Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Connected Care Cuts Costs, But Can It Overcome Inertia?

“Connected care” refers to a large and growing portfolio of digital tools, from video consultations with psychiatrists to in-home sensors passively detecting when a senior falls to devices that measure diabetics’ blood glucose and send messages to their families’ or doctors’ smartphones when intervention might be needed.

Beyond Electronic Heatlh Records, uptake of connected health is very low. According to a recent report:

  • Less than half (45 percent) of patients receive even the traditional telephone appointment reminders.
  • Only one in five (21 percent) have access to online appointment scheduling with their doctors.
  • Fifteen percent use email to communicate with their provider.
  • Just 14 percent have 24/7 access to medical advice.
  • Fewer than one in ten (9 percent) receive reminders by text.
  • Only a small percentage (3 percent) are able to send a photo of a medical condition over email.
  • Just 2 percent have access to video visits.

Even more discouraging are physicians’ attitudes: Fewer than half believe telemedicine (delivering care over the phone or video) is an important evolution in the practice of medicine, while almost one third belief it is “not worth the hype.”

Read the entire column at Forbes.

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