The Future is Now: The Latest Trends in Online Healthcare for a Better Life -- tEMed, a company that brings medical services from offline to online, looks at trends and how digital service makes life easier.
Traditional channels of communication among patient and provider will soon be replaced by new digital health tools and applications. They help new generation patients enhance their treatment and care. We explored the cutting edge trends in telemedicine and online doctor consultations, in particular. See how your approach to healthcare may change to make your life easier right now.
Researchers say that the new "millennial" patients would like to engage their providers through digital care technologies. They point out several necessary options and turn them into telemedicine trends for the upcoming future.
Trends and Tendencies
Video Call a Doctor
A couple years ago, Google conducted an experiment with a new service. Analysis indicated that thousands of users were seeking information for symptoms of different medical issues and diseases on Google search. As they knew about the amount of misinformation on global web pages and suspicious sources, they proposed that users to connect to a doctor via a video call. This allowed users to have an online consultation instead of trying to define an issue by themselves and consuming equivocal information.
Video calls are the most in-demand service that users of online medicine expect to see in the upcoming future. There are a number of telemedicine services that enable patients to book and receive doctor consultation, but only a few allow their customers to call to a doctor online. Meanwhile video telemedicine is already becoming the #1 trend in healthcare.
Today's 25-34 year old adults prefer online self-scheduling to others ways of making an appointment. Millennials maintain this trend as well. Most young people don't like talking on the phone and especially to different organizations. For them, preference for booking an appointment via website or app with no need to call to an office becomes a preferable scenario. According to information from Modernhealthcare.com, by 2019, 64% of patients will schedule appointments digitally using different online services integrated with a healthcare system.
The latest research in telemedicine shows that more than 70% of participants indicate the necessity of using a mobile application for managing their healthcare -- e.g., for booking appointments online, receiving and sending test results, and chatting with a doctor. Many of them are comfortable paying for such a service in order to manage such questions on the go, get notifications, and handle all information at once. These participants find the idea of chatting with a doctor online is great. Doctors become more accessible and patients can reach their specialist any time: for prescriptions, to get advice, to change the time of an in-office visit if needed, and so on. Of course, there are a lot of symptoms and issues that should stay outside of an online chat and can be better diagnosed with a personal visit to see your physician.
A great number of patients say that they would prefer to handle all information about their health care in an electronic format. They would like doctors to use apps and mobile devices during an appointment more actively for sharing electronic health information like images of MRI's, x-rays, test results, e-prescriptions, consultation notes, and so on. For many people, necessity to keep all notes on paper becomes problematic. An ability to manage information of this type by smartphone or tablet makes things much simpler and quicker.
We looked at numerous providers of services for online doctor appointments. Some of them were convenient enough, while some were not as good as we expected. But it was very difficult to find a service which would contain all the amenities and functions mentioned above. Most similar services and apps concentrate only at one problem. At tEMed, we decided to develop an online platform that is more adapted for different patients' needs and demands.
tEMed enables users to manage all types of healthcare issues, store and share health information, book doctor visits online and offline.
FIRST, via tEMed online consultation service, patients can talk to a doctor face-to-face on a video chat. This is one of the most in-demand options of tEMed. One key advantage of this line of communication is that a video consultation is closer to a direct conversation. A patient can talk to a doctor face-to-face and usually they do not need to wait days for an appointment. In some cases, that can play a great role: without personal contact, a doctor cannot determine the issue and prescribe tests when they may be necessary. For some, it's a great option as it is a huge time saver. For others, e.g., people with physical disabilities or for patients from remote areas, it may be the only chance to talk to a doctor.
SECOND, doctors become more accessible and patients can meet with a doctor when they need it most. A patient can book a doctor's visit while doing their daily activities. Self-check-in is becoming a critically important option for today.
THIRD, as you already know, it's all about mobility. tEMed has apps on Android and iOS synchronized with the web-service version. The facilities of the apps are almost the same as in the full version, plus one extra benefit: you can manage all your health questions on-the-go.
As we researched services for online booking a doctor, other options in-demand included:
- Ability to pay an electronic bill while booking a visit. A model close to online shopping looks attractive for those who want to get rid of paper fuss.
- Chance to view ratings and doctor reviews. Many patients rely heavily on other patients' reviews of doctors and their services. They believe that only a patient can help another patient to find a qualified specialist.
- Finding local providers. This option is important in particular for those who are facing a specific problem for the first time and don't know where to find a local specialist.
- Providing medical records storage. It's convenient for both the doctors and for the patients to keep all the medical records in one place and view any of them any time they need.
tEMed allows the patient to manage all these needs with just a few clicks.
The healthcare industry is ever changing and today's patients have become trendsetters. Developers of digital applications are taking patient demands into account to determine how best to engage them in using up-to-date technologies. These digital services are changing our lives right now. How will it change in 3, 5 or 10 years? We'll see soon.