Managing Chronic Medical Conditions Needs A Hybrid Healthcare Infrastructure.

Dr. Adam Tabriz

Despite The Subtle Rise In The Utility Of Telehealth Systems, Virtual Care Is Still Alien To Many Medical Practices.

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Chronic medical conditions are rising, especially among the middle socioeconomic class and the urban neighborhoods. High Blood pressure, high cholesterol, and arthritis are among the top three chronic diseases reported by the National Council on Aging.
Courtesy of the National Council on Aging

Worldwide, healthcare systems face significant challenges in dealing with chronic medical conditions. According to Milken Institute, in the United States, in 2016 alone, the chronic medical conditions burden on the healthcare system was over $1.1 trillion, equaling almost 6% of the national Gross Domestic Product. (GDP) Today that number has reached $4.1 Trillion, according to the Center for Disease Control. (CDC)

The growing demand for healthcare systems due to chronic disease is a significant unease for all healthcare leaders. According to the World Health Organization, emerging calls for fundamental infrastructural reform in the healthcare system worldwide are imminent. That is further backed by the reality of the growing population anticipated in developing policies.

Managing Chronic Medical Conditions Requires Care Outside Clinic Facility Walls.

The chronic condition is an ongoing process and, more often than not, requires lifestyle management and change. It necessitates robust remote patient care protocols customizing every patient and medical practice. Sole reliance on providing advice without building a healthy partnership with patients will maintain a continuum away from the clinic with ultimate yield.

As straightforward as it may sound, remote patient care is rather complex. It encompasses various technologies, strategies, and levels of rapport concocted to engage patients in their medical care.

The recent introduction of Telehealth Systems intends to address, at least in parts, the issue of growing chronic conditions and thus reduce costs. But, Telehealth has shown its shortcoming in the past couple of years.

Based on the recent Stat poll produced on June 14, 2022, by the Medical Group Management Association, only 25% of healthcare leaders reported using Telehealth, whereas the majority (75%) did not. That is in contrast to a similar poll conducted on April 20, 2021, which showed 22% of respondents offering some form of remote patient monitoring (RPM) system in their medical practice. Although reports indicate a slight rise in the use of Telehealth and monitoring system, its uptake is still lagging even though it has created a new revenue stream for some practices.

Indeed, the utility of Telehealth systems and remote patient monitoring technologies to monitor blood glucose, Blood pressure, or heart rhythm helps manage chronic medical conditions. Thus, it will reduce hospital admissions and emergency room visits.

Despite the advantages that Telehealth Systems and RPM systems offer to the care of patients with chronic conditions, it seems likely that Telehealth and RPM systems still lag certain utilities. They fail to provide the level of care for chronic conditions patients require. For instance, if a patient misses an appointment, their condition could easily reach a point where they will abruptly need emergency room admission.

One should not downplay the significance of a hybrid healthcare logistics system when caring for patients with chronic conditions. Such a system is the prelude to a more intimate RPM system. It ensures continuity of medical care and the evaluation and timely application of a corrective action plan. That is a system in which stakeholders, including patients and physicians, all experience the same workflow and operation irrespective of whether they interact physically in the clinic facility or encounter virtually over cyberspace.

The efficient medical care delivery logistic infrastructure is the one that synchronizes the remote sensors like blood pressure monitoring devices or Glucometer, multidisciplinary human intervention, and support over the secure cyberspace irrespective of the location, distance, and time. That is a Cyber-Human-Physical network. That system ensures all operations happen in real-time and is interactive and collaborative. Furthermore, it offers more options to patients, more support for clinicians, and incentives for all stakeholders.

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Adam Tabriz is a Physician, Writer, Entrepreneur, and public health policy, expert. He is an advocate for Personal liberty. The combination of his experience and expertise underlines his passion for advocating true “Personalized Healthcare” and “Healthcare without Borders.” His favorite slogan is: “Peace of mind would come to all people through the universal respect for the basic human rights of everyone”

San Francisco, CA

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