Columbus, OH – 7/13/2021.
After months and months of untapped potential seemingly, suddenly being fully tapped, the pace of telehealth expansion seems to be not only leveling off, but declining, with a recent report suggesting the surge in uptake presumed to be observed over the course of the pandemic was somewhat artificial, with higher rates of usage from a smaller percentage of consumers skewing figures.
As a healthtech company focused on enhancing the consumer experience through optimized digital care coordination, we think there’s plenty to like about that scenario.
It has been both remarkable and a little concerning to see the industry explode like it has in such a short time. Any such rapid increase in a single segment of the market suggests developers and entrepreneurs are rushing to catch the train before it leaves the station. Except they may have left their target audience standing on the platform, in their hurry. The burst of product launches, mergers, and acquisitions has been dizzying. There’s a lot to like about what these innovators are proposing. All well-intentioned. Many reinforcing silos, or incomplete, or aiming squarely at healthcare’s most immovable objects. Perhaps not as many looking at long-term sustainability and optimal system integration.
We remain confident that telehealth, and digital health as more broadly defined, won’t fade to obscurity. Across all industries, digitization is still on the upswing. In only a decade, from 2011 to 2021, according to Pew Research, the percentage of Americans with a smartphone increased from 35% to 85%. We’d venture to guess nearly everyone reading this has booked travel online, booked a restaurant reservation online, paid a bill online, researched a company or person to hire online, or used GPS navigation through an online map, to say nothing of sent and received countless text messages and emails, and probably participated in at least one video-based conversation through the internet in the last year.
As it so often is, healthcare is the final frontier for new trends to take hold.
Digital health can be a comprehensive solution, especially when intentionally and strategically complemented by in-person care. From Health in Motion Network’s perspective, the essence of it revolves around how we can best facilitate and optimize care management. We want to give consumers a voice, and empower pharmacists to do more, and connect coordinated care teams so real-time, informed action can be taken to improve all sorts of metrics related to consumer wellness. And we want to do all this collaboratively, over time.
You may have heard the famous line, attributed in various forms to Mark Twain, “Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated,” in response to news reports incorrectly announcing his premature demise. We think the same could be said of telehealth and digital health. Digital health is still coming. Maybe not as fast as in the last 12 months. And maybe that’s for the better. But it’s still coming. If you want to learn more about our vision for a connected future for healthcare, get in touch. We’d love to share more.
Health In Motion Network delivers a consumer-centric, digitally enhanced healthcare ecosystem, enabling centralized and personalized, pharmacist-driven care management, empowering consumer choice and optimizing clinical outcomes.