Eran Orr is the founder of XRHealth, a leader in therapeutic and extended reality applications.
When Covid-19 arrived in the United States, telehealth became a method of treating patients remotely, providing care to patients while keeping them safe and to doctors. According to an article by McKinsey & Company, telehealth increased by 46% in 2020 compared to 2019, when only 11% of American patients used the remote service. The article also notes that as telehealth adoption rates for both patients and physicians are rising rapidly and telehealth is becoming popular for more than urgent care, there is $ 250 billion in care revenue. that “could potentially be virtualized”.
According to CB Insights (through Fierce Healthcare), the telehealth investment peaked at $ 4.2 billion in 139 bids during the first quarter of 2021, which is nearly double what it was last year at the same time.
Healthcare is taking a new turn and finally updating the 21st century.
There are many types of software used by doctors, including platforms such as Zoom and others designed specifically for the healthcare industry. Platforms designed for the healthcare industry include Mend, Doxy Me, AMC Health and swyMed. However, these technologies act as a means of communication between the patient and the physician and do not act as a medical device.
There are other platforms that use advanced technologies that can treat patients with the same technology. Augmented reality technology, which includes virtual and augmented reality, is a therapeutic care solution supervised by a therapist and used as a medical device to treat patients with physical therapy, neurological disorders, ADHD, stress and anxiety. and many other conditions and symptoms. The virtual environment and the exercises that the patient uses while they are there are fundamental in the recovery process.
In addition, a virtual environment can be used in many types of applications, such as creating an anonymous patient support group, using characters to represent patients as they all interact in a virtual therapeutic atmosphere.
While doctors and patients in the United States are rapidly adopting telehealth, human resources departments offer these same services to their employees. Julie Stone, director general of health and benefits at Willis Towers Watson, told the Human Resources Executive that “virtual care was what the doctor ordered during the pandemic. Employers were quick to expand and educate employees on how to access virtual care, and employees, especially those who were hesitant about accessing traditional health care, took advantage of it. Although most employees used virtual care for reviews and periodic reviews, a significant number were able to use it for the diagnosis and treatment of a new illness, chronic conditions, and most importantly, mental health services. ”.
Companies are beginning to provide their employees with additional benefits and services that take the form of an additional care benefit by offering workers virtual reality telecare solutions that could treat medical symptoms from home.
Companies understand that health and well-being (physical and mental health) affect the job performance of employees. To create ongoing support for their employees, companies around the world use telehealth solutions to treat patients with ongoing symptoms. An example of this is the recent announcement that Amazon has subscribed several companies to its telehealth services, Amazon Care.
With recent investments in telehealth, I expect the industry to grow substantially. Patients enjoy being treated at home and will not be so quick to return to consultations in the office unless necessary. Covid-19 has just launched an industry that was destined to grow and match the boom in technology.
What Covid-19 drew from the wood is how technological advances can be used creatively to achieve the same result as what was done in person. And sometimes people can get even better results when the work is done from afar.
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