Population Health Insights

Why Telemedicine Delivery Is Shifting to Platform-as-a-Service


Adoption of telemedicine is expanding almost exponentially across the United States: A 2017 HIMSS Analytics Study identified a “surge” in telemedicine adoption, from 54% industry utilization in 2014 to 71% in 2017.

What’s behind this rapid growth? Telemedicine leverages innovations in consumer and data technology to create customized solutions enabling healthcare organization to solve some of their most pressing issues. This includes:

  • The ongoing (and accelerating) shortage of physicians and clinicians, especially in rural areas
  • The difficulty of engaging patients who are too often stuck in negative lifestyle habits
  • Communication barriers caused by lack of access or remote geography
  • The difficulty of administering EMR in a way that improves efficiency instead of hindering it

Transcending the boundaries of traditional care, telemedicine can offer solutions to all of these challenges. Services such as remote patient management and virtual visits give physicians access to more patients, in more diverse locations — including across state lines, in some instances — while also giving patients more and better incentives to stay out of the hospital.

A comprehensive telemedicine platform can even remove the burden of technological administration from the shoulders of healthcare employers and administrators. This has given rise to platform-as-a-service (PaaS) telemedicine solutions, which offers access to the many benefits technology can bring to the care environment while eliminating the burden of IT maintenance and administration.

What Platform-as-a-Service Means for Telemedicine

Long used in the tech industry as a means of outsourcing infrastructure and support services, platform-as-a-service (PaaS) utilizes cloud technology to offer healthcare organizations a list of advantages, which include:

  • Access to, and use of, a much more sophisticated data center than what facilities often have on-site, including premium hardware and software that facilitate the gathering, reporting and assessing of patient data
  • Assistance with HIPPA and regulatory compliance, with leading telemedicine services (like the Care Innovations® Health Harmony platform) offering installation and administration of services that are already compliant with HIPAA as well as applicable FDA CFR rules
  • Assistance with EMR administration by the enlistment of a full services partner who takes on the task of setting up and maintaining services, software patching and upgrades, user authentication, and so on

The safe handling of these roles leaves health organizations free to do what they do best — provide care for their patients and communities. As such, the demand for platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) has risen sharply in telemedicine — a development exemplified by the announcement of a partnership between Care Innovations and Diabetes Life Coach to further facilitate the delivery of diabetes care.

As per the announcement, Diabetes Life Coach will utilize the Care Innovations Health Harmony platform as part of a larger strategic partnership — a natural fit, given Health Harmony’s role as the basis for the Mississippi Diabetes Telehealth Network, a program that, in its first year, “treated 200 patients … with the most severe form of diabetes,” as the state’s governor wrote in the Jackson Clarion-Ledger, with “not a single case of remission and 10,000 miles of patient travel saved.”

Telemedicine PaaS: Why 'First-Hand Experience' Matters

“We selected Care Innovations as our partner due to their proven success in the remote patient monitoring space and the flexibility offered by their platform that complements our long-term growth plans,” Diabetes Life Coach President Ed Kenney stated in a news release about the partnership.

“By utilizing Care Innovations’ Platform as a Service, we are able to close the loop on providing a comprehensive coaching solution for those living with diabetes, while at the same time, accelerate our go-to-market plan in a way that is scalable and secure,” he added.

“We have first-hand experience witnessing the improved outcomes of people living with diabetes through education and technology intervention,” Care Innovations Chief Information Officer Himanshu Shah noted in the release.

“We believe that the Platform as a Service model is an important offering in today’s technology rich healthcare market, enabling the customization and hosting of remote care and patient engagement solutions,” he added.

If you’re interested in learning more about Care Innovations’ Platform-as-a-Service offerings and how they can help you enjoy the benefits of telemedicine without the burden of administration, we invite you to contact us here to schedule a complimentary consultation.

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