Zyter Blog

The Wave of the Future: Telemedicine and Virtual Health

Mar 1, 2021

The coronavirus pandemic has driven wide use and acceptance of telemedicine, including virtual doctor visits, remote patient monitoring, and a full range of other virtual health services designed to make it easier for patients to follow social distancing, avoid crowds in public places, and take other precautions to reduce the risk of contracting the virus.

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In recent years before the pandemic, telemedicine was more of a novelty introduced by insurance companies as a means to reduce the number of emergency room visits and resulting costs for non-emergent health issues that occurred outside of normal office hours. But it is the emergence of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, in 2020 that is making telemedicine the norm rather than the exception – and Zyter is now at the forefront of delivering solutions that are not only responding to present day demands, but also are leading the way to new and innovative virtual health services for the future.

Telemedicine – The new paradigm of patient care post-COVID

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Any past doubts or concerns about telemedicine have gone by the wayside as patients are choosing the safe route of virtual doctor visits on computers and mobile devices instead of physically going to clinics and other public places during the pandemic. According to a July 2020 report by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation/U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), 43.5% of Medicare primary care visits were made virtually through telemedicine – a dramatic upswing when compared with less than one percent (0.1%) in February. The HHS report also indicated that the demand for telehealth visits remained steady through May and continued to rise despite the availability of in-office Medicare primary care visits. The report suggests “there will be continued interest in telehealth post-pandemic for millions of Medicare beneficiaries.”1

A study of 2020 healthcare trends by Doctor.com reports that the adoption of telemedicine by patients increased by 33% over the previous year. Another forward-looking survey of 1,800 patients by Doctor.com found that 83% will continue to use virtual health appointments and other telemedicine services after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.2

Moreover, the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) continues to stress the multiple benefits of virtual health care that not only relate to patient safety during the pandemic, but also drive improved access to healthcare for the future: “Telehealth could have multiple benefits during the pandemic by expanding access to care, reducing disease exposure for staff and patients, preserving scarce supplies of personal protective equipment, and reducing patient demand on facilities. Telehealth policy changes might continue to support increased care access during and after the pandemic.3

Leading the way in virtual health

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Zyter was pioneering telemedicine long before the COVID-19 pandemic. More than two years after implementation at a major military center, the company’s remote patient monitoring (RPM) solution continues to transform the way that ICU physicians and nurses care for critical patients across an international network of military hospitals. Using the Zyter RPM solution on a daily basis, nurses at the medical center can remotely monitor ICU patients at a hospital, for example and immediately collaborate with the on-duty nurses thousands of miles away using secure video chat when a device alerts any change in the patient’s vital signs. As a result, ICU staff can respond faster to the patient’s issue to provide a higher quality of care and bring about a better patient outcome. Learn more here.

Here are some of the other ways that Zyter’s telemedicine solutions are making a big difference on the frontlines against COVID-19 and pioneering the future of virtual health:

 

  • Virtual health at home – ZyterHome™, Zyter’s telemedicine solution for remote patient monitoring (RPM), enables provider practices and doctors to care for patients who are able to participate in their own care at home. Using a 4G-enabled device, patients at home can remotely monitor their physiological data from a blood pressure cuff, a glucometer, and digital weight scale with more devices to be added in the future. Beyond management of the patient’s chronic health conditions, the ZyterHome secure mobile app also enables doctors and patients to have virtual telehealth visits, resulting in improved and safer patient care during the pandemic and beyond. What’s more, RPM using ZyterHome has the potential to be reimbursed through Medicare using CPT Codes 99493, 99454, 99457, and 99458. Learn more.
  • Telemedicine in the hospital – Zyter’s Virtual Rounding solution features multi-party video chat that makes it possible for nurses, residents, medical students, and even the patient’s family members to remotely and safely participate in virtual visits in COVID-19 wards and all other hospital units. More than a secure video chat platform, Zyter Virtual Rounding integrates with the hospital’s electronic health record (EHR) system to give physicians and care teams real-time access to the patient’s EHR within the Zyter solution’s context-aware video chat as they conduct the virtual health visit. As a result, physicians and nurses have the patient’s medical history, test results, medications, and more, instantly at their fingertips to help them provide prompt, more informed care during rounds. Learn more.
  • Emergency telemedicine anywhere, anytime – Last year, Zyter deployed a telemedicine solution for a global organization. The solution went live on October 1, 2020, and enabled physicians, nurses and care teams to collaborate with physicians and care teams, conduct virtual patient visits, and remotely monitor the condition of COVID-19 patients from 6,000 miles away. This is just one example of how Zyter’s virtual health solution is transforming emergency critical care today.

Telemedicine powered by Zyter

Learn more about how Zyter’s virtual health solutions are empowering healthcare providers and helping patients receive remote care more effectively and safely by visiting https://www.zyter.com/healthcare/solutions/#telehealth.

  1. ASPE Issue Brief: Medicare Beneficiary Use of Telehealth Visits: Early Data from the Start of the COVID-19 Pandemic, 7/28/2020 https://www.aspe.hhs.gov/pdf-report/medicare-beneficiary-use-telehealth
  2. 2020 Customer Experience Trends, Report: Customer experience trends in healthcare 2020 | Doctor.com; Telemedicine Adoption in the Age of COVID-19 and Beyond, Telemedicine_Survey_Infografic_v6.7 (hubspot.net)
  3. Trends in the Use of Telehealth During the Emergence of the COVID-19 Pandemic — United States, January–March 2020, Trends in the Use of Telehealth During the Emergence of the COVID-19 Pandemic — United States, January–March 2020 (cdc.gov)