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Shifting telehealth and telemedicine from a “system-centric” to a “patient-centric” journey

Leveraging telehealth and telemedicine successfully improves healthcare outcomes and drives higher patient satisfaction.

The popularity of telehealth and telemedicine exploded during the pandemic, and many patients continue to appreciate the convenience, personalised attention, and timely access to care that it provides. Replacing “system-centric” technology and processes with well-designed telehealth systems modernises healthcare organisation offerings, and scales to provide high-quality “patient-centric” care.

Expert insight: “Think about what else is available virtually or on demand. We can call for a car through apps, we can have groceries delivered to our door, we can watch movies from anywhere. Technology is enabling businesses to be established in this way, and that includes healthcare businesses. Now we just have to focus on better integration of telehealth across the patient journey.”

Stacy Feld — Regional Head, Johnson & Johnson Innovation
By the numbers: Telehealth visits increased from approximately 840,000 in 2019 to 52.7 million In 2020.
Though telehealth and telemedicine visits stabilised after pandemic-era lockdowns eased, increased accessibility and convenience continues to drive high usage.
The overall customer satisfaction score for telehealth services is 860 (on a 1,000-point scale), which is among the highest of all healthcare, insurance and financial services industry studies conducted by J.D. Power.
The telehealth market was valued at $83.5 billion in 2022 and is predicted to rise to $455.3 billion by 2030.

The unstoppable growth of telehealth and telemedicine

Disruptions to traditional in-person healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic led to a massive increase in the adoption of telehealth services. Since 2020, patients and providers have continued to explore the benefits of digital healthcare. While technological barriers have made access challenging for some, solutions have been created to bring online consultations, treatments and care to millions more patients globally. 

Existing healthcare organisations are discovering the value of telehealth as they adapt to growing demands for service. Telehealth and telemedicine options not only broaden access to healthcare for patients, they can also reduce costs to providers. Additionally, well planned and designed systems can boost productivity and efficiency, and create the opportunity to scale services to many times what was previously possible.

Getting it right: Building more personal connections by delivering user-centric systems

Many healthcare systems have evolved from a system-centric model that prioritises the organisation’s internal processes, often at the expense of patients' individual needs, preferences, and experiences. Traditional system-centric providers, such as hospitals, can be weighed down with repetitive and sometimes duplicative paperwork and procedures that delay care, frustrate patients and overwork staff. 

In contrast, a focus on user-centricity, or putting the patient first, integrates technology that can gather and access patient data and apply it as needed. This minimises tedious tasks for patients and staff, and prioritises delivering personalised services and tailored care plans at scale. 

Healthcare providers that create or modernise telehealth systems with thoughtfully designed technology supported by secure patient data have the potential to create a patient-centric journey. This focus on the individual patient can raise customer satisfaction while also delivering cost-saving efficiencies. 

Leveraging the power of Open Source to create excellent experiences at scale

Another key driver of success when developing a telehealth system is to employ Open Source software. With freely available and customisable tools, it’s possible to design a flexible system that can grow and adapt as needs change, and as the user base grows. 

For example, Nearform partnered with Cardo Health to define, design and deliver a best-in-class digital healthcare experience for their patients and doctors in emerging markets. The result was a state-of-the-art, highly scalable and resilient global telemedicine solution that was brought to market in just 12 months. The platform utilised Open Source technologies, making it a cost-effective and commercially sustainable solution that allowed Cardo Health to utilise and reconfigure as needed in different global markets.

Case study: Cardo Health
Project goals: For Nearform, in partnership with Cardo Health, to develop, build and launch a telemedicine platform as quickly as possible.
Process: Problem ideation to solution prototyping in two weeks.

Full build of the platform to live production launch in a matter of 12 months.

Nearform supported hiring and upskilling of Cardo Health’s team.
Outcome: Sustainable, scalable telemedicine platform launched, Cardo Health team fully self-sufficient after 12 months.
Nearform insight: “As the platform we build keeps evolving, then all the countries where Cardo Health is present will start benefiting from the enhancements. So they don’t have to build bespoke custom solutions for telemedicine as they go into new markets, significantly accelerating their time-to-market, ultimately bringing high quality medical services to patients at a rapid pace.”

Lefteris Paraskevas — Technical Director at Nearform

Partnering to produce patient-centric solutions

Organisations seeking to build or update their online platforms to serve more users in a patient-centric way often leverage the support of a partner. By doing so, they bring additional knowledge into the creation/upgrading of systems. 

For telehealth and telemedicine, this kind of partnership increases the impact by ensuring that technical challenges are met with customer-centric solutions that empower the organisation to become self-sufficient. Depth of experience in Open Source software is also increasingly sought after, as organisations are keen to move more quickly to market and at lower cost. 

A strategic digital partnership can deliver a clear plan for the rapid development of a modern, responsive platform that drives higher patient satisfaction, and enables organisational growth.

Insight, imagination and expertly engineered solutions to accelerate and sustain progress.