Technology and Telehealth; A Perfect Marriage
The world of telemedicine has experienced explosive growth, with the pandemic pushing telehealth into the mainstream. The change has also been spurred on by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) and private insurance companies recognizing the potential savings and value for the patient. Investors, in turn, have financed billions of dollars of research and development into products designed to expand both the practice and scope of what is possible through telehealth.
There have been a plethora of products developed for this burgeoning market with many innovations related to cardiology. Current wearables and sensors include EKG monitoring and arrhythmia detection patches, digital stethoscopes, smart socks, heart rate sensors, respiratory rate, accelerometers, skin temperature, stress monitoring, and more.
In addition to remote patient monitoring, millions of people voluntarily allow companies to capture data from smartphones, smartwatches, and other wearable devices. These millions of data points are analyzed by artificial intelligence to improve healthcare-related devices' development further.
In the field today, South Carolina House Calls (SCHC) providers regularly utilize mobile x-ray, mobile labs, remote patient monitoring, remote social work, pharmaceutical consults, medication management, phycological assessments, and other specialties for patients in the comfort of their homes.
As our population continues to age, chronic diseases and managing those diseases will challenge resources and personnel already stretched thin. The medical community is looking for technology to close the gap. It will be imperative that medical experts have the ability and tools to reach many more patients than they could physically see by using remote applications. 5G and our nation's communication infrastructure will be a critical component for the future of remote medicine not to leave significant portions of our rural and poor populations behind.