators are developing AI-supported tools to translate medical data into more meaningful and comprehensible insights. Translating data enables them to predict better medical outcomes for easy, precise, and faster treatment plans.
Such information can help diagnose health problems such as cancer, cardiac event, stroke, or mobility complications.
4. Teleparamedicine
Advancements in health tech have enabled medical facilities and emergency responders to link paramedics to cardiologists, neurologists, and other intensive caregivers for expert care. Some conditions, such as sudden cardiac arrest and stroke, require immediate attention for victim survival or recovery.
Teleparamedicine health trends post COVID allow for easy connectivity between victims and highly skilled paramedics before an ambulance arrives.
5. Virtual Solutions
Virtual health innovations are growing more popular as many healthcare organizations rely on telehealth solutions to give high-end care. Innovators and vendors of telemedicine solutions include more sophisticated features and address caregiver as well as patient needs.
Telehealth should now include connective equipment to provide integrated specialty treatment in areas like neurosurgery, rheumatology, endocrinology, dermatology, infectious ailments, and cardiology.
6. Contact Tracing
Contact tracing is a technique used to track and locate infections and minimize spread using Bluetooth-enabled gadgets. Singapore and N. Korea have used this technology, and found it effective.
Nonetheless, it was challenging to immediately initiate this app because of data location disparities with federal healthcare bodies. Even though this innovation had a setback, it was among the best Covid-19 tech-supported programs and can prove useful even post COVID.
7. Increase in Contactless Services & Experiences
Coronavirus made people fear touching exposed surfaces, especially in public areas like hospitals and clinics. Today, most healthcare executives advocate for the contactless experience for both virtual and physical medical appointments.
With new health trends post COVID, workflows within health facilities are more straightforward and simple. Patients can now fill in medical registration documents and related formalities ahead of visits.
Most hospitals now plan to install facial recognition platforms to prevent any form of contact between care providers and patients. Caregivers perform routine valuations virtually because of the several available remotely controlled equipment, a trend expected to grow immensely over time.
8. Consolidation
With the various medical facilities and highly evolving healthcare industry, it’s hard for small-scale providers to expand their reach.
Inconveniences such as stringent regulations, expansion expenses, and high costs of operation are forcing these smaller practices to partner with various telehealth organizations for solutions.
Established health providers can merge with smaller practices to expand their reach or offer more specialized services. At the end of the day, both of these providers will benefit.
The Benefits of Telemedicine Solutions to Healthcare
Telecommunication is not only important to patients but also to health providers and the healthcare industry in general.
Many individuals in the US have encountered difficulties receiving timely and proper healthcare at some point in their life. Telemedicine helps address such issues through convenient, fast, and effecient services available at affordable costs, from their homes.
Some of the benefits patients get from telehealth include;
1. Quick access to healthcare services
Using traditional healthcare services prevented most patients from getting faster assistance due to factors like long waiting hours and overcrowding. In 2017, research indicated that patients’ average duration to wait to see physicians for their first time was at least three weeks.
In 2014, the estimate was 30% less than that of 2017. With the highly ageing population, this situation may continue to get worse. In the US, studies show the population of seniors will rise to about 80 million by 2040.

Health trends post COVID include eliminating waittimes.

With this high population, we must address the issue of doctors shortage. AAMC’s research shows the number of physicians will be approximately 122 000 by 2032.

With telehealth, all these shortages and inconveniences become minimal. Medical formalities that used to take weeks before now can only take days or hours.

Telehealth and other health trends post COVID play a crucial role in ensuring real-time medical assistance delivery and accessibility.

