Smartphones are in; landlines are out, according to the latest survey on Telehealth in 2013 from the Healthcare Intelligence Network. Telehealth continues to lead the way in healthcare, by targeting all populations with solutions that enable remote consultations.
In addition to remote monitoring, telephonic advice lines were the two clinical applications used by more than half of the respondents on populations ranging from heart failure patients to diabetes.
Healthcare is leaning on videoconferencing more than ever to monitor discharged patients, conduct remote consultations and facilitate communication. Respondents also reported videoconferencing as the number one technology being utilized, an increase from 41 percent in 2010 to 59 percent in 2013. More than 10 million Americans directly benefited from a telemedicine service during the past year, according to the American Telemedicine Association.
Respondents also reported a decrease in the use of land lines from 80 percent in 2010 to just 53 percent in 2013, while the use of smart phones rose from 30 to 40 percent in the same time period.
More reliance on mobile health is also reflected in responses to the survey, in which healthcare organizations reported wireless technology, data monitoring and the Worldwide Web among the top technologies used in telehealth programs, just as in 2010.
Another notable telehealth trend for 2013 is an increase in health activities monitored remotely. One hundred percent of respondents now monitor weight and vital signs, up from a respective 79 and 77 percent in 2010. The health conditions monitored remotely remain the same from 2010, the top three being heart failure, COPD and diabetes.
Also identified: a slight decrease in use of e-mails, education and HRAs, but an uptick in the use of virtual visits (34 percent in 2010 to 46 percent in 2013).
2013 Healthcare Benchmarks: Telehealth & Telemedicine provides actionable new information from more than 125 healthcare organizations on their utilization of telehealth and telemedicine. In its third year, it documents trends and metrics on current and planned telehealth and telemedicine initiatives and includes a year-over-year comparison of telehealth trends from 2009 to present.