telehealth

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, video consultations were on the rise, with many healthcare systems advocating a digital-first approach. In patient care and clinical trials, demand for virtual care has never been higher. The pandemic has accelerated this shift. For me, it has been exciting to collaborate with health systems at a time of urgent need to expedite the adoption of telemedicine and telehealth. Our shared task now is to extend this new paradigm into the post-pandemic period. The scope for using these tools for long-term conditions is extensive and includes management of diabetes, hypertension, asthma, stroke, psychiatric illnesses, cancers, chronic pain and much more besides. In addition, we are seeing extensive use of virtual technologies for triage and management of a wide range of acute conditions, including emergency eye care. An array of innovative telemedicine and telehealth IT applications has greatly enhanced physicians' ability to easily engage with their patients, enabling health care providers and support staff to collaborate across distances, creating greater efficiencies and a sharper focus on patient care. Digital technologies deliver measurable gains in healthcare quality, efficiency, and outcomes. Even more can be achieved. In the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, I see an immediate need to employ biomarkers and artificial intelligence (AI) extensively to track the spread of this deadly epidemic through the use of telehealth applications. Delivering Value The emergence of value-based healthcare requires new approaches for physicians and their organisations in serving their patients. Physicians who use telehealth, especially for their patients with chronic conditions, see lower rates of hospital readmission. Along with efficiency gains, I am excited about the clear benefits on offer for patients, including those in rural areas for whom access to care can be more challenging. Virtual consultations have been proven to increase patient satisfaction and improve patient...