Another topic we are really looking forward to hearing more about at ACSA National Summit is Virtual Care.
As the healthcare industry becomes more receptive to innovation, we will no doubt see greater things being achieved with the help of virtual care.
“Virtual care offers what consumers really want: a variety of health and care services available to any location at any time. Virtual care also brings convenience and choice to a new level by delivering a wide range of healthcare services to consumers.”
Virtual Care Encompasses:
- Remote monitoring of health via digital devices – this includes things like gluco-meters and pulse oximeters
- Telehealth services – including live video calls
- Secure messaging and social platforms
- Virtual reality
- Phone apps – providing medication reminders, scheduling of appointments, a portal for secure communication etc.
Telehealth and messaging platforms typically allow the consumer to connect with their GP or health professional without needing to physically visit a brick and mortar location.
In other industries the system of ‘helping yourself’ to services as required is alive and thriving. It is so common to grocery shop, pay bills or conduct research online that we no longer even think of how it was done before we had the convenience of online access.
The prospect of virtual care is highly attractive to consumers because it offers this same level of convenience to the user: instant accessibility, anywhere, anytime.
Virtual Care Alleviates Resource Strain
Virtual care can offer some degree of relief to healthcare staff in an industry under pressure.
Though virtual care will never entirely replace face to face consultations (which remain critical in many cases), it can go a long way towards alleviating the strain on resources, by offering alternatives and by providing consumer support between visits.
There is the ability to log the consumers vitals, or for other observations to be documented between visits. This allows the GP or health specialist to routinely review the consumers health status, ensuring correct treatment is being given.
“To better support primary care providers so that more primary care can be managed without referrals, and to assure that when referrals do take place, they are better package and triaged by the referring provider so that the specialist consultation is more effective for the patient.”
Virtual care will become increasingly vital as our ageing population continues to grow. An increasing need to manage complex health conditions, combine with funding cuts and understaffing places significant strain on finite healthcare services in their current form.
“Recognise that for today’s consumers the digital and physical worlds are inseparable. The most innovative systems blend digital into their physical locations and care practices.”
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What area of healthcare would you like to be able to get assistance with online or using an app?