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Telehealth Services Explained: Benefits, Examples & Tech in 2019

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As digital transformation continues permeating the healthcare industry, telehealth is gaining momentum as an increasingly popular alternative to traditional clinical care.

Telehealth is part of the broader digital health ecosystem
Business Insider Intelligence

Telehealth, an integral part of home-based care, first found its niche with seniors: According to AARP, 87% of adults age 65 and older want to stay in their current home and community as they age. But now that Medicare telehealth regulations are loosening, its popularity will only increase.

The aging population isn’t the only group that stands to benefit from telehealth programs: Healthcare organizations that offer them are already earning early dividends, including cost avoidance, lowered readmission rates, and a greater number of patients served.

And as technological advancements enable a prevention and wellness-based model, and consumer preferences shift in favor of more personalized care, consumers are opening up to these virtual solutions. In fact, 57% said they’d use telehealth for a remote general consultation if given the option, according to the 2018 Business Insider Intelligence Insurance Technology Study.

What is telehealth?

Telehealth — the use of mobile technology including video doctor visits and remote patient monitoring tools — extends the reach of physicians and healthcare providers beyond traditional clinical settings. Telehealth enables a constant relationship between patients and caregivers, and offers providers a continuous stream of real-time patient health data.

What are telehealth services?

Telehealth services leverage technology to provide long distance care health-related education for improved patient outcomes. Telehealth services can be delivered through a variety of methods including telecommunications, remote patient monitoring tools such as wearable technology, live video chatting, electronic record transmittal, and mobile health (mHealth) apps for mobile devices.

A cardiologist has a pre-op consultation with a patient via webcam.
Wikimedia Commons

Some of the most popular telehealth services include:

  • Telemedicine
  • Telemonitoring
  • Telehealth nursing
  • Telehealth physical therapy
  • Telepsychiatry

Telemedicine

Telemedicine, also known as virtual health, is the most recognizable subcategory of telehealth. Telemedicine is a direct line — whether it’s a phone call, video chat, or text message — to a physician or care provider via telecommunication. This is what most consumers think of when they think of telehealth.

Telemonitoring

Telemonitoring, also known as remote patient monitoring, is a healthcare delivery method within telehealth that uses technology to monitor patient health data outside of clinical settings. Telemonitoring refers to the specific technologies used to electronically transmit information between patients and physicians.

Telehealth nursing

Telehealth nursing, also called telenursing and nursing telepractice, is the use of telemedicine and technology for nurses to deliver care remotely. Telehealth nursing allows nurses to interact with patients and monitor their conditions through mobile devices, computers, audio and video technology, and remote patient monitoring tools.

Telehealth physical therapy

Telehealth physical therapy, also known as telePT, telemedicine PT, or virtual PT, enables physical therapists to deliver remote care to their patients through technology-based sessions, rather than a hospital or outpatient clinic. Common telehealth physical therapy practices include orthopedic physical therapy, geriatric physical therapy, and neurological physical therapy.

Telepsychiatry

Telepsychiatry, also called telehealth mental health or teletherapy, can involve direct interactions — whether texting, talking, or video-chatting — between patients and psychiatrists, as well as psychiatrists supporting primary care providers with mental health consultations and expertise. There are a number of telepsychiatry apps available including LARKR, Talkspace, and Pacifica.

Telehealth reimbursement for Medicare and private insurance

Virta is an online specialty medical clinic that uses telehealth programs to reverse type 2 diabetes
Virta Health

Private telehealth insurance coverage and reimbursement varies, though many states have “parity” laws requiring private insurers to reimburse healthcare providers for services delivered through telemedicine. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently finalized a rule that extends telehealth as a generic government-funded benefit under Medicare Advantage plans.

Learn more about telehealth insurance coverage under Medicare.

What are the benefits of telehealth systems & technology?

Telehealth can reduce the strain that medical labor shortages are having on health systems by minimizing in-person visits for nonemergency patients, freeing up time in triage, and creating more space for serious and urgent illnesses.

Providers offering virtual services are already reducing readmission penalties via telehealth-enabled home healthcare. Telehealth enables providers to reduce admissions by extending physicians’ reach, facilitating a constant relationship between patients and caregivers, and offering providers a continuous stream of real-time health data.

