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Telehealth – Has the Future Already Arrived?

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The COVID-19 pandemic is creating a wide swath of change across many fronts:

·     employment,

·     industry,

·     government, and

·     healthcare.

While many of these changes were inevitable, when doing what you want to do becomes doing what you have to do, the evolution of change goes from progressive to instantaneous, that is, from anticipation to the here-and-now. And with the COVID-19 virus, what was coming certainly is here now.

The future of employment

The meetings of last year involved travel—transporting participants from different parts of a city, state, or even country to a single place where the conference table was the medium. What proves to be immensely less costly is when a monitor screen becomes the medium—the new conference table. Since the business world is constantly looking to increase their bottom lines by decreasing overhead, it was inevitable that teleconference would evolve to be the norm. Today, COVID-19 has changed the concept of working from home from the employer’s begrudged lax supervision to a necessity for keeping businesses running.

The future of industry and government

These cost savings have long tempted captains of industry and even government agencies toward “telepresence” among individuals, but COVID-19 has ushered in actual mandates to stay much farther than arm’s length across a table. Industry and government are busy institutions, by their very nature, and things still have to get done. The Internet of Things comes to the rescue in these greater-than-arm’s-length times.

The future of healthcare—our Constitution doesn’t care how

Healthcare has always been a revered vocation, often referred to as “the noble profession.” As such, it has been significantly regulated by our government which has a mandate, so written in the Preamble of the Constitution, to “promote the general welfare” of its citizens. Every state regulates its doctors, nurses, and all other practitioners according to criteria that must be met.

Telehealth, like working from home, suffered from the one raised eyebrow of borderline legitimacy. In fact, many states, in an attempt to promote the general welfare according to their own notions, have even been a bit obstructive toward telehealth. Capitalism is always a brushfire about to explode into a firestorm, and the “brushfire” of telehealth recently has made some conservative inroads under the watchful eye of state regulatory agencies. But that watchful eye has often been a distrustful glare.

Enter COVID-19

There are few times in our history when we have converted our day-to-day activities and ambitions from things we want to do to things we have to do. COVID-19 has brought about this change, but this change was inevitable, as we strive for more efficiency, universal engagement, and cost containment. This pandemic has only jump-started it.

No longer “to come,” the future is now here in the present

We have to attend to the health needs of as many people as we can, because the pandemic otherwise would overwhelm the system. And even though the traditional system is still necessary—and being overwhelmed—for hands-on treatment (i.e., hospitalization, ICU, and ventilators), initial screening has a role at the widest part of the intake funnel. This is where telehealth comes in. Imagine if the system only had to get hands-on for the people who actually need it: overwhelmed becomes well-managed!

Telehealth, like that made possible by HealthPoint Plus can give relief to the overwhelmed system by providing initial consultations and vetted medical advice. All medicine is delegated by a triage system (assigning degrees of urgency), and using telehealth as a filter to address everyone’s needs without everyone lining up for the hospitals, ICUs, and ventilators—not to mention testing—can play an integral, even crucial, part in the prudent management of this crisis.

HealthPoint Plus is on the front lines of this revolution

HealthPoint Plus was already in action before COVID-19 entered our lives, so it was already geared up for the crisis. COVID-19 has become the “proof of concept” that makes telehealth and HealthPoint Plus the go-to platform to step in and help. As a consumer, you only need take advantage of it. It is there, ready for your questions, advice, and remedies—your health may depend on it. 

Learn more about COVID-19 and telehealth from our Coronavirus Resource Center and check back often for daily updates.  Bookmark

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