Impact of Advanced Technologies and the Pandemic on the Telehealth Industry

  • Virtual consultation: AI is being used to advance or accelerate the initial patient screening process, so that during the physical visit, the provider’s time would be spent only on providing treatment. It also helps primary-care doctors easily locate the best specialist to meet a patient’s needs in line with their healthcare policies, and provides easy access to clinical information by maintaining records across all platforms and the value chain.
  • Diagnostic assistance: Helps physicians make medical decisions. With AI, they are able to extract large amounts of information on patients with similar illness profiles from monitoring devices or medical telemetry products to produce algorithmic patterns that can suggest potential next steps and enhance a physician’s ability to provide treatment.
  • Example: Researchers at the Mount Sinai Health System developed an AI algorithm to rapidly detect COVID-19 by integrating patients’ chest CT scans with clinical information including symptoms, age, blood reports and possible contact with infected people. The algorithm follows the physician workflow used to detect COVID-19 and provides a final analysis using separate probabilities of CT images, clinical data and both combined. The AI system also detected 68% of COVID-19-positive cases in situations where radiologists interpreted those cases as negative due to the negative CT appearance.
  • Remote patient monitoring (RPM): IoT has made remote monitoring of patients possible, helping doctors access a patient’s details every second through connected devices and sensors. The pandemic has forced healthcare providers to reinvent their practices to accommodate patients, and RPM has become a coveted solution by offering an ideal opportunity to monitor and treat infected patients from afar, isolating them while giving doctors and nurses the opportunity to treat more patients at a safe distance. This use of IoT in telehealth would be helpful for senior citizens under care, patients with chronic diseases getting care at home and patients in rural areas.
  • Smart medical devices: With the market for remote patient monitoring expanding, adoption of smart devices and wearables has risen. Smart medical devices are enhancing current telemedicine practices by collecting patient data, transferring it to the patient’s physician and integrating it into electronic health records. Care providers can now access a patient’s health data through connected devices outside of the conventional care setting. A number of devices can transmit biometric data from wearables or remote monitoring devices, such as pulsometers, blood pressure cuffs and sensor-embedded clothing, and can be used to monitor health problems such as pulmonary disorders, cardiac disorders and neurodegenerative disorders.
  • Apart from just incorporating raw patient health data into physician-facing reports and interfaces, a combination of AI, predictive analytics and RPM enables proactive identification, intervention and care for the patient.



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Acuity Knowledge Partners

Acuity Knowledge Partners

We write about financial industry trends, the impact of regulatory changes and opinions on industry inflection points.