Telehealth tools are helping to augment physician decision-making, tap into new revenue streams, and deliver more personalized care. Virtual doctor visits grant hospitals and clinics a broader reach, faster consultations, and improved patient engagement and loyalty.

In general, telehealth could supplant a big chunk of in-person healthcare interactions. Business Insider Intelligence estimates that existing telehealth tools and solutions can serve anywhere between 42% and 45% of the 1.2 billion instances of outpatient medical care that occur every year, per the CDC.

What is the future of telehealth?

The Digital Health Ecosystem report from Business Insider Intelligence discusses how providers are turning to digital tech — including telehealth — to combat health systems’ labor shortages and shrinking revenue.

Some of the key takeaways from the report include how tech-focused entrants are acting as catalysts for change and threatening legacy players’ bottom lines, as well as how key digital health solutions like EHRs, digital therapeutics, telehealth, AI, wearables, and blockchain are the foundation of the industry’s digital awakening.

Want to learn more about the fast-moving world of digital health? Here are three ways to get access:

  1. Purchase & download the full report from our research store. >> Purchase & Download Now
  2. Sign up for Digital HealthPro, Business Insider Intelligence’s expert product suite keeping you up-to-date on the people, technologies, trends, and companies shaping the future of healthcare, delivered to your inbox 6x a week. >> Get Started
  3. Subscribe to a Premium pass to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report and more than 250 other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you’ll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally. >> Learn More Now

The choice is yours. But however you decide to acquire this report, you’ve given yourself a powerful advantage in your understanding of the fast-moving world of Digital Health.



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Revolut raises $500 million at $5.5 billion

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  • European challenger bank Revolut has raised $500 million in Series D funding from Silicon Valley growth fund TCV. 
  • The long-anticipated fundraising takes the startup’s post-money valuation to $5.5 billion, up from $1.7 billion previously, making it one of Europe’s most valuable fintech companies. 
  • Founded in 2015, Revolut claims to have around 7 million customers and has raised $836 million to-date. 
  • The company’s rapid growth has been marred by questions over its workplace culture and compliance procedures.
  •  Click here for more BI Prime stories.

Revolut, one of Europe’s buzziest neo-banks, has raised $500 million in Series D funding from Silicon Valley growth fund TCV taking its valuation to $5.5 billion. 

The long-anticipated fundraising makes Revolut one of Europe’s most valuable startups in the red-hot fintech sector. Other major European finance firms include payment firm Klarna, money transfer firm Transferwise, and OakNorth bank.

Revolut, founded in 2015 by the developer Vlad Yatsenko and the former Lehman Brothers and Credit Suisse trader Nikolay Storonsky, says it has around 7 million customers.

Reports had previously indicated that Revolut would take on some form of debt alongside the equity fundraise, but the company said this wasn’t happening for now.

In 2018, filings show Revolut posted revenues of £58.2 million ($74 million) on a net loss of £32.8 million ($42 million). The company has yet to release figures for 2019, but says it has experienced considerable revenue and customer growth.

It is in the process of applying for a US banking license and has expanded into Europe, as well as into Australia.

The London-based company allows users to spend money worldwide in 150 currencies at a real-time exchange rate, with no fees, through a debit card. CEO Storonsky has previously outlined his goal of seeing the bank reach 100 million customers in the next five years and break into North American and Pacific markets. Revolut is available in 32 countries and previously signed a deal with Visa, with plans to take the number to 56. 

Revolut’s growth has come with increased scrutiny. Wired reported on the firm’s aggressive culture and tendency to ask job applicants for free work, while The Telegraph raised questions about the startup’s compliance procedures. Regarding the culture, Storonsky has acknowledged “mistakes” in the running of the firm. The firm has denied compliance lapses.



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VIDEO: James Harden Euro step not a travel — here’s why

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James Harden is often criticized for his signature step-back three that many NBA fans argue should be called a travel.

But most recently, it was a Euro step that had fans tripped up.

During his 38-point performance against the Utah Jazz Saturday night, the eight-time All-Star Euro-stepped his way past two defenders en route to an easy two points. Twitter immediately erupted into a flurry of posts calling for Harden to get whistled for a travel on the play, but the layup stood regardless — as it should have.

