Virtual Care Alleviates Key Pain Points In The Care Journey

Don’t you miss summer? That time of year when there isn’t a flu epidemic or polar vortex sweeping across the country. Unfortunately, we are in the “darkest hour” of seasonality, when you and your family feel the need to wear a HAZMAT suit to avoid body aches, night sweats, and 100-degree-plus fevers. Despite telling our loved ones to incessantly wash their hands, entropy ensues and someone manages to become bed-ridden. That’s when it hits: the thought of the doctor’s office. Before the idea of waiting rooms and urgent care clinics becomes incapacitating, let me provide an alternative to avoid these traditional pain points of your care journey.

As consumers, our expectation for convenient digital experiences has given rise to virtual care technologies. Just as we no longer wait in lines at the bank to deposit our weekly paycheck, we are finally avoiding sitting in germ-filled waiting rooms to see a doctor. From the comfort and warmth of your home, you can triage your condition, video chat a physician, and even receive post-care attention, all while enjoying Mom’s famous chicken noodle soup. Thanks in part to a 245% increase in VC investment, virtual care technologies are providing a range of capabilities along the care continuum, including:

  • Pre-visit. From the point of first experiencing symptoms or suspecting a problem
  • Visit. The direct interaction between patient or member and the provider
  • Post-visit. Any point in time after the visit or service has been rendered

Healthcare organizations (HCOs) have an opportunity to leverage virtual care technologies for differentiation in a competitive marketplace that lacks rich digital customer experiences. Patients and members want the ease of triaging care or communicating with a doctor on par with hailing a ride via Lyft or watching a movie on Netflix — from the comfort of their home and on-demand. But the question for HCOs is: Where to start? Like any emerging technology, there is a variety of companies, each focusing on a specific issue across the entire continuum and making the process overwhelming.

Narrow Your Search By Learning More About 36 Vendors Focused on Virtual Care

Forrester did the heavy lifting, identifying 36 virtual care technology vendors across the care continuum, highlighting their point of interaction with the customer, and differentiating them based on three criteria:

  • Funding level. This is a measure of how much funding the vendor has raised, including both internal and external investment.
  • Company tenure. This is a measure of the number of years that the vendor has been in business with a product offering for virtual care.
  • Number of employees. As part of our measure of maturity, we considered employee headcount for each vendor. This indicates the vendor’s presence in the market and its ability to sustain growth.

Check out Forrester’s latest report, “New Tech: Virtual Care, Q1 2019,” to learn about vendors’ maturity level and primary functionality, channel, and market focus, as well as how to approach adoption of a virtual care program.

I’m always happy to discuss my research in further detail. Book an inquiry for a deeper conversation on emerging technologies in healthcare.

(Caleb Ewald contributed to this blog post.)