Telemedicine: An Opportunity for Everyone

Have you ever heard of the term “Wellthy?” It’s the catchy, new term that refers to the mindset of someone who prioritizes maintaining their physical and mental health. The more someone prioritizes wellness, the “wellthier” they are. The trend of wellness is becoming increasingly more mainstream with consumers. In fact, one could even argue that it should no longer be considered a trend.  Wellness is here to stay.

With wellness now a fixed part of consumers’ landscapes, consumers are naturally gravitating towards products with embedded health benefits. Wellness a driving force in consumer behavior as is a demand for high quality services that are fast and efficient. This combination is sure to have impacted one of our nation’s largest industries, healthcare.

Without question, the traditional model of healthcare is changing. There has been a fundamental shift in the patient mindset. Patients are taking on more of a consumer approach. It’s no longer JUST about showing up to your appointment – it is about the whole healthcare experience. Providers are now required to balance their care with communication, technology, and value based services. Enter: Telemedicine.

Telemedicine is the natural evolution of healthcare in a growing digital world. Just as technology has helped connect people with family and friends, telemedicine has helped better connect patients with their healthcare providers. It offers convenient, electronic means for consumers to receive virtual and remote healthcare access.  More frequent communication with healthcare providers enhances the overall level of care. It is an effective tool for improving a patient’s relationship with his or her healthcare provider.

Most importantly, however, telemedicine engages and enlists patients in their own care and improves health outcomes. That is the overall goal – better outcomes and improved health. Data shows that a big factor contributing to improved outcomes is consumer engagement. Telehealth offers the industry a great platform to connect and continue to educate patients beyond a face to face interaction. As a result, healthcare providers must constantly seek ways to better engage their consumers in order to stay relevant. Telemedicine is definitely a piece of the puzzle.

As a RDN, I believe that this is an exciting time in healthcare.  Consumers are interested in wellness, motivated to learn, and wanting to engage. We have an active, receptive audience and telemedicine allows us to share our expertise and positively impact the health of an even broader audience.

It is a time of huge opportunity for the healthcare industry. The future requires active patient engagement. Today’s busy consumers also demand convenience. If done correctly, telehealth is a value-added service that can be showcased when effectively marketing to their consumers, the patients. I predict that telehealth is going to be a requirement for healthcare providers to stay relevant.

Sarah Marjoram, MS, RDN, LD

A Registered Dietitian supporting nutrition businesses with impactful content and marketing strategy.