Why cloud is the future of telehealth

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of telehealth delivery, proving remote, virtual care to be largely positive for patients and healthcare providers alike. However, to scale services and improve delivery as telehealth evolves, cloud-based communications will play a critical role.

The current state of telehealth

Like many other sectors, the earliest days of COVID-19 forced healthcare organizations to quickly mobilize existing resources as an emergency stopgap to reduce and avoid care disruptions. While they delivered on the immediate imperative, these ad hoc solutions fall short of the integrated requirements that will make telehealth sustainable.

To determine the current state of telehealth among healthcare organizations, we took a live poll in a recent telehealth webinar. According to participants, only 16% of healthcare organizations have mature telehealth programs capable of delivering a robust level of service. 

The greatest proportion of respondents (49%) said that they’re either still defining their telehealth offerings or employing virtual healthcare services prescriptively using ad hoc solutions.

Many solutions that were employed in the short term are falling short. When asked which capabilities their existing telehealth platforms lack, webinar attendees reported the following:

  • 80% have no collaboration tools
  • 45% do not offer multichannel communications, such as voice, video and text-based messaging
  • 35% lack middleware support and/or diverse endpoint support
  • 30% do not offer centralized administration
  • 10% do not meet enterprise-class security standards

Building the telehealth programs of the future

With 76% of consumers expressing interest in using telehealth in the future, and the potential of telehealth to resolve longstanding challenges in healthcare delivery, organizations have a vested interest in finding ways to integrate telehealth into their care models. 

However, developing long-term telehealth strategies will require careful assessment of foundational technologies. For example, organizations are exploring platforms that offer integrated communications, robust security, scalability for surge demand, and remote management capabilities.

Why telehealth belongs in the cloud

During the webinar, Gregg Malkary, Founder and Managing Director of Spyglass Consulting, presented new research from a white paper developed in partnership with RingCentral surveying healthcare providers that successfully deployed telehealth.  – Read more

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