Technology and healthcare are becoming increasingly intertwined with the arrival of COVID-19. As clinics close and shelter in place orders expand, patients understandably demand solutions. Though everyday life has changed, their chronic conditions remain.  These conditions cannot be set aside until crisis resolves and must have the attention warranted to avoid worsening outcomes.

Many patients embrace virtual healthcare from the start. They recognize it offers them flexible access to their careteam. Others are hesitant, but often quickly warm as they realize it is no more daunting than their smartphone. 

Healthcare providers also recognize the benefits of virtual healthcare. They can complete something as simple as providing new prescriptions or as complex as assessing need for hospital admission. They advance care plans without multiple clinic visits and calls. The data is provided by patients and easily uploaded. A good system saves time while maintaining quality care. 

Technology has been viewed as cold and distancing. Now, it can become the opposite: A few clicks for an instant connection. Suddenly, care is not limited to those who live near or can afford travel to medical centers. Technology exhalts healthcare to be inclusive and accessible. In addition, it allows a balance of automation and personalization.

With all the negative effects of COVID19, there can be positive one: Increased connection through healthcare technology. With or without pandemic, there are millions of patients who would benefit from videoconferencing, accessible messaging systems, remote monitoring. This is the moment where all members of the healthcare system – whether caregiver or patient – realize the future of medicine. Yes, times have changed. Why not make a change for the better?

Kathleen Muller
Nurse Advisor, Kencor Health

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