Factors That Impact The Telehealth/Virtual Experience - Insights from Reflexion Health

by Parks Associates | Aug. 16, 2019

Prior to Parks Associates’ sixth-annual Connected Health Summit: Independent Living and WellnessJoe SmithMD, PhD, CEO, Reflexion Health gave his insights on the connected health market with the firm's analyst team.

Joe will participate on the panel Expanding Reach: Making Remote Patient Monitoring Work on Wednesday, August 28, at 3:15 PM. Panelists who will join him on this session include:

  • Amy Cook, Director, Business Development, Sleep Marketing, ResMed
  • Spencer Moore, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Rapid Response Monitoring Services
  • Tad Reynes, Global Director, IoT Healthcare Solutions, AT&T
  • Anne Weiler, CEO, Wellpepper
 
What is driving early consumer use of telehealth/virtual visit services? What factors most impact the experience?
 

Control - When a patient is in full control of their recovery, they are more motivated. Control starts with the patient understanding why their doctor recommended the particular course of care so the patient can become fully invested in following through with the treatment. For physical therapy, this means educating the patient on why they are performing certain exercises and how it will help them recover. With our product, for example, patients receive the kit two weeks prior to their surgery with educational resources and pre-hab exercises. This enables patients to go into their doctor’s office with specific questions and a knowledge base to understand what will be happening next.

Patients should also be able to track their own progress, to stay motivated that their course of treatment is working. In physical therapy, this means providing audio-visual coaching to help patients know they are performing the exercises correctly. Motion capture and pose detection allow for careful measurement of patient’s movement and progress in recovery and provide a record of their exercise performance that can be further reviewed by their licensed physical therapist.

Convenience - Health care is too often marked by inconvenience. Ask most patients about their experience going to a doctor’s appointment, and they often recall the travails of travel, the hassles of parking, the long wait times, the administrivia of document completion, and the challenges to their memory when asked to provide the names of their medicines, the different diagnoses they have had over time, the names and places and reasons for prior care, etc) --  an overall unpleasant journey punctuated by a too-brief encounter with their trusted clinician.

While innovation in health care technology has dramatically improved many aspects of health care (diagnostics, procedures, surgeries), all this innovation has done little to provide greater patient convenience. You should aim to provide a convenient product that allows patients to use it in their own homes, avoiding unnecessary travel, wait times and copays.

Comfort - Comfort is certainly an unexpected attribute of today’s health care experience. Defined variably as freedom from constraint or alleviation of distress, most patients probably wouldn't describe their health care journies as comfortable. Health-related tech companies should strive to make products that allow users to be as comfortable as possible by removing unnecessary stress that's so often associated with the health care system.

Confidence - Key to keeping patients engaged and adherent is reinforcing patient confidence in all aspects of their care. The more confident a patient is about a product or their prescribed activities and their progress in performing them, the more likely they will be to continue to use that product and perform those activities.

For our remote recovery tools, since software and avatars cannot answer every question, it's important that a licensed therapist be available to answer any questions that may arise. Patients need to know that they have ready access to an informed, empathetic expert to review their progress, answer their unique questions and manage any exceptional issues. Simply knowing that such expertise is available, even without needing to use it, helps to provide confidence in the overall approach.

What needs do seniors have as they age that could be addressed by new IoT solutions? How open are they to assistive technologies, products, and services?
 
Every 11 seconds an older adult is treated in the ER for a fall — resulting in 2.8 million injuries, according to the National Council on Aging. Twenty to 30 percent of these patients will suffer severe injuries, the most common being traumatic brain injuries, making it difficult to get around or live independently and increase the risk of early death. While we tend to think of falling as a problem for only the elderly, research shows balance can decline as early as 50.
 
Technology is helping keep people on their feet, propelling the creation of more interactive, efficient and effective products and services to achieve the end goal.
We’ve found older adults yearning for fall prevention knowledge outweighs most fear about technology. Community-based programs and workshops have not only demonstrated a reduction in falls but also the fear of falling and increased overall activity in this cohort.
 
We have a need for a physical performance screener that spans across adulthood as a clinical tool for identifying functional decline. Finding ways to integrate fall prevention capabilities in and outside of the home is where we’ll find the nexus of consistent prevention. The wearables market is a great example of integrating fall prevention programs across multiple platforms – cell phones and computer programs that demonstrate activity.
 
If a fall does occur, one of the most important steps to take is to maintain post-fall care. These include assessments by a physical therapist which includes a physical assessment of the patient and all possible contributing factors to the fall. In addition, a virtual exercise rehabilitation assistant can help improve strength, balance and engagement in older adults in order to prevent or recover from falls. Having the ability to exercise on one’s own time with a virtual personal assistant allows patients of falls to regain a sense of independence and confidence to safely get back on their feet. Seniors are embracing technology and are excited to now have the tools to become autonomous when it comes to their health and be proactive. 


Next: Key Factors that Impact Connected Health Industry - Insights from ViKi Health AI
Previous: Top Caregiver Pain Points - Insights from Seqster

Comments

  • Peter Watson wrote

    Allowing patients to take control must motivate them. Motivation and control reduces anxiety and stress which helps to improve patient outcomes

    on Wed Sep 11 09:57:49 2019

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