How Health Insurers are Accelerating Telehealth Adoption

Learn about the acceleration of telehealth adoption by health insurers, trends observed in 2022, and the effectiveness of virtual primary care.
Meni Shikhman
VP Global Account Management
Key insights:
  • Telemedicine has been gradually growing in adoption and utilization over the past decade, with a significant spike due to the pandemic.
  • Despite the growth, adoption of telemedicine for medical services such as urgent and primary care is still minimal.
  • Major barriers to telemedicine adoption include a lack of trust in video or phone consultations and the impersonal nature of telemedicine.
  • Virtual primary care, which involves a longitudinal relationship with a provider and offers a range of services, is gaining momentum.
  • TytoCare‚Äôs technology allows for comprehensive at-home medical exams, improving physician efficiency and patient satisfaction.
  • Case studies with SWICA and Meuhedet showed high patient and physician satisfaction, significant cost savings, and increased utilization of telemedicine services.

Telemedicine is becoming a primary method for health care delivery

Telemedicine has seen a significant uptake due to the pandemic, with health insurers globally accelerating its adoption. This shift from traditional health care delivery is driven by factors such as consumers needing access to care during lockdowns, governments reducing barriers for telemedicine adoption, and healthcare industries wanting to address ongoing health conditions and prevent them from worsening over time.  

“Telemedicine industry has been gradually growing in adoption and utilization over the past ten, fifteen years,” Shikhman explained. “Some countries are more mature in the adoption of telemedicine. There was a huge spike or optic in utilization of telemedicine services, driven, of course, by the pandemic over the past two years.”¬†

Shikhman added, “We have seen governments across the globe, reducing barriers, both from a reimbursement perspective, as well as other regulations. Health plans did what they could to enable telemedicine.”¬†

One of the major achievements of TytoCare is the high uptick in utilization. And this indicates a true behavioral change with consumers.

Meni Shikhman

VP Global Account Management

Telemedicine can significantly reduce healthcare costs

The success and growth of telemedicine are not just due to the increase in access to care but also the potential cost savings it offers for both consumers and health care providers. Telemedicine has the ability to significantly reduce unnecessary face-to-face visits and hospitalizations, resulting in substantial cost savings. 

“Telemedicine can be a cost saver for whoever is bearing the financial risk, whether it’s the HMO or the integrated health system or health plans,” said Shikhman. He added, “The more services you can shift from traditional face to face visits to telemedicine presents a cost saving mechanism.”¬†

Virtual primary care is the future of telemedicine

The future of telemedicine lies in virtual primary care, which aims to provide a comprehensive, continuous, and coordinated care that goes beyond one-time, episodic treatment. Virtual primary care can provide a more personalized, holistic approach, covering a wide range of services from urgent care to chronic condition management. 

“Virtual primary care is a solution to not just an individual, but rather an entire family,” Shikhman explained. “The ability to tailor the right messages, the right cohorts of populations, to identify what ticks them, and every country is different because the way a mother thinks in Brazil is not necessarily the same way a mother would think in Switzerland.”¬†

Shikhman also highlighted a case study of a Swiss insurer that successfully deployed virtual primary care using TytoCare technology. The insurer was able to achieve high patient satisfaction, significant reduction in face-to-face services, and improved cost-efficiency ‚Äď a testament to the potential that telemedicine holds for the future of health care delivery.¬†