2. Access to digital primary care
Primary care is a crucial aspect of the healthcare field, but the number of providers for this service are reducing. Fifty-six percent of individuals visiting physicians do so because of access to primary care. According to AAMC reports, there will be a drop in primary care specialists by approximately 55,200 physicians.
When this happens, doctors will face increased workloads, and experience delays in healthcare. This will also compromise the quality of treatment and doctor relationships with patients. Telemedicine eliminates such backlogs through the virtual booking of primary care services.
For example, Amwell telehealth organization helps primary caregivers to get in touch with patients through audiovisual solutions for half an hour of appointment booking. The patient must complete a brief questionnaire before accessing this service.
With 98point6, physicians and patients can now communicate the whole day continuously. Such services provide patients with timely and convenient appointment bookings and healthcare check-ins.
3. Easy access to specialists
Usually, it takes more time and additional costs when patients get specialist referrals. With telehealth, these two factors can reduce significantly. In most cases, 40% of referrals are usually unnecessary for various conditions.
Patients can now utilize video consults to interact with their caregivers and specialists online. During such consults, the specialist can assess whether you’ll be needing a physical visit. Doing this saves on other additional expenses and time.
In Los Angeles, telehealth has helped reduce waiting time for patients by 17%, resolving about ¼ of all video consultations without needing a supplement visit. This will change health trends post COVID and make consultations effortless.
4. Equitable care
Due to Factors like expensive healthcare provisions and physicians’ shortage, US citizens get inconsistent and inequitable healthcare. In 2018, the overall US healthcare overheads were $3.6 trillion, which was estimated to grow over time.
High costs of healthcare services enlarge the disparity in healthcare provision between low, medium, and high-class citizens in America. Individuals from rural areas face more challenges because of minimal access to medical services,
Telehealth enables the provision of equitable, affordable, and easily accessible healthcare. Patients can now access high-end doctors online from their home’s comfort through video consults, emails, texts, and remote monitoring regardless of location.
5. Improvement in emergency triage
Time taken in emergency departments is reducible or sometimes avoidable with telehealth. Usually, patients can wait for several hours in emergency rooms due to factors like the high number of cases for which some might be unnecessary.
Such delays can cause severe effects on extremely ill patients requiring immediate assistance. There are telehealth solutions that enable physicians to evaluate those patients requiring attention sooner. Examples of these solutions are Galileo Health and Amwell.

Health trends post COVID include improvement triage.

Using these technologies allows patients to know if they need to visit physicians or not, thus minimizing congestions in emergency rooms.

Other solutions can help streamline healthcare procedures and ensure too ill patients get proper attention. The Presbyterian hospital in New York utilizes a telehealth-supported technology called Express Care Service to determine less in-need patients.