 

Though it appeared to many viewers — including the Jazz announcers on the game’s broadcast — that the league’s leading scorer had taken three steps after picking up the ball, the NBA rule book suggests that Harden’s move was completely legal.

Like his signature step-back, the permissibility of Harden’s Euro step hinges on a “gather” step. For a player dribbling the ball, the gather, according to the league’s rules, is “defined as the point where a player does any one of the following:

“1. Puts two hands on the ball, or otherwise permits the ball to come to rest, while he is in control of it;

  2. Puts a hand under the ball and brings it to a pause; or

  3. Otherwise gains enough control of the ball to hold it, change hands, pass, shoot, or cradle it against his body.”

Further, the NBA rule book specifies how the gather relates to the league’s traveling rules.

“A player who gathers the ball while dribbling may take two steps in coming to a stop, passing, or shooting the ball. The first step occurs when a foot, or both feet, touch the floor after the player gathers the ball.”

For all intents and purposes, after is the key word here.

When applied to the Harden Euro step in question, the NBA rules on gathering appear to indicate that the referees were correct in not issuing a traveling call. Though it’s admittedly a close call in real-time, Harden’s left foot is clearly down before he begins to pick up, or gather, his dribble.

Screen_Shot_2020 02 24_at_12_24_48_PM

His foot is completely down before gathering the ball.

ESPNNBA/Twitter


Technically speaking, Harden could have legally continued dribbling at this point, so the step shown above doesn’t count towards his two-step allocation after gathering the ball. Fans and the Jazz announcers mistakenly labeled the planted left foot as Harden’s first step even though it came before he gathered the ball.

Harden fully picks up his dribble just before planting his right foot as his first official step. He then returns to his left foot and elevates for the layup, thereby limiting himself to just two steps and staying within the bounds of the league rules.

The Rockets left Salt Lake City with the 120-110 win thanks in large part to a combined 72 points from Harden and Russell Westbrook. They travel to New York to take on the Knicks at Madison Square Garden Monday night.





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10 things you need to know before the opening bell

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Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Here’s what you need to know before the markets open.

1. Global stocks tank as investors brace for a coronavirus pandemic. The flu-like illness has now claimed lives in Iran, Italy, and South Korea.

2. Warren Buffett is cheering the current selloff, saying investors ‘should want the stock market to go down.’ “That’s good for us actually, we’re a net buyer of stocks over time,” the billionaire investor and Berkshire Hathaway CEO said in a CNBC interview on Monday.

3. Here are the biggest takeaways from Warren Buffett’s annual letter. The Berkshire Hathaway CEO discussed accounting rules, stock buybacks, boards of directors, acquisitions, succession plans, and market performance.

4. US sees no material impact from virus on US-China trade deal for now. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Reuters he does not expect the coronavirus outbreak to have a material impact on the first phase of the two nations’ trade deal, although he warned that could change as more data becomes available in coming weeks.

5. Goldman Sachs pleads not guilty in Malaysia over 1MDB bond sales. Three units of the banking titan pleaded not guilty to charges of misleading investors regarding $6.5 billion in bond sales that Goldman helped raise for state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), Bernama state news agency reported on Monday.

6. Primark owner warns coronavirus threatens clothing supplies. Associated British Foods said there was a risk of supply shortages on some lines later this financial year if delays in factory production in China are prolonged due to coronavirus.

7. PepsiCo buys Chinese snack brand Be & Cheery for $705 million. “Be & Cheery adds direct-to-consumer capability, positioning us to capitalize on continued growth in e-commerce, and a local brand that is able to stretch across a broad portfolio of products, through both online and offline channels,” a PepsiCo executive said.

8. Stocks are tanking. European equities dropped with Germany’s DAX down 3.4%, Britain’s FTSE 100 down 3%, Italy’s FTSE MIB down 4.5%, and the Euro Stoxx 50 down 3.4%. Asian indexes closed lower with China’s Shanghai Composite down 0.3%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng down 1.8%, and South Korea’s KOSPI down 3.7%.
US stocks are poised to open lower. Futures underlying the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 were down 2.4%, while Nasdaq futures slid 2.6%.

9. Some big earnings are coming out. HP, Intuit, and Palo Alto Networks are among the highlights.

10. There’s some key data on the docket. Look out for national activity and manufacturing figures.





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