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The healthcare sector is renowned for breathtaking innovations and technological advancement. We receive news of breakthroughs thought impossible a handful of years ago every day.

The reality on the ground is slightly different. Roughly 10,000 new patients age into Medicare each day, drastically outnumbering the staff capable of serving their needs, and the lingering staffing shortage will
continue to significantly impact how patients are cared for over the next few years.

Innovations in technology can bring a certain amount of flexibility to ease this challenge but the vendor markets have primarily approached this issue incorrectly.

While the industry has innovated at an impressive rate over the last 20 or so years, the technology adoption curve has been mostly flat. This is because innovation hasn’t really helped a provider do more in their time with patients and, in all truthfulness, often creates more burden than relief. That’s why a solution provider like TimeDoc Health is uniquely positioned to provide a combination of technology and services that can enable providers to really focus on the patients in front of them. And in a fee-for-service arrangement, TimeDoc can help deliver a new significant revenue stream while those participating in value based contracts recognize the benefits of reduced costs and improved population health.

What is exciting about the digital health space today is the variety and impact of innovations that provide practical solutions. The old way of innovating was to think about the future and build solutions that support long-term impact and “transformation.” But that was often a bridge too far
as the industry and patients need practical solutions for their very immediate problems. The latest generations of entrepreneurs and innovators have shown that they can come at problems from both angles, offering unique perspectives. There seems to be no filter about how things used to be, rather they think about how things should be. They are mission oriented and socially conscious, making their innovations scalable and practical for today and tomorrow.

The thing about seeing a provider is that you, as a patient, want that human-to-human contact; we are emotional beings and providers aren’t robots. You want to be cared for by a person who wants to make you feel better: physically and emotionally. Providers want to spend more time with patients but are burdened by back-to-back schedules and an overwhelming amount of boxes to check. Many innovations try to replace provider effort with clever tech or AI – which can absolutely help in certain situations – but in many ways forgets about the patient. Advances in tech are so critical but they should always be used to enhance the person-to-person connection which fuels better health and well-being.

We must be careful that we don’t forget how medicine actually works: the human is so vital because connections are essential. We need smart tech – but it must be focused on enhancing the connection between patient and provider so that we can drive the outcomes we want: a healthier world.

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