As the COVID pandemic is hopefully winding down, we are looking at the aftermath and attempting to learn as much as we can. Healthcare providers are especially interested in what telemedicine will look like after so many patients experienced it during the COVID crisis. It is not surprising to learn that there was a telemedicine spike in 2020 and 2021.
A recent survey among California medical providers shows just how important telemedicine has been over the last two years. The study reveals that telemedicine visits, which only accounted for 2% of the total pre-pandemic office visits, spiked to 45% by the end of 2021.
Furthermore, nearly one-third of California medical providers utilized telemedicine to provide preventative care. Some 25% offered virtual healthcare screenings. Again, there are no surprises here. When patients are physically prevented from visiting medical facilities by stay-at-home restrictions, telemedicine is the only option.
What Happens Next?
The real question is not how the healthcare industry responded at the height of the COVID crisis. It is how the industry moves forward from here. In other words, what happens next? Do providers return to the old ways of doing things, or do they push forward with virtual health screening solutions, healthcare kiosks, and other technology options?
Here at CSI Health, we are betting on technology. We have invested all our resources in developing state-of-the-art telehealth kiosks, portable telehealth solutions, and free-standing clinics equipped with kiosks featuring a plethora of diagnostic tools.
We firmly believe that the future of healthcare delivery is telemedicine. Not that in-office visits will be completely eliminated; they won’t be. But we are firmly convinced that they will be utilized less frequently – particularly in the area of primary care. Most primary care services can be delivered remotely without any reduction in the quality of care. We are banking on it.
How About Real Time Diagnostics?
What makes CSI Health solutions different from your typical pharmacy medical kiosk? Real time diagnostics. The telemedicine solutions of the past relied almost exclusively on audio and video communication. Some of the solutions being sold today still do not go any further than such basic technology. Ours do. In fact, we blow basic technology out of the water by offering real time diagnostics.
A typical CSI health screening solution includes basic diagnostic equipment like stethoscope, thermometer, and blood pressure cuff. But we don’t stop there. Our solutions also include:
- 12-Lead EKG/ECG
- Pulse Oximeter
We tie everything together with a secure network that allows for sending data from kiosk to the provider’s office in real time. That means the doctor or nurse sees the diagnostic data as it is being generated. There is no need to wait for a report generated minutes or hours later.
High Quality Care Offered Remotely
If we had to describe the current state of telemedicine technology, we would say it offers high quality care in a remote environment. That is what telemedicine is all about. It should empower doctors to remotely visit with their patients while still having access to diagnostic tools. It should eliminate the need for unnecessary office visits that only waste time, money, and resources.
It is a pretty safe bet that you experienced telemedicine personally during the COVID pandemic. We know that we had a telemedicine spike over the last two years, and most of us benefited from the opportunities it afforded. But now we must all decide how we will move forward.
Is your organization planning to develop its telemedicine options further, or is the plan to go back to the old ways of doing things? It is your decision to make.