Telehealth services are a common outcome of this generation's reliance on technology. With the ability to stay connected through mobile phones, emails, tablets or laptops, some in the healthcare sector have provided patients the capacity to visit their doctor virtually.
However, the success rate of telehealth has been up for debate. Some see it as a savior for those with busy schedules while others feel that a physician needs to see patients in person. Healthcare IT News reported that Humana, a health insurance company, and Intel-GE Care Innovation, a provider of technology solutions, have come together to offer statistical evidence that telehealth services can be successful.
Humana Cares, a chronic condition management division, has used the technological products of Intel-GE Care Innovation to monitor and treat 1,000 patients with heart failures through a home-based telehealth system.
"As we are removing these devices from the home, we are really seeing how connected the members are to their devices and how connected they are to the nurse [who are assigned to the system]," Kate Marcus, clinical operations manager for Humana Cares, told the news source. "Members really liked the opportunity to see and interact with a nurse ... and the nurses liked that as well ... It may make sense to put something in place and keep it in place in the future."
Research data provided in 2011 by the Centers for Disease Control shows that home-based telemedicine could save the healthcare sector as much as $7 billion annually by reducing the number of emergency room visits.
Healthcare providers that wish to cut costs are advised to partner with a healthcare IT consulting specialist to ensure a proper deployment of telehealth systems.