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The Recap: Telehealth in the COVID-19 Era

Telehealth COVID-19

On September 10 Vynyl President and CEO Ian Harris participated in Boise Metro Chamber’s panel discussion “Technology and the Future of Healthcare” alongside Dr. Waj Nassar, primary care physician of St. Luke's Health Care Systems; Heidi Hart, CEO of Terry Reilly Health Services; and Landon Reese, chief product officer of Healthwise.

The discussion focused on telehealth services, which have expanded considerably in the Treasure Valley and across the country as healthcare providers have ramped up their telehealth abilities as a response to the Coronavirus pandemic. While current circumstances are a considerable challenge to providers, technology is poised to become an even more integral part of the healthcare system.

Some key points raised by panelists included the rapid growth of telehealth utilization—in some cases more than 10x— and the need for rapid deployment of telehealth tools and workflows. The panel noted that while telehealth can be tremendously successful, there are technological and economic hurdles that will need to be overcome. For one, access to broadband internet and the connected devices needed to access telehealth are not always available to all patients.

On the provider side, Ian noted that it’s also important to build telehealth into existing tools, rather than adding additional complexities for clinicians.

“A big question that we wind up asking ourselves is not just ‘What can we build?’ but ’What should we build that'll work within the current systems?’

“I think that you are going to see a lot of really interesting solutions that focus on empowering patients and the patient experience. How do you create less friction within that process? How do you empower patients to get information when they want it, when they need it, and then how do you make sure that that information is good and useful to the rest of their care team? That's the big area that we’ve been focusing on.”

For more of Ian and the panel’s insights into the future of telehealth, check out the full recording.

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