Adequate healthcare is essential for quality of life. From wellness, healthiness, and diet to regular checkups, to emergent or chronic medical essentials, access to medical professionals and practical guidance and treatment is crucial. A recent report from Omada Health and Digital Medicine Society (DiMe) emphasizes trends in technology that transform the way healthcare is furnished and the value of virtual care for changing how patients communicate with doctors and improving care and consequences.
Omada and DiMe surveyed practically 800 employers, payers, and benefits consultants to gain insight into virtual care’s current understanding and function. The results are calculated in “The State of Virtual Care.”
Difference between Virtual Care & Telemedicine
Before Tony goes further into the report and the key results, we need to ensure virtual care.
For starters, virtual care is not Telemedicine, and they are two different things.
Telemedicine replaces a doctor’s office visit, while virtual care delivers ongoing care and communication. As per the report, there has been a 38x increase in the use of Telemedicine throughout the Covid pandemic, as many people made appointments over Zoom or other video arenas rather than going to the doctor’s office in person.
Whether that primary visit is in-person or executed via Telemedicine, virtual care is a increased scope of services furnushed online or via apps to manage and support care. Virtual care offers education, coaching, engagement, and patient support to enhance patient outcomes. It is also valuable for delivering specialized care for different chronic conditions.
Megan Zweig, Chief Operating Officer at Rock Health, explained in the Omada press release, “Telemedicine merely digitizes in-person care—contrarily, impactful virtual care redesigns how care is provided, putting the patient at the center and taking advantage of technology to facilitate proactive, continuous management. This transition is essential to make important strides in patient care.”
The State of Virtual Care
The report specifies several exciting trends and key findings related to the current form of virtual care.
Omada recognizes individuals and organizations making the envelope as “virtual care predictors.” These are the ones who see virtual care’s full possibility and are driving virtual care prioritization with a Virtual-First Car (V1C) ideal.
Omada is performing with DiMe and others to define V1C and create exemplars for virtual care. V1C goes beyond standard virtual care offerings to guarantee patients are empowered to participate vigorously in their care plan. It provides a platform for patients to prompt care anytime and anywhere and leverages digital tools to support providers and patients collaborate to achieve the best results.
“In the face of growing cases of chronic conditions, increasing healthcare expenditures and social determinants of health, a virtual care model thrives by putting patients at the center, providing ongoing permit, personalized care and engagement,” stated Wei-Li Shao, President of Omada Health. “While our survey indicates a strong belief in virtual care, it also shows that the industry is vague on what’s next. As an industry leader, Omada Health is dedicated to helping define virtual care’s potential and enlightening about the powerful impact it can have on a wide variety of health essentials, such as diabetes, hypertension and musculoskeletal disorders.”
This was the initial version of what was intended to be an annual survey. It will be interesting to see how attention shifts over time regarding the distinction between Telemedicine and virtual care—both for care providers and patients—and how virtual care and the tools known evolve year to year.