Keeping your business as healthy as you keep your patients.

Why Humans are the Future of Telehealth – TED Talk by Joe Kvedar, MD

Dr. Joe Kvedar, Professor at Harvard Medical School and self-described telehealth and virtual-care evangelist, gave this TED talk a few years before COVID, but it remains highly relevant. His main premise is that with the older population growing much faster than the young, the one-to-one doctor to patient model of healthcare delivery will become mathematically untenable.

Last year, for the first time in human history, people over 65 years old outnumbered people under 5 years old. By 2050, it is projected that there will be twice as many people over 65 as under 5! We all know who utilizes the most healthcare.

His solution: Healthcare providers should “start looking for opportunities to outsource routine tasks to technology – things like gathering data, synthesizing data, creating plans. We should be embracing technology to do those things better. And while we are doing that… we need to train ourselves to be more human – to bring in caring, to bring in emotional intelligence, judgement and quality”.

The technology required existed even when he gave the talk. The healthcare community has long been quite conservative about embracing new approaches, but this has been significantly upended by the pandemic. While there is some question of whether a change mindset will remain after COVID is behind us, the demographic pressures should and must replace the pandemic as a driver of technology adoption.

Dr. Kvedar’s TED talk (just over 10 minutes) may be found here:

For more on the change mindset and how many practice managers believe it will persist beyond the pandemic, read Key Takeaways from “How We Restored Patient Visits to Pre-COVID19 Levels” – a panel discussion we hosted last September.

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