July 20, 2017

Telehealth Looks to Digital Diagnostics to Improve Virtual Care

Source: ThinkStock Health systems and consumer-facing telehealth vendors see point-of-care testing and digital diagnostic services as the next enhancement to the virtual care platform. The idea that a consumer could not only see a doctor online for a nagging health issue, but also have labs and tests done from home, holds promise to ease traffic bottlenecks at crowded EDs and doctor’s offices and improve patient engagement and satisfaction with telehealth.

In 2016, healthcare providers spent $18.4 billion on point-of-care diagnostic testing services, ranging from pregnancy tests to blood and endocrinology tests, according to Kalorama Information .

"The driving force behind point of care innovations in the health arena is to provide expedited diagnosis where the patient is seen or in the patient’s home," Kalorama publisher Bruce Carlson said. "New technologies are allowing POC devices to produce quantitative lab-quality test results that can be transferred automatically to an information system, a remote caregiver service for consultation, or an electronic medical record."

The latest telehealth platform to announce an integration is Doctor on Demand, which this week unveiled a collaboration with LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics to offer digital lab services to its patients.

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