The video-first culture is fast encroaching on traditional methods of communication. FaceTime and Skype changed the way families catch up, BlueJeans and incumbents in video conferencing are taking over corporate communications, but what else can we expect to change in the near future and how will it impact consumers?
Most recently, there has been a surge in health tech. And, among this wave of new health-focused wearables, apps and smart devices, video has become a key component. In fact, telehealth—the fast-growing field that allows people to consult medical professionals via remote technology like messaging apps and video—is set to grow exponentially. The number of telemedicine patients is predicted to increase to 7 million in 2018 from just 350,000 in 2013, according to a Cisco Customer Experience Report.
Medical insurers are catching on, partnering with telemedicine providers on a number of health plans. A recent and notable use case was that of Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) in collaboration with Walgreens. The partnership aims to provide tailored support for patients undertaking complex fertility treatments via web-based patient support available online or on mobile.
The benefits of video communications for patient support in this scenario include better stewardship through the complex administration techniques of prescribed medications. Walgreens has made it so that its skilled nurses, with specialized knowledge in fertility, are just a few clicks away from patients in need. Remote inclusion of other necessary parties, like the patient’s partner, is also possible via the video communication technology.
This is just the beginning and may be the first steps toward experiencing something reminiscent of the personal touch medicine had in times of old—receiving care in the comfort of your own home.