Does Telehealth Represent the Future of Healthcare?

You can host virtual business meetings, conferences, and social gatherings. So why not have doctor appointments be virtual as well?

If the last year has taught us anything about being virtual, it’s that anything is possible.

Since the start of the pandemic, there has been a cascade of changes in healthcare.

To protect the health and safety of both patients and caregivers, clinics and hospitals leveraged technology to deliver care outside of the doctor’s office.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there was an increase of 154% in telehealth visits during the last week of March 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.

Healio News reports telehealth visits accounted for 30% of total outpatient visits early in the COVID-19 pandemic.

What is Propelling the Growth in Telehealth?

Investments in the development of artificial intelligence capabilities contribute largely to the growth in telehealth over the last few years.

Connectivity in medical devices and accessories allow healthcare providers to gain real-time data from patients to better monitor the status of their health and provide timely care.

It also allows healthcare providers to improve clinical trials and drug discoveries, streamline administrative processes, gain better understanding of their patients, and help with complex illness diagnosis.

What Are the Challenges that Remain?

As with anything that leverages technology, especially complex technology for complex tasks, cybersecurity is a huge concern.

With telehealth, sensitive information from patients becomes shared over electronic databases.

For example, the COVID-19 tracking app that was created last year relied on location and information tracking to gain knowledge of where potential spreads were.

If these devices aren’t heavily protected with security protocols, hackers can easily gain access to private information.

The rise of telehealth has also led to more cyber attacks.

According to the Security Scorecard, telehealth providers reported a 30% increase in cybersecurity findings per healthcare domain last year.

Payment processing also poses a huge cybersecurity risk.

With telehealth, payments for services need to be processed virtually as well.

This presents a risk for cyber attacks and hackers accessing confidential information such as bank card numbers, addresses, and personal identification information.

How Can Healthcare Providers Reduce Risks?

Implementing many layers of security protocols is a great way to reduce risks associated with cybersecurity.

A cloud computing system can provide the many layers needed to make sure patient information is as secure as possible.

Cloud computing provides end-to-end data encryption technology to protect the data that patients provide healthcare providers and the data that healthcare providers use during their clinical trials and drug discoveries.

Cloud services also use firewalls, antivirus programs, multi-level authentication, and intrusion detection facility to fully secure sensitive data, ensure customers are verified, and prevent malicious content from reaching patients.

At SHEA Global, we can assess the security of your telehealth process and provide solutions to help you treat patients more securely. Reach out today and learn how we can help you.