The past year has been pivotal for many industries, with the healthcare sector being at the forefront. As businesses closed and states imposed travel restrictions, millions of people began receiving healthcare services via telehealth platforms. This transition proved successful on a number of fronts, reducing staffing costs and improving access to those physically distant from provider facilities. While society is seemingly well on its way to returning to normal, remote healthcare is poised for further growth, making investing in the technological infrastructure that supports it all the more crucial.
The movement to bring improved and expanded care to the home is being led by a number of tech companies and care providers. Amazon made a big splash in March, announcing that its Amazon Care app-based healthcare service, previously only available to Amazon employees in Washington State, was being expanded to its workforce and other companies in all 50 states. By providing video care, care chat, and mobile services to a greater market, the company is leveraging its vast technological and logistical base to disrupt the traditional clinic and hospital-based concept.
At the core of this push is the underlying information technology infrastructure: a critical foundation to moving care to a ‘hospital at home’ model. Decision making and care is becoming increasingly data-driven, health records and payment software are increasingly moving into the cloud, and the need to secure all these systems and the information they process has never been greater. The push toward an increasingly digital care model will require the IT and clinical sides of a care provider to work closer than ever before in order to provide the most successful outcomes.
The good news is that companies making early adoption a priority are already beginning to reap the benefits. The remote healthcare model is already delivering lower costs and better patient outcomes, with the ability to reach patients in remote locations and provide care to areas underserved by physical providers being a major boon to increasing accessibility. If there’s one thing to be learned from the past year, it’s that telehealth is here to stay - and ready to grow, and robust IT services will be needed to support it.