Healthcare Innovators to Change How Industry Communicates Telehealth

Telehealth technology usage spiked in 2020 reaching a level of adoption a full decade earlier than was anticipated pre-pandemic.

Medical industry disruptors are innovating solutions to overcome and adapt to new healthcare realities. An example of innovative disruption is taking place in the area of remote patient monitoring for cardiac patients.

The global pandemic forced numerous rapid changes to how healthcare has been conducted. Telehealth technology usage spiked in 2020 reaching a level of adoption a full decade earlier than was anticipated pre-pandemic. According to a consumer survey, telehealth utilization has stabilized at levels 38 times higher than before the pandemic.(1) “Now that the public has embraced telehealth en masse, so must healthcare providers at every level and every sector,” says Karla Jo Helms, CEO of JOTO PR Disruptors, “Or suffer consequences like serious profit losses or worse.”

Fortunately, industry disruptors are innovating solutions to overcome and adapt to new healthcare realities. An example of innovative disruption is taking place in the area of remote patient monitoring (RPM) for cardiac patients—a healthcare sector that was already on the rise.

  • Pre-pandemic, the number of physicians using RPM designed to improve patient care rose to 22% in 2019 from 13% in 2016.(2) but those rates experienced a bigger spike in adoption with the advent of COVID-19. Patients, out of necessity, are avoiding in-person visits to healthcare facilities, putting pressure on healthcare providers. In response, there are innovative companies who have developed state-of-the-art RPM devices and cloud-based cardiac monitoring software to retain the same level of care that on-site visits provide. This is precisely how Massachusetts-based cardiac diagnostic monitoring InfoBionic is disrupting their industry.
  • Meanwhile, companies that organize and conduct clinical drug trials are challenged to find and retain participants. Current statistics show that 85% of all clinical trials are delayed during patient recruitment, and 30% are terminated early due to failure to enlist enough patients. Even the small proportion of trials that manage enroll the required number experience an average 30% dropout rate.(3) However, there are companies bringing fully scalable modular software-as-a-service platform to facilitate patient enrollment, engagement, and evidence generation in clinical trials on any browser-enabled mobile device, effectively bringing much of the trial processes to the participant. One company in Virginia, Jeeva Informatics, is disrupting the industry thusly.
  • Even life-saving organ donation transport is feeling the pressure—COVID infections and the inability to rapid-test have reduced the number of viable organs for transplant. A team of researchers in the United States reported a decline of recovered organs from more than 110 a day on March 6 to fewer than 60 per day on April 5. The number of transplanted kidneys dropped from nearly 55 a day to about 35 a day during the same timeframe.(4) However, a company called ParaFlight EMS and Aviation, which specializes in organ transportation, developed an app that gathers all the data necessary to transport organs and sends it a central dispatch system, drastically reducing the flights that would take up to 10 hours to organize down to having flights take off in as little as 2 hours—situations where every minute counts.

While these three are examples of innovations in telehealth, they are exceptions—the healthcare industry at present is at best 10 years behind the accelerated telehealth adoption curve, and communications will further drive the boom. But why is healthcare behind in technology? According to a recent study, healthcare firms typically lag about a decade behind other industries in adopting business technologies that would help with customer engagement. This lag is largely driven by unique regulatory requirements placed on healthcare firms as it applies to patient data.(5) The situation will become even more complex as new telehealth devices arrive in the coming years—the Internet of Things (IoT) will include devices such as “wand” technology that allows patients to scan themselves and send the data to healthcare professionals for collection and analysis.

But such wonders will either go unnoticed or face serious resistance unless innovative communication techniques are employed first to gain their audiences’—the public’s—trust and buy-in. It will be effective communication efforts that will win the court of public opinion—but doctors and caregivers must understand that it must come before any expertise is accepted and it must be delivered in ways that center on patients.

The advent of the “metaverse”—a future where the internet is made up of persistent, shared, 3D virtual spaces linked into a perceived virtual universe—has already begun with existing technologies. Virtual reality and augmented reality devices are helping train healthcare professionals. Video studios inside hospitals and physician group facilities can be used for education and active telehealth service centers.

“Ultimately, whether these and future advances will have a positive or negative effect on reimbursement rates will largely depend on the way the healthcare industry communicates,” elaborates Helms. “If [healthcare systems] win over the public’s confidence, especially in ways that benefit patients, they will be on the right track, but they have been behind in this as well.”

“Helms explains further, “Innovative storytelling is crucial if healthcare providers are to resonate with large segments of their target populations.” Wining over the key industry influencers will magnify the message even further, Helms continues—10-fold for 10 times the audience reach to earn the all-important element of trust.

Trust will be integral to disrupting the court of public opinion in healthcare, more than it ever has and for years to come. Methods of advertising to accomplish this will be obsolete, said Helms, while third-party credibility channels will dominate.

About JOTO PR Disruptors(TM):
After doing marketing research on a cross-section majority of 5,000 CEOs of fast-growth trajectory companies and finding out exactly how they used PR, how they measure it, and how they wanted the PR industry to be different, PR veteran and innovator Karla Jo Helms created JoTo PR(TM) and established its entire business model on those research findings. Astute in recognizing industry changes since its launch in 2009, JoTo PR’s team utilizes newly established patterns to create timely Anti-PR(TM) campaigns comprising both traditional and the latest proven media methods. This unique skill enables them to continue to increase the market share and improve return on investment (ROI) for their clients, year after year—beating usual industry standards. Based in Tampa Bay, Florida, JoTo PR is an established international public relations agency. Today, all processes of JoTo are streamlined Anti-PR services that have become the hallmark of the JoTo PR name. For more information, visit JoTo PR online at http://www.jotopr.com.

1. Bestsennyy, Oleg, et. al. “Telehealth: A quarter-trillion-dollar post-COVID-19 reality?” McKinsey & Company, 09 July 2021, mckinsey.com/industries/healthcare-systems-and-services/our-insights/telehealth-a-quarter-trillion-dollar-post-covid-19-reality.
2. Price, Sean. “Accelerating RPM: COVID-19 Speeds Adoption of Remote Patient Monitoring.” Texas Medical Association, March 2021, texmed.org/Template.aspx?id=55871.
3. “Decentralized Clinical Trials: Are We Ready to Make the Leap?” BioPharma Dive, 29 Jan. 2019, biopharmadive.com/spons/decentralized-clinical-trials-are-we-ready-to-make-the-leap/546591/.
4. Rachel Ginsberg, “The Reprieve: United Hatzalah Boss Survives VOVID-10 Battle; 07 May 2020; EMS World; emsworld.com/article/1224317/reprieve-united-hatzalah-boss-survives-covid-19-battle-ems-emt-paramedic-israel-coronavirus.
5. Landi, Heather. “Study: Healthcare Lags Other Industries in Digital Transformation, Customer Engagement Tech.” Healthcare Innovation, 30 March 2018, hcinnovationgroup.com/population-health-management/news/13030021/study-healthcare-lags-other-industries-in-digital-transformation-customer-engagement-tech.

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