Mobile healthcare is in high demand. COVID-19 has driven a massive shift towards virtualized healthcare, and patients and physicians seek new ways to receive and deliver care.
Telemedicine expands provider flexibility, maintains data flow, and adds a layer of protection against sharing illness. Hospitals can vastly improve efficiency, employee morale, and patient satisfaction by shifting to the virtual platform.
Telemedicine and Virtual Appointments
While telehealth technology has been steadily rising for several decades, COVID-19 gave it a real boost. Technology adoption has skyrocketed in recent months, receiving a newfound appreciation from healthcare providers.
Telemedicine became widely accepted because it allows patients to meet virtually with their doctors from their homes. According to McKinsey, US consumer adoption has grown from 11% of consumers using telehealth in 2019 to 46% in 2020. Today, physicians see patients via virtual appointments more than ever.
Mobile Health Security
Telehealth solutions offer a host of benefits, though cybersecurity is a significant consideration. With the rapid transition to remote care delivery, the healthcare industry faces increased exposure to cyberattacks. Telemedicine is especially vulnerable to cyber threats, which puts sensitive patient information at risk. Electronic medical records (EMR), mobile devices, medical tools, and web‐based applications need protection.
Some of the most significant cybersecurity issues include privacy and data security risks, data breaches, application glitches, technology failure, and diagnostic errors caused by compromised or flawed data. Telemedicine providers should have proper cybersecurity safeguards, such as encryption, firewalls, and authentication, and set risk-minimizing guidelines for healthcare practitioners and employees.
Telemedicine is Here to Stay
Initially, telemedicine’s primary purpose was to bring care to rural areas with a healthcare provider shortage. Today, telehealth enjoys widespread popularity and is used across multiple specialties throughout the US, regardless of population density.
Solution providers are shifting focus, too. The biggest telehealth tech companies concentrated on taking urgent care out of the traditional setting in the past. Now, private practices, specialists, and entire health systems add telehealth services to their existing offerings to enhance patient outcomes and improve care access and convenience.
Patients try telehealth services for several reasons. Scheduling a virtual visit is simple, and no commute is required. Getting a potential diagnosis without leaving home or waiting hours in an overcrowded waiting room makes mobile healthcare attractive.
According to the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Telehealth Satisfaction Study, the overwhelming majority of telehealth users are happy with the service. However, barriers exist. Limited available services and remote technology challenges are some patient and provider obstacles.
Healthcare Staff Perspective
Telehealth’s popularity increases across various specialties, even among those that historically doubted virtual client care effectiveness. Although the technology adoption rate varies by specialty, the trend is clear. Improved clinical efficiency and enhanced patient outcomes are the reasons healthcare professionals embrace the technology.
Telehealth also has a positive impact on workflow. Many providers feel it requires less time and effort to deliver quality care in a virtual setting. However, there are challenges, such as privacy concerns and lack of internet access in some areas.
Pros and Cons of Telemedicine Devices
Telemedicine devices and technologies facilitate the delivery of real-time medical diagnostics between patients and remote providers. Easy-to-use devices simplify integration into existing workflows, allowing for rapid technology adoption. Telehealth solution providers design these devices with the end-user in mind, ensuring that virtual platforms are user-friendly and easy to navigate.
Data security and HIPAA compliance remain the most significant telemedicine concerns. It is essential to implement telemedicine the right way, implementing the correct safeguards to prevent cyberattacks and reduce data breach risks. Videoconferencing and communication with patients must occur through a fully HIPAA-compliant platform to adequately protect patients’ privacy.
Technology providers routinely implement cybersecurity tools, such as encryption, firewalls, and authentication to secure telehealth. These strategies help mitigate the risks of unauthorized network access, hardware tampering, and data interception, all of which violate HIPAA privacy requirements.
BYOD in Healthcare
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is a critical element for healthcare organizations looking to implement telehealth services. BYOD offers companies potential cost savings and end-users more freedom.
Protecting data is a top hospital BYOD priority. Since telehealth involves the electronic transmission of sensitive data, telemedicine solutions should ensure a fully HIPAA-compliant platform to maintain patient and provider trust.
A Virtual Mobility Solution (VMS) enables BYOD flexibility and secure data transmission, regardless of where info is shared. A VMS keeps data on the enterprise’s server, allowing staff to use mobile devices without the data ever residing on the device eliminating risk.
Cybersecurity is not the only concern when it comes to data security. Employers should have protocols for lost or stolen personal devices and ensure that all employees know how to proceed should a compromise occur.
Organizations can overcome security concerns, BYOD policy resistance, and regulatory compliance by implementing the right virtual mobility solution.
Improving Virtual Care and Transitioning to a Remote Platform
Telehealth has played a critical role during the COVID-19 pandemic. Patients and healthcare providers alike endorse the solution and will likely continue to adopt it on an even larger scale.
Hospitals are quickly adapting to client care needs. However, with rapid growth, there are challenges. Remote care and BYOD policies require scalable mobility infrastructures capable of meeting ever-evolving industry needs and technology developments.
Hypori Virtual Mobility™ maintains 100% data separation, resolving data security concerns, and eliminating the need to keep sensitive data on personal mobile devices. A company-owned data center stores all patient records, charts, and other health information. Hypori allows employees to use their own devices, eliminating additional hardware, leading to wider BYOD adoption and lower costs for healthcare organizations.
A virtual mobility solution like Hypori® solves problems that can hinder even large-scale telemedicine adoption. Hypori is a highly secure and HIPAA-compliant solution that delivers employee-friendly, centrally managed, budget-conscious BYOD to healthcare organizations nationwide. With Hypori-powered telehealth, providers enjoy secure BYOD while taking advantage of the latest patient care technologies.