Recent years show the rapid consumerization of healthcare. Its most evident signs are the development of patient centric care and the change of healthcare consumer attitudes. For example, numerous surveys show that the events of 2020 have made patients more engaged in medical services. Here are some numbers that prove it.
Such numbers show that the medical industry is changing. Healthcare businesses should adapt to these shifts to stay competitive.
Don’t know how to get along with the consumerization of healthcare? We're ready to share our expertise to help you. Read our new material to understand the essentials of consumer healthcare and how to build telehealth software that fits its requirements.
What is a Consumer-driven Virtual Healthcare?
In brief, the consumerization of healthcare is a shift of the industry focus to the individual consumer rather than the market as a whole. Medical clients are no longer viewed as patients. Instead, they become consumers for businesses providing medical services. Hence, healthcare companies apply more client-specific virtual healthcare technology targeting and become more focused on marketing their telemedicine services. The fundamental aspects of such patient centric healthcare are patient engagement and disease prevention.
Let's start with patient engagement. There are many ways in which patients can participate in the healthcare process more actively. Here are the most valuable aspects of consumer health engagement:
- Willingness to disagree with a doctor;
- Engagement in healthy behavior and disease prevention;
- Active tracking of their health conditions;
- Continuous update of their health data records and medical documentation.
Consumer health aims to create a health-aware and proactive medical client. It has to be a person who views healthcare companies as ordinary service providers rather than organizations that offer on-demand emergency care.
When it comes to disease prevention, consumerization enhances telehealth technologies that continuously monitor consumer health. The ultimate goal of consumer-driven virtual telehealth is to raise customer medical awareness. This means that they continuously use virtual healthcare services instead of referring to them only in case of health issues.
5 Tips for Implementing Consumer Telemedicine Advantages
The consumerization of virtual healthcare technologies creates new demands for medical businesses. Here are some relevant suggestions on consumer health technologies that help you ensure patient centric care.
1.Establish IoT systems
Implement one of the main telemedicine advantages, namely the possibility to provide healthcare services remotely. Remote patient monitoring updates doctors about any changes in the patient's condition. The patient should record their health parameters with IoT devices and send such measures to the doctor. With remote health systems, patients are more likely to receive help on time since there is no need to wait for in-person doctor appointments. Due to such benefits and convenient user experience, IoT technologies are rapidly embracing the consumer health industry. Studies show that third to half of the medical customers are comfortable using at-home diagnostics for various reasons.
2.Provide the Patients with Access to Health Data
Since 5 April 2021, healthcare businesses must comply with the ONC Information Blocking provision. It requires health IT developers and medical service companies to provide patients with the covered by USCDI data upon request. Here is the list of such data types.
Follow the FHIR data exchange standard to meet this provision. The standard allows healthcare consumers to access the required data smoothly and securely. FHIR also defines a specific format in which patients receive health data records, which ensures data consistency in virtual healthcare technology.
3.Build Virtual Telehealth Communication Channels
Establish telehealth communication channels to help your clients stay in touch with doctors. The best solution is to integrate these communication channels into your consumer health software. The most popular option is introducing a message center. Apart from chatting, healthcare consumers and practitioners can use it for sharing files and relevant images.
Some virtual telehealth businesses apply in-app video chats. In some cases, such video meetings can even replace traditional in-person meetings of a doctor and a patient. However, such a solution requires high software productivity. Most healthcare companies refer to third-party video conference platforms, such as Skype, Google Meet, and Zoom. Implement an in-app video conference feature only if you cannot rely on third-party tools because of security concerns.
4.Ensure Interoperability of Virtual Healthcare
Make all virtual telemedicine apps work as the elements of a single system. This will ensure more efficient interaction between patient apps and practitioner software, such as healthcare management platforms and EHR databases. Therefore, the interoperability of telehealth technologies facilitates the consumerization of healthcare by enforcing patient engagement.
To build healthcare interoperability, use common data formats for all applications within your system. It is one more case when FHIR may help. By adhering to this standard, you ensure efficient and safe data exchange between various virtual telemedicine apps. In addition, FHIR allows you to achieve essential for the consumer health industry regulatory compliance.
5.Launch Virtual Nursing Assistants
Implement virtual nursing assistants to add informative value to your products. This will help you respond to some basic needs of healt service consumers. Virtual nursing assistants are rule-based or AI-driven analytics and information systems designed to improve the quality of patient centric care. In most cases, those are bots capable of conducting patient wellness checks and communicating with consumers of virtual telehealth services. The use of such technologies facilitates disease prevention. They provide a personalized experience to medical customers and minimize the need for in-person medical appointments.
Now, you know about the most valuable telehealth and technology features that help you build patient centric healthcare. This brings you great chances to thrive in the consumer healthcare industry. Unfortunately, the lack of technical expertise may become an insurmountable obstacle for your adaptation to the industry demands.
The best solution is to let experienced software engineering specialists handle the development of custom consumer health solutions. Binariks is ready to facilitate your plans. We have significant expertise in custom telehealth and technology development. Check our portfolio to know about Binariks virtual healthcare technology projects.
Contact us to build consumer-driven patient centric healthcare solutions together!