Prior to 2020, “remote” and “tele-” were foreign concepts that applied only loosely to work, education,
and healthcare. Now, remote, tele- and other digital healthcare services are radically—and
positively—changing the way we all access the care we need to live our fullest lives in the new normal.
And those changes are happening in bold and subtle ways.
Access to higher quality care… from anywhere
One of the most significant barriers to accessing quality healthcare is transportation. Without a way to
get to the doctor, nearly four million people in the United States go without medical care each year.
Transportation was a persistent issue as recently as 2019, with less than half of outpatient health
centers and fewer than 33-percent of inpatient hospitals offering any type of remote health services.
Those that did were notably located in highly populated areas with already-stable medical
infrastructure. The unexpected increase in demand for virtual videoconferencing and the subsequent
rise of videoconferencing services from Zoom, Cisco, and other companies in 2020 aided in the rapid
implementation of telehealth around the globe, even in those areas traditionally left unserved. The 2018
expansion of telehealth services coverage for Medicare Advantage beneficiaries also went into effect in
2020, further increasing the availability of these services. By the end of that year, more than three-quarters
of hospitals and 90-percent of health centers were offering telehealth on some level, making it easier to
get healthcare whether you have a ride or not.
Increased sphere of influence and broader support network
Most of us take the apps on our phones for granted, not realizing the impact they have on our daily
lives. At the beginning of 2021, there were nearly 54,000 health apps available for download on the
Apple App Store alone. Given world events between 2020 and 2021, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that
the list of the most downloaded apps in America included Amwell—for medical advice and services on
the fly without an appointment, Weight Watchers—for tracking your weight, and Medisafe—for
prescription reminders and instructions on how to take them correctly. Apps like Weight Watchers offer
a little something extra: a network of support for holistic wellness.
More control over your healthcare experiences
If you’ve ever wished for a more personalized healthcare experience that gives you more access to
information and more control over your care, you’re not alone: 75-percent of Americans want that, too.
Digital healthcare has built the foundation for coordinated, personalized healthcare experiences.
HealthIV is developing an app that, once available, will provide curated healthcare experiences by
directly linking patients and all of their healthcare providers together. While not yet available, this
upcoming app has the potential to increase interoperability in healthcare, increasing your total quality
Increased security for your healthcare data
With each new technological advance, the security advantages of digital healthcare become more
robust, even if they don’t become more noticeable. The introduction of blockchain electronic medical
records (EMRs) has provided healthcare providers and digital healthcare producers with the much-
needed balance between quality of data and data security. Because blockchain is easily applied and
scaled to medical records databases of any size, it’s both easy to implement and it makes delivery of
medical records both simpler and quicker. What that means for you is that your records and results
arrive earlier, and you don’t have to worry about someone else getting ahold of your information.
From new ways to make and attend doctors’ appointments to finding a weight loss buddy or fitness
on the other side of the globe to accessing test results in real-time on our mobile phones, digital
healthcare has changed everything. While we may not notice quicker delivery of test results or the
slow and steady increase of providers accessible via telehealth services, these changes are already
having a profound effect on the way we live and both our health and healthcare experiences.
Follow HealthIV to get regular updates on the app’s progress and find out how we can help you
achieve your health goals, whatever they may be.