The state of the telemedicine industry Part I
The start of 2016 has seen a continuation of the huge strides telehealth made in 2015. Over 200 telehealth bills were passed across much of the United States, such as the TELE-MED Act and 21st Century Cure Act.
There is clearly an increased focus on mobility and remote access via mobile devices to improve the accessibility of healthcare in the U.S. and around the world.
Here’s where the telemedicine industry stands in 2016:
The Rise in Compacts
Initiatives such as the Federation of State Medical Boards’ (FSMB) Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, which is aimed at improving the portability of physicians’ licenses to increase patient access to care, have gained momentum.
Since the start of 2016, six new states introduced the legislation to enact the compact, making a total of 26 states seeking to expand access to quality healthcare through multi-state physician licensing.
Twelve states have already enacted this compact. So with a registered nurse (RN) compact already in place in 25 states, as well as the recently released draft compact for advanced practice registered nurses (APRN), this model looks set to gain wider adoption, potentially spreading into the fields of psychology, counselling, and physical therapy, among others.
These compacts open more opportunities for remote healthcare, which could benefit from recognised accreditation. The recent launch of URAC’s telehealth accreditation program for real-time healthcare delivered through televideo and other electronic methods is a strong indicator of this trend in 2016.
Providers who can exhibit a recognised accreditation will no doubt embrace the growth in compacts to increase their reaches, but the quality of service they offer will rely on their ability to communicate smoothly via video calls.
This same reliance will emerge for the growing number of U.S. healthcare providers building relationships with foreign medical institutions to generate more revenue by serving more patients.
This type of service will rely even more on the ability to conduct video consulting across borders, which is a constant pain point for many remote professionals. Many communications experts agree that the technology is still an obstacle to international telemedicine.
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“The infrastructure in developing countries are unstable, if connections are unreliable, voices and video are compromised, a dependable video/voice SDK is needed to alleviate this issue before adoption within the healthcare industry will become the norm,” says Tony Zhao, CEO of Agora.io
The ability to create a clear and reliable connection to those in emerging countries with less than ideal infrastructure will be vital to spreading healthcare throughout these regions.
Application SDK’s (software development kit’s) like Agora can be integrated into healthcare apps and software that look to bolster the ability to connect health professionals to those in more impoverished areas.
Check out part II Thursday on Healthcare Global.
OMNI: First-ever platform to launch citizen RPA developers
Robotic process automation (RPA) is the fastest growing segment of the enterprise software market due to its many benefits - from reducing manual errors to processing tasks faster. For businesses to truly benefit from this technology, RPA needs democratisation, and this is where citizen RPA development comes in.
Gartner describes a citizen RPA developer as "a user who creates new business applications for consumption by others using development and runtime environments sanctioned by corporate IT.” This could be anyone using IT tools and technology, not limited to IT specialists.
The work citizen RPA developers do spans from identifying automation opportunities to developing RPA architecture and solution proposals, focusing on scalability and extensibility. By deploying citizen RPA developers, organisations can enable enterprise automation and digital transformation on a much larger scale.
This is particularly beneficial for businesses struggling to undertake digital transformation, as a citizen RPA development programme can help drive adoption of automation as a strategic growth driver at multiple levels. With increased adoption, the cost of digital transformation becomes lower, increasing RoI.
Technology needs to be democratised – right from low-code and no-code platforms, business process modelling and identifying automation opportunities to decision-makers at all levels, creating a pool of early adopters. This group could comprise people across different functions, especially those who are aware of customer preferences, industry trends and end user experience.
But how can organisations harness the power of citizen RPA development? Step forward AiRo Digital Labs, a Chicago-headquartered global tech company.
AiRo provides innovative digital and automation solutions for the healthcare, pharmaceutical and life sciences sectors. In 2021 they launched OMNI, a subscription-based, SaaS platform to help clients accelerate their citizen RPA developer program and build digital centres of excellence (COE) within their organisation.
OMNI provides a personal RPA coach and virtual digital playground that helps enterprises rapidly build and scale automation, removing the risk of failure or talent gaps. The latter is key as research has shown that digitalisation is far more successful when championed by internal employees.
This has the added bonus of empowering employees - who will self-learn technologies including robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence, machine learning, chatbots, and natural language processing (NLP), reducing the lead time for new applications and technology, as well as reducing technical gaps, making up for skills shortages and enabling their business to respond faster to critical market challenges. The virtual sandbox within OMNI gives access to all the major intelligent automation platforms where citizen RPA developers can build DIY digital prototypes. Additionally, they can access more than 150 digital assets within OMNI marketplace.
The platinum helpdesk of OMNI acts as your personal coach and is available 24 x 7 to address issues during the digital learning, prototype building, and digital governance journey.
Another key benefit is that it enables digitalisation to be bespoke to each organisation, compared to off-the-shelves initiatives plugged into the enterprise. Individual organisation's objectives decide the scope and size of the process.
As Gartner state, in today’s world of SaaS, cloud, low-code and “no-code” tools, everyone can be a developer.