COVID-19 has brought a decade of change to telehealth and virtual care in just a few weeks. According to consulting firm Frost and Sullivan, telehealth visits are expected to grow from 36 million last year to over 200 million by December of this year. And the telehealth market in the United States is estimated to grow seven-fold by 2025.
While telehealth brings an upgrade in consumer grade convenience which is long overdue in healthcare, simply shifting encounters to a virtual setting replicates “more of the same” - a traditional healthcare model gone mobile. Forward thinking providers can seize this moment and fundamentally seek transformation through virtual care.
Whereas telehealth is reactive and episodic, virtual care is preventative, continuous and personalized, whereby the goal is matching the right level of care to the right patient, at the right time.
Results of this transformation to virtual are compelling. Mercy Virtual, the “world’s largest hospital without beds,” has reduced hospital admissions and ER visits by more than 50% for complex patients living with chronic disease by transforming care and workflows to a more continuous and preventative approach.
To meet this transformational imperative, providers need to develop fundamentally new capabilities.