Oxygen management: Keep an eye on telehealth

Q. How will telehealth impact my business in 2018 and beyond?
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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

A. Telehealth solutions were the talk of Medtrade and one of the major features highlighted by oxygen therapy manufacturers. The role of telehealth can enable the provider and clinician to review data transmitted via the equipment user’s smart device connected to the oxygen therapy equipment at their home. Telehealth is emerging as a critical component of our health care system and it has the potential to significantly improve some of the most challenging problems of health care networks and HMEs.  Providers and health systems are both banking on the fact that this emerging technology will help to improve access to care, reduce operational costs, reduce readmission rates, and promote patient compliance to treatment options. 

According to ReportsnReports, the telehealth market is projected to be a $9B global industry by 2021 because of the increased need by health care providers to take a greater role in remote monitoring patients who suffer from chronic conditions.

No matter the trend, providers will benefit from oxygen therapy equipment with telehealth capabilities. The number one item, and the most practical item on their list, is the ability to track the location of the oxygen therapy device. Many times oxygen therapy devices disappear from the fleet and are only discovered once they are uploaded for sale on a web auction site and the subsequent buyer experiences an issue and reaches out to the manufacturer for assistance or much needed maintenance. Second, is the having the ability to troubleshoot any alarm codes remotely, and understanding how the unit has been performing for its user and at what settings. Avoiding after hours calls is paramount in keeping costs down for the HME. Both of these are good reasons to keep an eye out for what is available in the market and to build your fleets accordingly.