Healthcare has been gradually reshaping to focus more on active patient participation, not only on quality medical treatment. Engagement strategies and levels may vary but typically include extensive support and inclusion in relevant decisions, as well as educational efforts. What’s more, they span the entire gamut of disease states and stages, from prevention to long-term chronic illness management. Most importantly, they’ve been found to improve the chances of a positive outcome.
The Rise of Virtual Medicine
Video technology provides a range of opportunities to escalate and strengthen patient engagement. It now offers medical staff and patients communication capabilities strong enough to replace many face-to-face interactions. It plays a vital part in tests, diagnoses, and ongoing care, either pre- or post-treatment. So, to provide the best care possible, today’s medicinal services must include remote communication and on-demand information in addition to in-person treatment.
Luckily, it coincides with the massive digitization of the doctor-patient relationship taking place (and the health sector as a whole), which Covid-19 has undoubtedly accelerated. Social distancing, fear of contagion, and the need to relieve medical staff of at least some of the workload have paved the way for telehealth and other video tools. Dr. Dennis V. Truong, Regional Director of Telemedicine at Kaiser Permanente, stated that 82% of the group’s encounters were virtual during the pandemic. It was particularly relevant in instances where healthcare professionals were exposed to the virus yet wanted to continue providing medical advice.
Nonetheless, it didn’t start with the pandemic. As of 2017, 76% of hospitals connected with patients remotely using video and other technologies, according to the American Hospital Association. Interestingly, that same year, researchers found that increasing patients’ online involvement results in a 90% satisfaction rate for both patients and doctors. In 2018, nearly 60% of patients used a connected device to monitor their health, and already around 60% of medical schools in the US offered and often even required an online communication course. And in 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) published its guidelines and recommendations for promoting digital health technology.
Video is Good for You
It’s also not going anywhere in 2021. Sure, virtual sessions allow people to stay safe while maintaining access to healthcare, making them incredibly useful during a global health scare. It’s handier still for less–urgent treatments and procedures. But their merit doesn’t stop there.
- Patient Education: We cannot stress enough the importance of informing and educating patients and caregivers. And replacing flat, passive communication with an interactive two-way dialogue keeps patients more involved. Using video, healthcare professionals can also offer webinars on numerous topics to raise awareness and direct people’s behavior.
- Data-based medicine: Deep analytics and online video questionnaires and polls tell healthcare professionals if patients and caregivers are cooperating and understand the requirements on their part. On a grander scale, analytics allows medical researchers to draw data-based conclusions that can further advance medical care.
- Solving the access barrier: Video is a panacea for all those cases where there’s a shortage of doctors availability, long wait periods for specialists, or long-distance travel required. Bear In mind that several studies indicate that distance to health services affects patients’ decisions on whether to seek treatment in the first place. By integrating live video capabilities into VOD systems, we provide them with easy access to medical information that overcomes distance and mobility issues.
- Improving engagement: Research shows that enabling ongoing communication between doctors and patients using online platforms can boost engagement rates by at least 60%. Virtual platforms offer both live communication and asynchronous video messaging features that encourage patients’ focus and participation.
- Continuum of care: Essential medical continuity is often broken, when changing between caregivers and facilities, for example. A single platform where previous interactions are recorded offers a smoother transition that saves time and lives. Being able to stay in touch with the same medical experts, regardless of a specific facility’s location, is equally beneficial.
- Preventing burnout: We sometimes forget that doctors are still human and how crucial it is to protect their well-being. The American Hospital Association stated that telehealth reduces physician burnout by shortening drive times and offering more quality time with patients.
- General advice: Doctors can make medical information and general advice available to larger groups of people using video-based tools on relevant forums and social media groups.
Video-based healthcare platforms offer a long line of benefits that can each save lives, plain and simple. Right now, there’s no good reason not to take this essential step forward. Both patients and healthcare professionals use video technology regularly for countless needs (as do all). Further, the medical community is well-aware of the advantages waiting to be unlocked by medical institutions that embrace advanced video capabilities like the ones offered by Kaltura. Don’t believe those who tell you that video killed the radio star. Chances are it saved the day.
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