At this point, it is no surprise that the COVID-19 pandemic turned the digital healthcare environment (and the rest of the world) inside out, accelerating the use of telemedicine while throwing a wrench on anyone’s plans based on a very predictable 2020.
I had friends back in January who were reading storeys on how telehealth had reached its peak “and the height of its growth, said Christopher Lee, co-founder of the InfiniteMD (recently acquired by ConsumerMedical) virtual second opinion network.”
“He expects that doctors will be able to use AR technology in the future to see the electronic health record of a patient when looking at them, with their knowledge readable in the field of vision of their instrument,” like an F-15 pilot.
From the patient side of things, Movassaghi noted with regard to care that VR headsets were built for use in physical therapy and to alleviate pain.
They could be used to increase telehealth too, he said. In this case, a patient can go in person to a clinic with nursing staff and use a VR headset to interact with a physician in real time, rather than looking at the doctor through a laptop or iPad screen.
Although the hardware and software are in different development stages, Lee and Movassaghi have pointed to three key innovation hurdles.
The first, they said, is reimbursement: “There are whole parts of the market that are destroyed” because there is no economic rationale for product growth, Lee said.
Regulatory problems are the second one. Federal regulations can present technical obstacles to the implementation of virtual treatment, as exemplified in the relaxation of restrictions surrounding telehealth during the COVID-19 crisis.
And the third, Movassaghi and Lee said, is people-patients as well as clinicians.
"A lot of it is convincing people that hey, a computer program can do it better. Maybe having AR/VR will help you deliver better medicine," Lee said. Read More From Source