Since mid-March, Hartford HealthCare has seen an increase in using telemedicine with almost 316,000 digital visits. Hartford HealthCare says the expansion is seen in all areas, together with main care, specialty care, and behavioral well being.
“It’s a easy solution to entry the care,” stated Hartford HealthCare Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ajay Kumar.
For a lot of sufferers, an in-person go to is probably not superb which is why so many have turned to know-how to assist.
“For my part, the digital well being has supplied actually crucial entry to sufferers and households in the mean time to hook up with the healthcare system as entry turns into tight within the instances of the pandemic,” stated Kumar.
Hartford Healthcare talks concerning the significance of constructing positive their entrance line employees get the wellness assist wanted.
Whereas telemedicine can’t change all in-person visits, Kumar says there’s a good quantity of knowledge physicians can collect from a affected person throughout a digital go to. However he and different well being specialists say there’s a priority concerning the digital divide.
“Our concern usually has been on the earth of telemedicine or digital well being is that, are we supporting all segments of the inhabitants or some phase of the inhabitants? The segments of the inhabitants might or might not have entry to the web. They don’t have gadgets to entry or the data, to a sure extent, and I feel that’s the place the divide is regarding for healthcare professionals,” stated Kumar.
Dr. Kumar says they don’t have sufficient knowledge to find out whether or not the digital divide is impacting households in sure areas however says they’ve seen greater than 12,000 on-line visits in Hartford, one of many highest utilizers of the tech, with New Britain because the second highest.
“I feel the information will inform over time, we are going to be taught extra about how can we optimize to make it possible for entry to care is common and acceptable for all segments of inhabitants,” stated Kumar.
He says a few of these options might embody communities offering extra web entry and having gadgets on the library that sufferers can use. Dr. Kumar believes the digital well being mannequin will probably proceed and alter.
“There’s know-how we’re experimenting in Hartford HealthCare with supplying the kits to the affected person’s dwelling to allow them to examine the blood stress they usually can do some primary very important examination and ship the small print to the docs as properly. So I feel our digital innovation and evolution goes to proceed to vary and we may have a significantly better platform over the time to ship the care,” stated Kumar.