4 trends driving telehealth

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The Advisory Board, a Washington, D.C.-based healthcare best practices firm, highlighted four main trends in telehealth in a new report.

To compile the report, The Advisory Board analyzed 669 telehealth-related questions it received from members over the past two years.

Here are the four trends.

1. Telehealth is in an early stage. Although The Advisory Board saw an 18 percent increase in telehealth questions between 2015 and 2016, the majority — across both years — were general interest questions.

2. Telehealth is implemented systemwide. The majority of questions (77 percent) in 2016 came from strategic healthcare planners, rather than clinical leaders. This trend may speak to how telehealth is a systemwide project, not specific to individual service lines.

3. Telehealth is focused on behavioral healthcare. When considering questions about specialty applications in 2016, 22 percent were focused on telepsychiatry or behavioral health. Other popular medical areas included telestroke (14 percent) and e-ICU (12 percent).

4. Telehealth is a patient-focused intervention. The Advisory Board's questions focused on physician-to-patient programs, rather than remote physician-to-physician consultations. These questions about direct-to-patient programs also tended to revolve around virtual visits — not remote monitoring.

Click here to view the full analysis.

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