Telehealth has been around for years – seriously gaining steam as the internet has grown and with major advances driven by the FDA. As the Agency required patient reported outcomes in the development of new drugs, for example, large, clunky paper patient diaries were replaced with mobile e-PRO, eCOA, and PROMs*. Advances in sensing devices, data analytics, video conferencing, and a wide range of mobile apps and technologies have broadened the possibilities for telehealth.
Yet barriers to adoption have remained, among them:
- Limited or no payments to healthcare providers for mobile and telehealth tasks
- Barriers to interoperability, most notably with some Electronic Medical Record systems
- EMR overload distracting clinicians from quality patient time and solving patient needs
It has taken the COVID-19 pandemic to demonstrate what the broader impact and value of telehealth and mobile remote patient tools can be. Had US healthcare embraced these new technologies more rapidly and extensively, the system may have been better prepared to deploy remote patient care and to achieve more meaningful patient-clinician connections.
Our team has been involved in scalable mobile e-PRO and PROMs over the last 19 years, successfully deploying these programs to patients, clinicians and clinical investigator teams globally. Our solutions have achieved high, sustained compliance among patients by engaging them in daily routines critical to their recovery and disease management:
- Getting patients prepared for surgery, a medical procedure or doctor’s visit
- Reporting their clinical status, symptoms and recovery progress after such events
- Keeping them connected in meaningful ways to their clinical team – enabling rapid, easy-to-use, secure messaging back and forth; answers to concerns; patient education or videos; or simply a check-in and kind word showing caring and concern
Lessons learned are many, foremost among them: remote patient management must be simple, easy and quick to use, reliable, actionable and timely, keeping patients and their clinicians connected in meaningful ways when it counts.
Engaged patients connected with their clinicians, particularly during challenging, stressful recoveries, can overcome what our clinicians call the “zone of darkness” while unsupervised at home – and stay on track for a successful recovery.
Our Health Helm Team is supporting patients, clinicians, public health and family caregivers in this battle.
*Notes: e-PRO – electronic patient reported outcomes, e-COA – electronic clinical outcome assessment, and PROMs – Patient Reported Outcomes Measures