Remotely monitoring discharged patients through videoconferencing was among the top trends for telehealth in 2013, according to the results of the Healthcare Intelligence Network’s Telehealth survey. Respondents reported improved communication and greater effectiveness in monitoring patients with chronic diseases including heart failure, COPD and diabetes.
Healthcare is leaning on videoconferencing more than ever to monitor discharged patients, conduct remote consultations and facilitate communication, according to responses to the Telehealth in 2013 Survey by the Healthcare Intelligence Network. Respondents reported videoconferencing as the number one technology 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: 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 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.