Imagine a scenario where the multi-specialty hospitals worry less about patient walk-ins and focus more on offering clinical healthcare from a distance. Here, doctors and patients are not bound by the physical walls, as hospitals make better use of digital technologies for providing virtual healthcare to patients. No, we’re not talking about an imaginary world or living in illusion. Virtual hos
Imagine a scenario where the multi-specialty hospitals worry less about patient walk-ins and focus more on offering clinical healthcare from a distance. Here, doctors and patients are not bound by the physical walls, as hospitals make better use of digital technologies for providing virtual healthcare to patients. No, we’re not talking about an imaginary world or living in illusion. Virtual hospitals or virtual care is not a new phenomenon. While telemedicine enables care providers and patients to stay well-connected, virtual hospitals build a telemedicine network to offer wide range of services such as medical checkups, remote monitoring or in-patient health assessment, all from a centralised source.
There are several examples of healthcare institutions in the US leveraging telemedicine to offer virtual care to their patients. Many hospitals in the US run programmes to develop or launch virtual care centres with the primary objective of offering better care to patients beyond the hospital boundaries, and thus bringing down the cost and reducing length of stay at the hospital. A study by Persistence market research indicates virtual care market could probably cross US$13 billion by 2026, at a staggering 26 per cent CAGR from US$2billion in 2018. North America leads this market in terms of adoption, followed by the European countries together contributing to more than 50 per cent of this growth. The Asia-Pacific region is up for a significant expansion in the virtual care market contributing to market growth.
Increasing demand for quicker access to care, massive availability of connected devices, and hospitals augmenting their investments in modernising healthcare systems based on advanced technologies contribute to the growth of virtual care. Healthcare organisations and hospitals alike are partnering with companies providing the necessary technology solutions to offer virtual care. This partnership model presents healthcare organisation with a strategic advantage, enabling them to streamline their operations and deliver effective and enhanced care in the long-run.
Adoption of virtual care doesn’t mean hospitals may move away from in-person visits. It is about increasing the availability of healthcare specialists and expert systems, thus widening the reach and offering convenience and cost-effective care to patients. The cover story of this issue delves into the trending topic ‘Virtual health’. In this article, the author describes how powerful the combination of experienced medical professionals and modern expert systems is in providing better care to patients. The author believes that virtual hospitals will lead to a significant transformation in the healthcare industry albeit with improved focus on increased reliability in the diagnosis and treatment methodologies and thus offering high-quality care to patients.