Telehealth will be key in pandemic recovery for getting patients back on track, as health centers use modalities such as Remote Patient Monitoring to support their most vulnerable.
- David Putrino: Lead of Remote Patient Monitoring Response to COVID-19 Mount Sinai Health System
- Michael Snyder: Professor & Chair of Genetics, Director Stanford Center for Genomics and Personalized Medicine
- Todd Czartoski: Chief Executive, Telehealth and CMO Providence St. Joseph Health
During FierceMarket’s recent webinar titled, “Tech’s Role in Managing COVID-19 Recovery,” providers and researchers shared the increased need during pandemic recovery for technological innovation in the telehealth industry to support the needs of its companies’ beneficiaries. Putrino and Czaroski noted how it has become imperative for clinicians to change the way they work. Putrino labels it as a matter of survival to adapt. So now, there are not only incentives to furnish telehealth to patients, but a need.
“We know that there are a lot of vulnerable people in the community that are not getting the care they need and if we set them up with this system [RPM], what we know is that they’re going to get better care than they were getting pre-COVID,” said David Putrino of Mount Sinai Health System.
In the midst of this pandemic, it’s important to note many high-risk patients, such as those with chronic conditions, would not be advised to go to in-person visits for quite some time. Adopting telehealth aligns with the patient-centered approach lauded by many Medicare partners and Federally Qualified Health Centers. For providers with patients without access to IoT technology, devices such as thermometers, weight scales and pulse oximeters will be relatively cheap to acquire and distribute. This allows for rapid scaling in times of need and crisis.
Those featured in this webinar talked highly of these devices connected with their platforms to engage in effective Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM). Patients reported high satisfaction, and clinicians were able to meet the needs of more patients. At St. Joseph, one nurse was able to actively monitor 100 patients remotely on average. Looking ahead in the future, Snyder sees wearable technologies as the future of telemedicine. By measuring heart rate and skin temperature, researchers at Stanford have partnered with Fitbit to detect illness before patients become symptomatic. Through this, they hope to build a detection algorithm, with the help of patient contextualization, to help determine when is appropriate for a patient to seek in-person care.
“[Telemedicine] will now become a way of life. Why would you go to a doctor to get sick if you can do some of those things from home if possible?,” said Michael Snyder
All harped on the value of RPM and agreed it’s here to stay. After witnessing high satisfaction from patients, Snyder says it is up to health care professionals to continue to tell the story of RPM’s efficacy to foster long-term policy changes.