Telehealth and the Uberization of Home Care

Randi Baxter Posted on Mar 8, 2016

In the past few years, innovative technologies have been sweeping through various industries, lowering costs and increasing convenience to levels we never imagined. Take for example Uber. This highly publicized company infamously transformed the transportation industry by disrupting the traditional taxi service delivery model through client-centric technology.

The model shift resulted in more convenient, transparent and affordable service, which sparked a frenzy of organizations to seek out ways to “Uberize” their industries. So what about the home care industry?

The health care industry has been known to lag behind in terms of technological advancement, but believe it or not, the “Uberization” of the industry is already well under way. Consider Senior Care Marketplaces such as HomeHero, Honor, Carelinx, and Care.com who are adopting Uber-like model to directly connect home care workers with the families who need them.

These organizations are challenging the norm of the highly regulated home care industry through technology and innovation, making home care accessible and affordable again.

But where does this leave legacy home care agencies?

While these new companies offer automation and efficiency to connect patients to care givers, they may run into limitations when it comes to healthcare regulations designed to protect patients.

Home care agencies also offer a number of services that the Uber-like model doesn't currently provide: outcome-focused care coordination, integration with other health providers, and transparent data sharing to name a few. And on top of that, home care agencies now have access to their own client-centric technology--telehealth.

Telehealth creates transparency and convenience in the home care system where it has never existed before. With the help of this innovative technology, agencies can put the time and money they save back into the hands of the patients. Here are a few ways telehealth is changing the home care delivery model:

Convenience

With telehealth solutions such as remote patient monitoring (RPM) and videoconferencing, patients have the ability to receive medical care in the comfort of their own homes. Those receiving care have more control over what is convenient and affordable for them.

Technological Innovation

Advancements in technology is what makes bringing home care to your fingertips possible. While no technology will replace the authenticity of a face-to-face visit, the help of telehealth technologies has made it possible to deliver a home care visit completely electronically if necessary.

Faster Communication/Service

With telehealth technology, home care providers have the ability to produce faster results than the original model of service. Telehealth happens in real time, allowing patients to avoid spending hours in an emergency room or waiting to see a primary care physician.

Patient-Centric

Telehealth has a major focus on streamlining the interactions between patients and their home care service providers.

Patients are connected directly to their providers making them the primary focus of the experience. Healthcare is a highly regulated industry that can often spend more time focusing on regulations and bottom lines, but with telehealth providers have the opportunity to bring the focus back to the patient.

This innovative technology gives providers the power to deliver faster, more cost-effective home care services. Telehealth might not be the exact Uber service delivery model, but the virtualization of care results in increased transparency and convenience for the patients, and ultimately improved patient outcomes.

Telehealth may just be the beginning of the technological disruption or “Uberization” of the home care industry.

 

 

Topics: Industry News, Family Portal, Virtual Care