Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, many societal shifts have occurred. Phrases like social distancing and masking up seem to have been coined during this public health crisis. Telehealth is one of those phrases, but interestingly, it did not spring up during this pandemic.
What is Telehealth?
Telehealth—sometimes called telemedicine— is electronic telecommunication between a patient and a doctor who are not in the same physical location. Telehealth has been going on for about 40 years; however, in the last decade, it has become more refined and secure. With COVID-19 changes, telehealth, in some cases, has become the norm.
Often, patients and providers use phone or video chat to exchange verbal information, email, or secure messaging services to relay written content or remote patient monitoring so your doctor can check on the patient while they are at home.
Staying Connected With Patients During a Pandemic
During a public health crisis, such as this pandemic, telehealth visits make sense to decrease physical contact and potential exposure to the COVID-19 virus. Additionally, telehealth may impact service delivery by decreasing wait times to see a provider or increasing access to providers located farther away from the patient. Telehealth offers many benefits to patients, such as access to specialists in different areas, fewer sick days, reduced need for childcare, and convenience of staying at home.
Undoubtedly these days, so many services, medical and otherwise, occur via delivery to the comfort of your own home. The medical home scale is an example of how receiving virtual medical care can significantly impact a patient’s health and progress towards medical goals.
Medical Home Scales Meets the Telemedicine Trend
Dr. A.K. Misra, a highly trained physician and proponent of the InBody H20N medical home scale, sees great value in the telemedicine trend in terms of patient care ease, accountability, and progress.
Dr. Misra states, “Point-of-care is going to be happening virtually more than it’s ever happened before, and I think we have to be ready for that moment.” Advances in technology and general consumer interest in virtual services have greatly influenced the medical field. Telemedicine and remote patient monitoring allows for increased patient accountability and widened access to care.
The InBody H20N is an example of a remote patient monitoring system that blends seamlessly with telemedicine trends.
What is the InBody H20N? It is a smart weight analyzer that goes beyond weight. The InBody H20N measures whole-body composition with advanced diagnostic technology, giving accurate and personalized results in the comfort of the patient’s home. Measurements can upload automatically to the InBody App where patients can monitor progress, share results, and stay on track for health goals.
Ecosystem Monitoring Provides Accountability
Dr. Misra and others have found that monitoring a patient’s body composition leads to significant increases in patient engagement and productivity. Typically, once patients leave the doctor’s office with recommendations, they are “flying blind” and “on their own” until their next visit. Doctors can become frustrated with patients who fail to follow up, and patients can easily lose track of their goals. Remote patient monitoring helps to avoid this drop-off in patient care and keeps patients aligned with their health goals.
Ecosystem monitoring has a host of benefits, including:
By providing timely, accurate data to the doctor, patients reach goals faster because the doctor has more information to access and apply to the treatment regimen.
Patients become more active participants in the entire care process when the data is easy to understand. Less confusion leads to clear decision-making and follow-through in the treatment plan.
Snapshot in-office tests, even with accurate equipment like InBody, only capture a moment in time. Ecosystem monitoring provides continual, directional data that can reflect how a program is going, and allow the doctor to assess how the patient is adhering to the plan.
Body Composition Monitoring is the Key
Dr. A.K. Misra believes telemedicine and continual body composition monitoring are essential components to helping his patients achieve their health goals. The InBody H20N allows patients to monitor their body composition at a frequency that would not be possible if patients had to come into the office. Dr. Misra states,
“If I ruled the world, I wish everyone had one of these at home.”
Nowadays, more people than ever want to work or receive services remotely. The current pandemic has perhaps shaped medicine for the better in that now doctors are thinking of new ways to help their patients maintain their health from a distance.
The InBody body composition monitor is a perfect example of this trend. Dr. Misra sees the benefit of patient treatment firsthand. He values the amount of data he can gather and how frequently he can access it, helping his patients improve their overall health.
“I have more to work with. I can deliver the person to their goals, and much quicker, and also give them the direction they need from me.”
Dr. Misra appreciates the real-time information that he can gather by studying the data and feels that he can respond more quickly to a patient and perhaps make new recommendations, if necessary, to help the patient better. He says,
“Because I can see the “flux” [of your health risk] just by looking at what is going on just with the anatomy.”
When patients can examine the data and check their body composition more often, they tend to be more accountable in their designed program.
Future of Telemedicine
All in all, we can agree that telemedicine is here to stay. Even though the pandemic has certainly thrust some unwanted changes upon society, some developments are for the better. Increased virtual health visits with an increased emphasis on at-home monitoring systems have created more opportunities for patients to access their health care provider and consult on their health situations.
By encouraging ecosystem monitoring of patients with equipment like the InBody H20N, patients see the benefits of having more frequent doctor communication and input into their health care.
Real-time monitoring with multiple levels of valuable feedback provides unprecedented access for doctors and patients to collaborate for best-practice care. It allows for quick access and thorough care.
When doctors and patients can come together, share information, and collaborate on health decisions, best-case outcomes occur. By participating in telehealth and at-home monitoring systems, patients can receive top-notch convenient care, from the comfort of their own homes. And that is a win for everyone.