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Online Health Care Could Save the U.S. Billions Each Year

Digital platforms, as a form of technology, make everything better from communication to healthcare for the masses. And, it is not as if the healthcare field lacks flawless or appears over extended in critical areas of service. There are several problems in the practice of medicine that a little bump in technology could do wonders to solve.

Things like expensive treatment, over-worked professionals, and antiquated systems regarding patient records are serious concerns for most of the population. These problems all exist on top of the challenge of finding good health insurance options. But, these things do not have to be such a problem for the practice of medicine in modern times.

It may take a little acclimation and adjustment to social interaction to fully embrace the concept. But in the end, progress usually wins out. Just as the the web and handheld devices take work and business to new heights of production and convenience, the same ideas can revolutionize healthcare.

Virtual information and communication already help to answer the question “how do you get insured”. And really, there is no substantial reason why society as a whole should not strive for the day when cures to ailments or treatment happen via applications. That idea may sound light years in to the future, but change has to start somewhere.

A good place to set things into motion is the use of technologies such as video communication, mobile apps, and innovative platforms to streamline healthcare services. The point of using all of these advances boils down to eliminating the dependence of time and location regarding all things medical. It is all about getting more power from the professionals who are already working to help others. This optimization could not come at a better time, with a projected shortage of several thousand primary care physicians just to occur in the next ten years.

Analysis from Accenture, determines that there are three basic categories where the practice of virtual healthcare has more value than traditional methods. These basic categories are annual patient visits, ongoing patient management and self care. Their findings suggest that there is about 10 billion dollars of worth of service and treatment to gain through employing virtual health technologies. This value comes in the form of enhanced and augmented human performance, along with boosted efficiency from a partially automated workforce.

Just about everybody knows that getting a reminder call from the doctor’s office can be made from a dialer. And of course, countless people can remember getting their blood pressure measured by some machine conveniently located ajacent to the RX window in Walgreens or some other popular location. There are apps that accurately measure heart rates and temperature from mobile devices. These applications can just as easily point to information that answers the question “how do you get insured”.

The natural evolution of these functions is to share the information as needed with medical teams. This way of data collection and networking takes a lot of the busy work out of a visit to the hospital or clinic. The time and effort that goes into the paperwork medical establishments use can actually slow things down. This includes confirming patient’s health insurance options, each and every time a trip is made to hospital or clinic.

Imagine how much faster things would go if patients could enter their information from the lobby of a facility independently, without having to wait for others to do same. Artificial intelligence platforms can pick up the slack and run patient information through a diagnosis program set to alert professionals when certain perameters are triggered. This concept in medical technology is already being used within the Mayo Clinic.

With the right platforms, applications, devices and security measures, the need for scheduled check up can all but disappear. Who needs to wait around for some obscure symptom to pop up when a connected device to the wrist can track and monitor blood pressure and other symptoms such as fever? Nearly every cell-phone consumer accepts the fact that the object in their possession lets the authorities know of its location whether they like it or not. It should be equally easy to accept the fact that the same technology that supports these common functions can be tailored to serve in other ways.

Beside the purely physical side to medical practice, there is an immense amount of progress virtual healthcare can make in the way of mental health. Virtual talk therapy and group sessions are already an accepted form of reaching out to those who slip through the cracks of traditional methods of care. They also allow for level of privacy and connection that older ways just cannot compete with.

It is really hard to request time off from work or school to schedule a session for panic attacks or ager issues. Having access to support 24 hours a day via the internet for emotional support does help with gaining peace of mind. From body to mind to overall welfare, digital platforms and mobile applications can only progress the medical field. The only question is just how well can society handle the changes.

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