The global pandemic has brought many changes to various facets of life. As the global population faced the many challenges of overcoming COVID-19, there is no doubt that the value of healthcare has surged, with critical focus on comprehensive and continuous care.
During the height of the pandemic, I authored a blog that focused on how the healthcare sector transformed in order to better adapt to the evolving needs of patients. Patient care is no longer limited to face-to-face appointments; rather, the doctor-patient engagement has become highly accessible through the growing list of virtual options that were made available to patients needing assistance. Continuous healthcare—especially at a time of a pandemic—is critical. To address the need for immediate assistance, healthcare providers offered a broad list of telehealth or virtual healthcare options.
Before COVID-19, telemedicine had barriers such as regulatory concerns, HIPAA, and reimbursements from payers. Now, receptivity has increased due to removal of those barriers. In addition, prior to the pandemic, existing virtual healthcare options were mainly for urgent care with a pool of doctors and not necessarily your preferred physician. All these changed after the pandemic, with virtual healthcare impacting the way healthcare providers interact with their patients. It truly has “shortened the distance” between patient and provider, delivering convenience and on-demand care, as well as ensuring safety, reducing treatment costs, and making the process of following up easier.
The percentage of physicians using telehealth to connect with their patients saw a surge from 22 percent in 2019 to 80 percent in 2020. This being said, it’s no surprise that the value of the global telehealth market continues to rise—according to a Global Newswire article, the value of the global telehealth market was projected to reach USD559.52 billion by 2027.
In a recent CX Lab Global Survey, we saw an astounding growth rate of Mobile App adoption in the healthcare sector in the United States during the pandemic, reaching1/4 of the consumers in 2020. Mobile App adoption in the sector grew from 7% in 2017 to 25% in 2020. During the first full year of the pandemic, app growth skyrocketed in the healthcare sector, and its growth is expected to continue. In addition, we have also seen that giving consumers what they want in terms of channels increases metrics, such as loyalty and advocacy. People want to have access anytime, anywhere, across multiple devices and in the language of their choice. Telehealth has become a universal line of service that can be used by all, facilitating not only those who grew up with technology like the Gen Zs and Millennials, but also the Baby Boomers and Traditionalists who were more at risk from COVID-19. A Johns Hopkins article detailed the many benefits of telemedicine—a list that grows longer with each passing day in today’s new normal.
Providing smarter and safer virtual healthcare options improves patient access, treatment, and loyalty. Digital platforms offering virtual healthcare have become a powerful weapon, bringing human interactions closer to patients at a critical time.
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