These patients are then taken to a separate chamber and get assistance from other ER doctors through video consults. By doing so, this hospital has been able to minimize patients’ ER waiting time by over an hour and focus more on the most in-need individuals.
6. Improvement in medical outcomes
Health trends post COVID have highly improved medical outcomes of patients after treatments. These outcomes benefit patients through cost reduction due to shorter hospitalization periods and low readmission probabilities.
Healthcare givers can also use telehealth during surgeries and ICU setting situations to analyze data and patients’ movements for apt and effective interventions. There are many testimonials of reduction in complications, hospitalization dates, and overall charge when doctors use tele-ICU solutions.
With these solutions, caregivers can monitor their patients remotely to ensure they follow routines appropriately, thus getting better outcomes and preventing extra costly readmissions.
Telehealth startups such as mHealth aid with safe and efficient collection of patients’ data. Other inventions like Scanwell Health help physicians to test patients remotely. Studies show that such tools have been significantly reducing rates of admission for cardiac patients.
7. Low level of infection rates
Coronavirus gave people and healthcare providers the true picture of the extremity of how contagious outbreaks can shake their lives. Hospital beds and waiting bays were full of Covid-19 victims, putting more odds of contracting the virus.
With telemedicine, victims can get assistance using contactless approaches to diagnose, treat, and triage patients during pandemics. Telehealth trends post coronavirus provide a basis for how to handle possible future outbreaks.
8. Use of telemedicine-supported triage
Tele-based healthcare triages reduce unnecessary hospital visits. Physicians can now triage and examine patients remotely, and if the symptoms don’t require physical visitation, they use remote monitoring and treatment methods to provide medical assistance.
This technique was effective, particularly during the pandemic. It helped minimize contact thus reducing infectious rates. Tele-ICU innovations maximize ICU unit use by allowing a small group of ICU specialists to attend to about 150 patients remotely.
These tools alert caregivers whenever complications arise, allowing them to act sooner. Attending to patients sooner encourages quick recovery, thus, reducing their hospitalization time. This creates more space for other patients hence saving more lives.
9. Improvement in the management of chronic ailments
Chronic diseases are the leading contributors to mortality rates in the US, using more than 70% of the total healthcare budget. More than 50% of American citizens suffer from a chronic condition, which is likely to aggravate over time.
Managing these conditions hasn’t been easy for most individuals. But with the effects it causes and the population of people having it, everyone needs to prioritize its control and prevention.
Chronic conditions usually aggravate gradually. Therefore, it’s crucial for victims to get constant care from their caregivers or specialists to help them manage it, take care of anomalies, and offer proper guidance towards healing and health improvement.
Managing this condition with telehealth isn’t a hassle like when using traditional means. Using telehealth solutions motivates them to be proactive in managing the disease through channelled therapies and other educational resources.
10. Continuous care provision
Some conditions, such as chronic ailments, vary depending on the victim. Therefore, it’s best for all chronic ailment patients to keep close track of their state through a vivid understanding of proper lifestyle to lead and possible symptoms, including those requiring hospital visits.
All these requirements are simple when using guided therapies offering patients updated and efficient info concerning their conditions. Programs such as Livongo provide diabetic victims with management tips, information, and reminders to manage their target sugar levels.
Physicians get all data about their patients. When sugar levels drop or rise, the victim receives check-in calls or SMS and is advised on what to do. Using telehealth enables a continuous healthcare provision, thus improving medical outcomes in many affordable ways.
Benefits to Healthcare Givers and Insurers
Besides patients, telemedicine offers benefits to health insurers and providers. Some of the benefits insurers and healthcare providers get from new health trends post COVID include;
1. Improved efficiency and reduced costs
Most healthcare organizations and patients incur losses because of inefficient healthcare services. For example, Medicare uses about $17 yearly due to avoidable readmissions. UnitedHealth Group uses $32 on unnecessary visits to the emergency department.
Studies indicate that more than 21 beds in health centers are usually misused, putting patients in riskier situations and draining organizational resources.
All these unnecessary costs are preventable with the utilization of various telehealth solutions. -Remote monitoring, televisits, guided therapy, and video consult apps reduce patients’ frequencies of using in-person visits since they give them the necessary information to manage their health conditions.
2. Optimization of inpatient care
Patients staying for more extended periods in hospitals can be extra costly to the organization. Healthcare providers can utilize telehealth to minimize patients’ stays by discharging non-acute patients to receive additional care at home.
An example of this solution is Biofourmis, an AI-based system meant to monitor and care for cardiac patients remotely. The user wears it in his/her arms to monitor his/her state by detecting abnormalities and then alerting their caregivers for immediate intervention.
The utilization of such technologies helps to minimize strains and avoidable admissions in hospitals. Cutting on these two expenses helps healthcare organizations save a significant amount of money.
For example, in 2012, the Veterans Health Association saved about $1B because of a 25% and 19% reduction in stay periods and admissions, respectively.
3. Retrieval of lost revenue
Most hospitals lose revenue due to various reasons like network leakage, no-show appointments, and patients’ attrition. Annually, hospitals lose customers by around 17%. Reducing this amount of attrition can be useful in boosting organizational revenues and acquisition rates.
Patients failing to show up during appointments can be a hindrance to the hospital revenue accumulation. Annually, the healthcare industry loses about $150 due to no-show appointments. Healthcare providers suffer a 10% loss yearly due to patient attrition.
Most patients miss appointments due to travel expenses, limited time, long waits, and other reasons, hindering them from attending the meetings, particularly for rural and lower-income individuals.
With telehealth, healthcare organizations can cut down on such losses through the improvement of healthcare experience. When patients get the attention and expertise they need, the retention rate will also be high.
Other crucial processes like referrals are now accessible and quick with telehealth, making patients stay connected with their providers.
4. New customer acquisition, revenue streams, and patient satisfaction
With telehealth trends post COVID, acquiring new customers, revenue streams, and satisfying customers is simple. Hospitals can now reach those patients with difficulty accessing health services remotely.
Most patients have said they enjoy and get more satisfied when using telehealth solutions due to their easy accessibility and convenience. A clinic reported a 50% decrease in no-show appointments when they started using Amwell startup on the telepsychiatry implementation program.
Health organizations can extend to reach by using telemedicine solutions to get more customers, which will, in turn, improve their revenue.
Finally on Healthcare Trends Post COVID
Telemedicine is one of the biggest health trends post COVID. It is snowballing with many people continuing to adopt the approach. This momentum will continue to grow onwards while redefining the healthcare industry’s landscape to be more efficient, safer, and reliable.
In the future, telehealth technologies should turn around healthcare in more remarkable ways. However, establishing these solutions still proves to be complex; therefore, every stakeholder in the healthcare industry has a role to play in ensuring these techs grow fully and save the world.