Telehealth may seem like a brand-new idea, but in reality, physicians have been treating patients remotely since the 1800s. At the outset, remote treatment and monitoring of patients were used to provide care to patients around the globe. While the platform and the mode of communicating with patients may have changed drastically, and there are many more regulations in place to protect patient information, at its core, remote healthcare is in many ways very similar.
What did remote healthcare look like in past eras?
- In 1879, The Lancet published articles recommending physicians use the telephone to eliminate unnecessary clinic visits.
- In 1925, some doctors took to diagnosing patients and prescribing care via the radio.
- In 1959, doctors first used video communication to diagnose patients and suggest treatment.
There is a myriad of reasons that patients and physicians alike may opt for telehealth today including illnesses that leave a patient housebound, challenges with transportation, and a global pandemic. And today, the rise in the practice of virtual healthcare is a total game-changer.
Why Virtual Healthcare Services Just Make Sense
Telehealth surged at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, the first quarter of 2020 brought about a 50 percent increase in telehealth and online health care compared to the same period the previous year.
The dangers faced at the beginning of the pandemic have ebbed since 2020, and while the peak in telehealth has similarly decreased, virtual healthcare is far more prevalent than it was before 2020. The increase in virtual healthcare has leveled out, now 38 times more common than in 2019 and before. Why might someone choose virtual healthcare?
- A physician may want to expand their practice, bring in additional revenue, connect with a particular community (perhaps in multiple languages), or treat more patients.
- A busy patient may be too busy juggling work or family life to find time to visit a clinic or their primary care physician in person, or they may want to see one doctor virtually for all of their healthcare concerns.
- A patient with a chronic condition is tired of making frequent trips to a clinic over and over again, and may be looking for a simpler option to have their healthcare needs met.
- A patient may be uninsured or self-employed, with little time or resources to address their health in an in-person clinic. They may also be looking for a convenient, affordable healthcare solution to address their concerns out-of-pocket.
Virtual healthcare and online medical care can be used to address a range of concerns, including treatment for common illnesses, follow-up appointments, management for chronic illnesses or other ongoing conditions, visits with hard-to-pin-down specialists, physical therapy, and even talk therapy.
Telehealth has brought about:
- Decreases in mortality and shorter ICU stays
- 50 percent improvement in the satisfaction rate of physicians who utilize online healthcare tools
- Better management and fewer skipped appointments
- Lower costs for patients and less time away from work
How ViClinic Can Help
ViClinic is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform that allows patients and physicians to connect on-demand, on the go, and online. Physicians love it because it gives them the power to expand their practice and manage patient care for both telehealth and in-person visits, and patients love it because they can see their doctor without ever having to go to the clinic.
For too long, it felt like the days of small practices and independent clinics were falling by the wayside, being purchased up by large healthcare networks because they just couldn’t compete. ViClinic puts the power back into the hands of physicians and patients who want to connect, without the demands of an impersonal, large-scale health network looming in the background. This new software can help small practices stay afloat by managing more patients more effectively, while also providing the tools needed to oversee their entire practice, both virtually and in person.
With ViClinic, patients can address their medical care online through the patient app, while physicians take on each online medical consult through the virtual care manager app. It’s simple, effective, convenient, and secure, and it’s changing the way patients receive care when they most need it.
To discover more about how ViClinic can impact your life as a physician and as a patient, sign up today!