Virtual Medicine Saves Money
Given the ubiquity of handheld devices, the increasingly reliable technology of wireless tools, and the fact that medical services and accessories are now available in the palm of every person’s hands, it is safe to say that the move toward virtual medicine has firmly taken root.
According to PricewaterhouseCoopers Health Research Institute (PwC HRI), not only is physician reimbursement contingent upon quality of care versus quantity of services, and not only has the health-care system moved from fee-for-service toward value-based reimbursement, but with handheld medicine on the rise, patients have become consumers—and often very demanding consumers. What are they shopping for? Under the new health economy, people are seeking the most convenient and affordable means of getting their health-care needs met. In other words, they want the best return for their buck.
The internet and technology have altered healthcare
Health care and the Internet increasingly go hand in hand, capitalizing on the latest advancements in technology to improve and enhance health-care services. It is almost impossible to conceptualize the medical system today without the Internet and a modern lexicon that includes terms such as e-health, electronic health records, CAT scans and MRIs, digital medicine, big data management, telehealth, cloud-based analytics, biometrics, and other similar terms.
With scores of online websites such as WebMD, Dr. Google, and PatientsLikeMe, people all over the world have access to massive amounts of information about diseases, chronic illnesses, illness signs, symptoms, prevention and treatment options, alternative medicines, and therapies. Patients can share stories and experiences on online forums, receive peer or physician support and advice, participate in online self-directed therapy for specific disorders (i.e., quitting smoking and gambling addiction), and even access medical care via the web.