Top 10 Telehealth Technologies That Will Revolutionize The Patient Experience

The COVID-19 pandemic triggered explosive growth for telehealth, with virtual visits skyrocketing by 6,000% in 2020. However, many patients still find remote care lacking compared to in-office experiences. From accessibility issues and long wait times to security fears and feeling impersonal, telehealth has ample room for improvement. Fortunately, technologies on the horizon will soon revolutionize patients’ virtual healthcare journeys.

This article spotlights 10 cutting-edge innovations transforming key pain points into exceptional user experiences. From automated intake with chatbots to continuous monitoring with wearables, the future of telehealth promises more convenient, personalized and patient-friendly care than ever before.

What Patients Dislike About Current Telehealth Options

a graphical image of What Patients Dislike About Current Telehealth Options

Before exploring solutions set to redefine patients’ virtual healthcare journeys, let’s examine core pain points plaguing user experiences today:

Long Wait Times

Staring endlessly at the clock while queued can sour patients on telehealth. 55% of users report frustrations with long wait times for virtual visits. New tools like transparent queues and entertaining waiting rooms solving this.

Repeating Histories

Patients often relay the same exhaustive health narratives every appointment across disconnected providers. 65% find continually re-explaining their background tedious. AI-powered health assistants address this via data interoperability.

Accessibility Barriers

Up to 20% of patients have disabilities impeding access to visual telehealth platforms built without accommodations. Next-generation options tear these barriers down.

Privacy / Security Fears

Around 73% of former telehealth users cite privacy concerns over data sharing as deterrents. Advanced encryption, access controls and updated regulations provide peace of mind.

Impersonal Care

43% of patients fear losing the “human touch” via video visits. New tools like RPM wearables, AR exams, and patient communities nurture connections.

Top 10 Telehealth Technology Upgrades Transforming Virtual Care

The following are 10 cutting-edge telehealth technologies that will dramatically enrich patient experiences:

1. AI-Powered Pre-Visit Screening Assistants

Chatbots reduce intake frustrations by automating screening. By collecting patient histories, documents, stats and reasons for visits via conversational text or voice queries, they spare patients from completing endless forms prior to appointments. The AI curates this into shareable provider summaries, enabling doctors to walk into video visits fully up to speed. Patients get to skip repetitive questionings and maximize face time with their physician.

2. Augmented Reality (AR) Physical Examinations

AR headsets like TytoCare’s handheld scanners enable doctors to remotely perform comprehensive physical exams, listening to heart and lung sounds, viewing ear/throat images at high magnification or assessing skin conditions. Patients use scanners to capture and share diagnostic-quality data, never needing to leave home. Doctors gain vital clues comparable to in-person visits to identify issues and make accurate diagnoses.

3. Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) With Wearables

RPM technologies allow continuous, real-time tracking of patient health signals like heart rate, blood pressure, glucose levels, oxygen saturation, sleep patterns and more. IoT wearables capture this data and share wirelessly with clinical teams to monitor for concerning changes. Doctors can intervene early before conditions escalate or become emergencies. Patients get round-the-clock prevention and peace of mind.

4. Virtual Waiting Rooms

No one likes endlessly staring at the clock as they anxiously wait for appointments. Virtual waiting rooms entertain and engage patients while they remain in line digitally with health education videos, wellness content, patient support communities and even gaming. Alerts notify patients when the doctor is ready.

5. AI-Driven Chatbots for Customer Support

AI chatbots provide personalized support 24/7 by phone, app messaging or voice assistant. Natural language processing enables fluid, human-like conversations. Bots access medical records and pharmacy details to resolve common inquiries based on individual context. If unable to definitively answer, they connect patients directly with human reps.

6. Accessibility-Focused Platforms

Next-generation platforms bake in accessibility, ensuring those with vision, hearing, speech or motor limitations can fully leverage telehealth. Capabilities like multi-language interfaces, screen reader/magnification compatibility, captioning and interpreters remove barriers.

7. Shared Online Medical Appointments

Group doctor’s appointments allow patients with similar conditions to meet with physicians together online. This facilitates valuable peer support while increasing time spent with doctors compared to solo visits.

8. Prescription Home Delivery Services

Refilling medications monthly can be a major annoyance. But integrated prescription home delivery eliminates pharmacy runs. Prescriptions entered during video visits auto-route to partner pharmacies for direct shipping to patients’ doors. Notifications trigger before running out, while auto-refills handle renewals.

9. Asynchronous “Store-and-Forward” Telehealth

Missed connections with doctors due to scheduling mismatches need not impede care. Asynchronous telehealth allows users to submit recorded videos, images and text descriptions of symptoms or concerns to clinical staff for later physician review and follow up within 24 hours, maximizing flexibility.

10. Interoperable Health Records Exchange

Fragmented medical records across isolated providers significantly obstruct continuity of care. New platforms automatically compile complete health profiles from across hospitals, clinics, pharmacies and past doctors into unified interfaces, updated real-time. This gives physicians full historical context to make optimal care decisions.

Conclusion

The telehealth limitations seen today reveal ample room for innovation to better meet users’ wants and needs conveniently, accessibly and personally. As concepts like automated screenings, remote monitoring, improved accessibility, education and more reach maturity, telehealth will exceed the gold standards of in-office healthcare – while nurturing intimate patient-provider connections. Both groups can eagerly anticipate technologies leading the way into this new era of exceptional virtual care.

FAQs

Which technologies will be covered by insurance?

Insurers are increasingly covering innovations like remote monitoring, asynchronous telehealth, AR exams, AI screenings and more thanks to demonstrated benefits and cost-savings.

How will my privacy be protected?

Updated regulations mandate health tech vendors to comply with HIPAA, securing your data through encryption, access controls and more.

When will these be commonly available?

Many are already gaining traction. Expect concepts like automated screenings, wearables, advanced video platforms, chatbots and interoperability to become widespread over the next 1-3 years.

Hitesh Patel
Hitesh Patel
Hitesh Patel is an engineer turned business owner of WPG Consulting. He is a techie enthusiast who believes in finding creative IT solutions to solve consumer problems.

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