AcuteCare Telemedicine Blog

Investing in People

Telemedicine has garnered more attention as of late as a truly game-changing emerging field on the cutting edge of healthcare. Perceptions of the field have become increasingly favorable, but there is still a long road ahead to becoming part of the mainstream lexicon of medicine for patients and providers.

Presently, one of the most significant barriers to entry for new companies in telemedicine is the level of investment required on the part of potential client facilities. Revolutionary technology does not typically come cheap, and as healthcare spending continues to swell (albeit at a slower rate than previously), most facilities are working diligently to combat rising costs rather than add new programs to already bloated budgets.

The good news is that practical new technologies, regardless of how disruptive or expensive at the outset, have a habit of eventually finding their way into adoption. A common adage proclaims that every few years, the power of technology doubles and its price tag is halved. This implies that facilities which have temporarily chosen to forego the extensive advantages that telemedicine programs offer based upon steep startup costs will ultimately find the same solutions to be far more cost effective in the not-too-distant future. However, late adopters of telemedicine services do run the risk of losing their competitive edge. This is especially true in light of the rapid changes ahead in the healthcare landscape; the integration of telemedicine can make a hospital more independent of, or attractive to, consolidation by larger healthcare systems, depending on the goals of the client.

When considering teleneurology as a discipline in particular, hospitals must recognize that an investment in telemedicine is far more than an investment in the newest, best equipment; it is the foundation of a relationship with physicians who are among the most knowledgeable and experiences practitioners in their field. AcuteCare Telemedicine is truly technology- agnostic, meaning that regardless of the price tag of the machines that we leverage to connect with a facility’s patients or staff, a partnership with our physicians means that behind the machinery is the expertise needed to drastically improve the quality of care a patient can receive. We place value in finding quality tools to accomplish our mission, but our accessibility is by no means restricted by them.

Many healthcare leaders are still hesitant to make the investment in something new, but the time has come that the highest level of expert care be available to everyone, everywhere. It is our vision that hospital facilities will share in our agnosticism towards technology and invest in the people who will improve healthcare’s next generation.

Healthcare in the Cloud

Cloud computing is a rapidly emerging trend, and for good reason. Storing data in the cloud (on an offsite data server location that can be accessed from anywhere via the web, as opposed to a personal computer or local server) has many advantages: it is cost effective, free of initial investment in and maintenance of hardware, convenient, and most importantly, flexible and easily accessible. Unfortunately, cloud computing is not too good to be true; there are also significant concerns, mostly related to issues of security and stability.

As technology and knowledge advance, doubts about moving towards a cloud-based system of storing healthcare related information, including electronic health records (EHRs) are being relieved, and adoption is speeding up.

According to a MarketsandMarkets report entitled “Healthcare Cloud Computing Market – Global Trends, Challenges, Opportunities & Forecasts,” the global healthcare cloud computing market is now projected to increase to a value of $5.4 billion by in the next five years. The report notes that the market is already using not only these kinds of cloud-based technologies, but other modern telemedicine techniques to find new solutions to problems that have troubled healthcare administrators for generations. The report’s authors estimate that the adoption cloud technology in the healthcare industry, measured in dollars, will grow at a compounded rate of as much as 20 percent or more in the coming decade.

This estimated growth can be attributed to increasing pressure on healthcare organizations (HCOs) to achieve more while simultaneously reducing costs. According to the report, many HCOs that have not yet turned to cloud computing do plan on converting to the new technology within five years. As healthcare moves toward the cloud, investment and innovation will undoubtedly continue to make dramatic impact on the industry as it strives to improve the quality of our nation’s healthcare.