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The Future of TeleHealth

As population health continues to permeate across the health care landscape, providers are innovating viable, convenient and affordable care options.  The surge of telemedicine represents the future of highly accessible primary care.

Experts estimate TeleHealth’s worth will climb to $34.27 billion by 2020. It’s a very sought-after market and picking up steam as it moves from vanguard toward mainstream. The technology addresses a convergence of needs for patients, physicians and providers by:

  • Reaching patients where they are – virtually
    • Doctors and providers are changing the way they do business to stay current in a world dominated by smart phones and tablets
    • In fact, patients are using smart phones and tablets for more real time video doctor “visits”
  • Serving the behemoth-sized aging population
    • Health providers tout TeleHealth as a solution to meet the demands of a growing aging population with a limited supply of primary care doctors
  • Using technology that provides for long distance doctor consults
    • Kaiser Permanente is a major advocate of pushing more visits via smart phones, tablets, emails and videos
  • Having direct and immediate applicability with PCPs
    • Consumers take advantage of this type of service for diagnosis, prescription and advice
  • Allowing for solid co-branding opportunities
    • Cleveland Clinic partners with CVS MinuteClinic in Ohio to provide CVS customers with access to its experts for both online and mobile doctor visits
    • Depending the type of the medical need, the CVS nurse can recommend a follow-up consultation with a primary care physician from Cleveland clinic, who could be available within 10-15 minutes

Health care marketers will play an important role in the way hospitals, clinics and systems communicate the mainstreaming of TeleHealth. The communication narrative needs to focus on:

  • Quality Care
    • Patients see a top physician
  • Convenience
    • Rather than travel across country for expert care, patients can see someone virtually
  • Affordability
    • More routine consultations are ideal candidates for virtual appointments, rather than paying more for an in-office doctor visit
  • Availability
    • If TeleHealth goes mainstream, doctors will be freed up to spend more time with patients

The game-changing future of TeleHealth aligns with population health, as doctor check-ups evolve to virtual consultations from our living rooms.  How is your brand addressing a future with options on the horizon like TeleHealth? Have you begun to revise your brand narrative?  If not, we’d love to start a conversation.

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