How does telemedicine work?
Telemedicine services provide patients 24/7 access to certified physicians virtually via their mobile phones and other internet-connected devices. With this service, patients have the ability to call doctors at their convenience and speak on the phone or with video chat. Telemedicine technology helps streamline the medical visit process and can save incredible amounts of time, frustration, and money as a result of fewer in-person visits to emergency rooms. It can also bring superior medical services to people who may not reside near high quality health care facilities. With telemedicine technology, doctors can remotely determine the root cause of many non-emergency problems and recommend the best treatment options for patients from almost anywhere.
Where has telemedicine been implemented?
Telemedicine has also been implemented inside of hospitals and was found to increase survival among I.C.U. patients. Although acceptance of telemedicine has not been widespread (largely by providers), with new advances in the technology and shifts in mindset, it is slowly becoming a more integral part of modern healthcare.
The Cost of Telemedicine
Telemedicine companies charge either a monthly subscription fee or a per-visit consultation fee. However, one of the market leaders, Teladoc, is currently struggling to turn a profit with their current pricing options. In order for this type of business to work the Voice of the Customer must be heard; companies need to respond to patients’ concerns and demands to ensure that their services meet their needs. If the price point is too high, as Teladoc is currently experiencing, consumers will not be willing to adopt this new service despite its convenience. In this case, the perspective of the customer is the most important factor in determining value of this service.
Insurance companies are taking advantage of this technology by providing access to services like Teladoc, American Well, and Doctor on Demand to their subscribers. Wasteful processes and long wait times are astoundingly prevalent in the healthcare industry, but it is refreshing to see that this technology may be able to optimize some of those processes while also adding new value for patients who no longer have to leave home to receive professional medical advice. Telemedicine services add unique value and also eliminate wasteful processes for both hospitals and patients.
Juran, a leading management consulting firm, specializes in the healthcare industry; we have developed methods to enable hospital systems to deal with short and long-term problems. For more information, see sample projects and services provided by Juran on our website.
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