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It can be intimidating to adopt telemedicine technology. This is especially true if you’re new to the subject.

But the advent of this technology cannot be ignored. In just three years, global telemedicine will be valued at over $41 billion. It’s changing the way clinicians deliver patient care.

Telemedicine also provides several benefits, for both patients and clinicians alike.

Where do you start? Look at the current trends.

The 4 Telemedicine Technology Trends to Watch for in 2018

When you know the trends, you can find an up-to-date telemedicine approach that fits your budget and needs.

1. Enhanced Security

In a digital world, more people’s personal information is at risk of theft.

Healthcare providers are putting security measures in place, but hackers continue to do damage.

The Protenus Breach Barometer found that there were 477 healthcare breaches reported to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) or the media in 2017.

These breaches affected a total of 5.579 million patient records.

What to Expect:

Healthcare delivery organizations (HDOs) will be amping up their investments in security enhancements. For example, they will be expanding their IT teams and giving them a more active role in their organization.

Frequently conducting penetrations testing and vulnerability assessments will become a standard practice.

2. EMR Integration

Electronic medical record (EMR) systems are vital to patient care. Clinicians need access to patient data at any moment.

Unfortunately, the ideal situation of looking at a comprehensive electronic patient chart is still a pipedream for many HDOs.

Clinicians often have to track down various pieces of EMRs, especially if there is a lot of unstructured content (e.g., paper documents).

Even if all the data is structured within the EMR system, they might need to sign in through multiple applications to find various pieces of information.

This is costly because it takes a lot of time and resources to find and compile a full patient record from various sources. Additionally, it puts patients at risk: clinicians might need to make a care decision without all the accurate, up-to-date information.

What to Expect:

As telemedicine technology becomes more common, more healthcare professionals are expecting a fully integrated EMR system.

More telemedicine technology companies will meet this demand by offering integrations with EMR systems.

3. Mobile Health

The idea of patients carrying healthcare professionals around in their pockets is not far from reality.

In fact, mobile health, often called ‘mHealth,’ is booming. More technology companies are making mobile applications for both physicians and patients.

What to Expect:

More patients will be paying for mobile apps that connect them to doctors, and more physicians will be providing care through these apps.

Not only will popularity rise, the quality of the user experience will improve. App developers will prioritize the user experience as the app market becomes more competitive.

4. Video As a Standard

It was only a matter of time before FaceTime-like technology revolutionized the healthcare industry.

What to Expect:

Vidyo’s 2018 survey found the majority of HDOs are using video to add value to their telemedicine experiences:

78% use remote patient monitoring

Clinicians can keep their eyes on a patient, tracking their symptoms and fielding their questions in real-time.

77% use virtual interaction

All those involved in the patient care experience can build a positive rapport. This includes patients’ families and the healthcare team.

77% use mobile health

The accessibility of healthcare services is excellent. With mobile video apps, patients can get in touch with clinicians even while they’re on the go.

65% use store and forward techniques

Healthcare professionals can record video to share and collaborate with others.

These telemedicine technology trends are just a glimpse at what the future of healthcare holds.

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