By the year 2030, aging Baby Boomers are set to outnumber children for the first time in U.S. history. This changing demographic shift is set to challenge the healthcare industry as top leaders search for solutions to meet the health needs of aging citizens. Technological innovations are invaluable tools providers are now using to tackle this challenge with a major focus on one key player: Telehealth. The term “telehealth” or “telemedicine” is becoming commonplace in hospitals and health care facilities. But what does this term mean?
What is Telehealth?
Telehealth encompasses the world of virtual healthcare. According to HealthIT.gov, the four categories of telehealth include:
- Live video conferencing
- Store-and-forward video conferencing
- Remote patient monitoring (RPM)
- Mobile health (mHealth)
Telehealth options are slow growing, but services like Doctor on Demand allow patients with limited access to a hospital or doctor’s office to still receive supervised care. Patients in rural areas stand to benefit greatly from telehealth providers, while hospitals are using the tech to reduce wait times for non-emergent patients. However, the Silver Tsunami provides another opportunity to successfully implement telehealth tech.
The Silver Tsunami Solution
With an aging population, telehealth is positioned as one of the leading solutions for healthcare providers. Patients can often lose mobility in old age, resulting in fewer hospital visits and insufficient care. Telehealth allows monitoring from the comfort of a patient’s home while providing adequate supervision from a healthcare professional. In addition to aiding mobility challenged patients, telehealth users with chronic health conditions can spend more time with loved ones rather than a hospital waiting room.
Optimizing Tech to Reach Seniors
With all of the benefits of telehealth in geriatric care, how can technology be fully utilized to gain the most patient satisfaction? Many elderly patients are hesitant to embrace smartphones and apps, presenting a major challenge for telehealth advocates. However, some providers are focusing on developing in-home monitors similar to Alexa that have the potential to utilize AI to predict and react to chronic health issues. This use of passive, voice-activated technology is incredibly friendly to seniors who are unwilling or unsure of how to utilize smartphones for telehealth care.
Telehealth with Integracon
The rise of telehealth solutions presents a technological challenge for providers. Make sure you are ready for the Silver Tsunami and contact Integracon to learn about our healthcare industry-specific services.