The rise of telemedicine: What medical marketers can learn from this growing trend

The rise of telemedicine: What medical marketers can learn from this growing trend

2018-01-24T13:11:40+00:00 August 29th, 2016|Healthcare Marketing|

With more employers looking to cut healthcare costs while also complying with Affordable Care Act standards, many businesses are adding telemedicine capabilities to their coverage. These measures enable workers to see a doctor or physician without leaving the comfort of their homes or offices. Not only does this practice offer convenience to employees, but wait times are often shorter, emergency room visits are reduced and – as a result – insurance claims are less expensive for businesses.

There are many benefits to telemedicine for both organizations and healthcare providers, and life sciences marketers should take note to gain a better understanding of the current needs of their audience.

Telehealth allows people to see a medical professional from the comfort of their own home.
Telehealth allows people to see a medical professional from the comfort of their own home.

Explanation of the legislation
Although telehealth is not a new concept, much of the legal regulations and technology surrounding the practice is. Today, it is a required part of healthcare coverage in 29 states as well as the District of Columbia via parity law, according to The American Telemedicine Association. Legislation shows no signs of slowing down, either. More states are taking steps toward making telemedicine a state obligation.

The Balanced Budget Act of 1997, the Benefits Improvement and Protection Act of 2000 and the HITECH Act all had an impact on where the telemedicine industry is today. This legislation, in addition to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, has shaped how real-time interactions utilizing audio and visual communication tools with healthcare providers have improved over the years, according to Rock Health.

“Marketers need to keep doctors’ busy schedules in mind.”

Telemedicine highlights demand for convenience in healthcare
There’s a reason telemedicine is becoming so popular: convenience. The technological solutions utilized for this practice make providing healthcare that much easier for medical professionals. The healthcare industry is a fast-paced one, often demanding doctors be in multiple places at once while thinking about the cases of various patients at the same time. Telemedicine is an efficient way to treat more patients during shifts. Not only can healthcare providers see people who come into their office, they can diagnose patients communicating via mobile device in what little downtime they may have.

The exponential growth of telemedicine should act as a bellwether for marketers hoping to reach healthcare professionals, as it indicates the need for efficiency and convenience in the medical world. In short, marketers have to keep medical professionals’ busy schedules in mind as they attempt to reach them. Outbound efforts need to be short, sweet and impactful. The more to-the-point content is, the better chance physicians will be able to read and act on it. Not only should marketing materials be concise, they should be valuable, clearly showing healthcare providers why the information is relevant to their profession and their practice. By providing this data in a way that’s optimized for mobile devices – like smartphones and tablets – marketers may see greater numbers of medical professionals actually opening and perusing their emails.

Healthlink Dimensions assists marketers in creating outbound efforts that are efficient and effective enough to reach their target audience. By maintaining a clean database of healthcare providers’ information, life sciences organizations can ensure their messages don’t fall on deaf ears. If the rise of telemedicine offers only one takeaway for marketers, it’s that it’s more important than ever to leverage technological advances to engage with individuals.