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Rx.Health — the digital health startup spun out of Mount Sinai Health System — has crafted a telehealth toolkit to help connect docs from US hospitals with digital solutions that could help them better prepare for and contend with the coronavirus pandemic, MedCity News reports.
Rx.Health's digital health hub includes digital triage platforms, tools that help spot high-risk patients, and platforms that enable virtual consultations and remote monitoring. Rx.Health usually charges hospitals a fee to use its platform, but it's temporarily waiving those fees in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Telehealth has been lauded as a potential balm to contain the spread of the coronavirus in the US — but traditional health firms may need outside help to facilitate implementation of digital tools:
Telehealth adoption is set to skyrocket as the coronavirus has more patients seeking care from their homes. Public health officials are touting "social distancing" as a means of preventing the spread of the coronavirus, and government organizations including the CDC are encouraging patients to seek medical treatment and advice virtually. Because many patients will have no other choice — and because traditional provider firms are lengthening their lists of virtual offerings amid the pandemic — we expect to see the needle move on telehealth adoption, which has remained meager among US adults. Even within the first couple of months of the virus' existence in the US, telehealth firms are seeing impressive growth: California-based PlushCare reported a 40% uptick in appointments since December — compared with the usual 10% spike in visits during flu season. US hospitals are prepping to become inundated with patients as the coronavirus worsens — so they'll likely need the help of digital health firms to implement effective tech solutions that could ease the burden. Hospitals nationwide are preparing for the number of potential, severe coronavirus cases to outpace the number of hospital beds in intensive care units (ICUs) available, according to The Boston Globe. As they prep to contend with this crisis, it may prove difficult to simultaneously instate novel telehealth programs, especially for smaller hospitals that may not have a strong tech infrastructure in place. And products like Rx.Health's — which streamlines the process of wading through options — will become more need-to-have to help facilitate tech implementations for a workforce that's already stretched thin.
The coronavirus is opening up partnership opportunities for digital health firms and health systems — and we think these relationships will last beyond the pandemic. Rx.Health is acting as an intermediary between digital health companies and hospitals, partnering with digital health providers that want to get their products into the hands of doctors: For example, it tied up with Redox — a startup that seeks to speed up the sharing of patient health records — and clinical voice assistant company Suki — which has shown to slash time associated with note-taking, an onerous admin task for clinicians. Landing on Rx.Health's toolkit should pave the way for digital health firms to forge ties with overburdened hospitals that turn to these solutions for relief amid the coronavirus crisis — and these partnerships likely won't get shelved after the pandemic dies down. Telehealth companies, especially, could be slated for continued uptake, considering the coronavirus has had private and government-sponsored insurers modifying virtual care reimbursement and access policies. Want to read more stories like this one? Here's how to get access:
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