Stronger relationships and stable care through Telehealth
The traditional health journey typically began with a patient’s personal visit to a primary care provider, who would then refer the patient to a specialist as needed. However, the use of telesealth, especially during the pandemic, has begun to adjust this journey.
“There used to be this notion that telesealth is transactional; it’s for things like emergency care where I do not have to know who the person at the other end of the call or screen is, I just have a specific short need to get help, ”says Holliday.“ I think the biggest shift that has happened is that people are realizing that you can actually perform relationship-based ongoing care through telesealth. That shift has now made consumers more comfortable with telecommunications health, providers are more comfortable, and it has created a whole host of companies redesigning their care and saying that it should all be telecommunications health first for the things where it is appropriate. “
Virtual-first healthcare companies market directly to consumers and offer a more personal, digitally enabled start to the care journey. Patients can easily hop on a telesealth visit in the middle of a workday instead of driving two hours to see a specialist.
DISCOVER: Learn how healthcare organizations can benefit from a virtual care workshop.
A virtual-first approach to health care promotes teamwork
A virtual-first approach to health care also promotes coordinated, team-based strategies. Companies like Virta and Onduo use remote monitoring tools for patients, a digital platform and a care team to deal with chronic diseases like diabetes.
A digitally connected care team supports a more holistic approach to health, Holliday adds. Instead of a specialist, a dietitian, and a psychologist joining a single patient’s treatment, a virtual-first-approach approaches collaboration to provide a seamless patient experience.
“We build a team-based model where our providers regularly communicate with each other about individual members and teams to say what’s going on? How do we get these things resolved by using each of us in our specialized capabilities?” says Holliday. Oshi Health’s integrated care team includes a gastroenterologist, a registered dietitian and a health coach.
Virtual mental health platform Ginger, which merged with Headspace earlier this year to form Headspace Health, has announced its use of data and analytics to support its providers.
“Traditionally, in mental health care, most providers operate solely with subpar technology to manage their practices and measure the effectiveness of their treatment,” said Dana Udall, chief clinical officer at Headspace Health. “Our providers join a collaborative technology-backed team that enables them to do more of what they love and are best at, and to scale high-quality care. The backbone of our system utilizes artificial intelligence and machine learning to enable collaborative, measurement-based mental health care. “