What is Telehealth and How Can I Take Advantage of it?

As we continue dealing with COVID-19 and advising older adults to stay home whenever possible, New Jersey telehealth services have become an important part of many peoples’ everyday lives.Telehealth is defined as the administration of healthcare and health-related services via telecommunication technologies.

Examples of telehealth services include  routine medical check-ups from home via video conference with your doctor, using an app to monitor your blood pressure, and using an online portal to request medication refills. By using this technology, we are able to connect patients to their healthcare providers quickly, safely, and from the comfort of home. 

More Benefits of Telehealth Services

Healthcare providers can see more patients virtually versus in person, which means  patients enjoy shorter waiting times and eliminate travel time. We’ve all experienced long waits in doctor’s offices, but with virtual appointments both healthcare professionals and patients benefit from efficient time management.

Telehealth services allow doctors to connect with and provide care for patients who have limited mobility and difficulty attending in-person appointments. For older adults who have mobility issues, going to a doctor’s appointment poses certain risks and can be physically and emotionally exhausting. 

Medical professionals have integrated Artificial Intelligence (AI) into certain telehealth practices. By using AI doctors can analyze, screen, and treat certain medical conditions remotely, monitor for falls and other injuries, reduce in-person contact for vulnerable people, and patients can have AI-powered conversations to find answers to their questions. 

Most importantly, telehealth improves patient satisfaction. The nationwide pharmacy chain, CVS, has a telehealth service called MinuteClinic, and a recent survey of their patients reported a satisfaction rate of up to 99%.  

We’ve seen a surge in telehealth services since the start of COVID-19. Pivoting to technology-enabled healthcare may feel daunting to some people, especially older adults, but with proper support and guidance they can enjoy the benefits and convenience of telehealth.

Virtual Healthcare Through United Methodist Communities 

UMC is proud to be a licensed New Jersey telehealth provider and we’re working with trusted partners to ensure our residents continue receiving the best medical care via remote patient monitoring, video consultations, remote treatments and more. 

Some of the ways we’ve been supporting our residents using telehealth include:

  • Wearable patches that monitor vitals like heart rate, respiratory rate, and temperature. The real-time data from the patches is transmitted to a secure smartphone app, where clinical associates can track it and be alerted to any changes.
  • Two-way live video conferences that connect patients to onsite staff, primary physicians, specialists, and other healthcare providers anywhere in the country. These live video calls also keep our residents connected to their family members, which provides great emotional support when in-person visitation isn’t possible.
  • Fall prevention technology. Artificial intelligence (AI) motion analysis predicts when a resident intends to leave their bed or chair, 31 to 65 seconds before they get up. Alerts are then sent to  the monitoring associates on the floor to detect and prevent falls.

Telehealth has become an integral component of resident care in the wake of COVID-19. Our goals are to continue improving health outcomes through virtual healthcare, reduce costs associated with traditional healthcare, and to maintain the level of healthcare that all residents deserve.

For more information about UMC and how we’re using technology to support our residents with their virtual healthcare journeys, please contact us today.