September 06, 2021
9 minutes read
Health systems began developing remote monitoring services, particularly to control chronic conditions, long before the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic. Virtual hospitals, or remote, hospital-at-home projects, are a powerful representation of this effort.
Presently, the world observes that demand for virtual hospitals that serve patients from anywhere is increasing, not only due to the pandemic but also due to the world’s aging population and the rise in the number of chronic diseases.
The concept of virtual hospitals is rapidly taking root, thanks to emerging technology that makes it easier for doctors to attend to patients anywhere.
A virtual hospital uses IoT, telemedicine, digital therapeutics, and care navigation technologies to provide continuous remote patient care.
Virtual care is a tried-and-true form of care that assembles a centralized, senior team of clinicians and uses technology to help patients in and out of the hospital. The solution provides caregivers with critical information, allowing them to better care for the patients who require it most and preventing deterioration before it occurs.
Through a unique, high-tech environment, the virtual hospital provides the following benefits:
One of the key advantages of virtual hospitals during pandemics like COVID-19 is that they increase hospital capacity. Because the number of positive cases and those in need of inpatient care is growing rapidly, virtual hospital solutions can help to boost inpatient capacity.
Furthermore, the utilization of virtual hospitals can improve daily monitoring and care for COVID-19-infected patients while limiting exposure to other patients and healthcare workers.
The allergy, physiotherapy, mental health, and chronic disease divisions are particularly well-suited to establishing a virtual hospital because they rarely require immediate medical attention. A virtual hospital can help doctors and nurses spread their workload, reducing patient wait times and allowing them to watch more patients at once.
Hospital assets, from beds to exam gloves, are in high demand due to the surge in hospital admissions caused by COVID-19, with some assets constantly being in short supply.
Patients who do not require immediate hospitalization can use a virtual hospital to stay at home, saving money on examination and treatment costs. For one, a remote triage, such as a video conference with a primary care physician, increases access to health care while lowering the cost of emergency room visits.
Related: Digital transformation in healthcare
There are two types of virtual hospitals today: those that treat patients worldwide and serve as instructional centers for students and professionals looking to advance their careers.
The Mercy virtual care center, dubbed the world’s first telehealth center, provides virtual care services to patients in many US states. The facility offers four main telehealth services:
The COVID-19 pandemic in Australia led the Armidale Hospital emergency department to launch a virtual emergency room for the coronavirus affected in March 2020. Patients receive a tablet (or a smartphone app) and necessary gadgets for their condition (pulse oximeter, blood pressure monitor, etc.). They are required to attend pre-arranged e-visits regularly.
Mannequins, actors, part-task trainers, and virtual patient models get used in simulators at hospital virtual valdecilla, a simulation center for healthcare in Spain Receive, to allow healthcare professionals and students to learn safely.
Medical students become virtual interns under physicians’ supervision. Examining a patient with heart problems using several diagnostic gadgets is an example of virtual training under such a virtual hospital.
A virtual hospital brings along a slew of opportunities to leverage new technology that can improve efficiencies and provide useful data.
Leveraging the powers of artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate time-consuming tasks is a great way of enhancing efficiencies. These technologies truly shine when used for data entry particularly when paired with optical character recognition. Combining these technologies together allows for a fully automated data entry system that can even be used for handwritten forms.
IoT devices can provide exceptional value in the data they can collect and the systems they can automate. Typically, IoT devices are used most in monitoring equipment to determine when it needs servicing and optimizing its operations.
Cloud computing continues to grow throughout industries. It’s quickly becoming a necessity to remain competitive. Cloud computing and cloud storage tech allows you to immediately expand your computing power based entirely on current demand. It also reduces cybersecurity risks.
It is not easy to bring a hospital into the virtual world. Thus, selecting the right team to assist and guide you is critical.
As a competent medical software development agency, VITech creates effective healthcare software critical for EHR compatibility, patient involvement management, precise symptom indication, and conclusive healthcare outcomes.
You are welcome to contact our experts for an initial consultation if you consider turning your healthcare organization into a virtual hospital.
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