Telemedicine Cuts Costs and Improves Outcomes in Chronic Disease Management

Seven out of the top ten leading causes of death in the U.S. are due to chronic diseases.

Chronic conditions, comorbidity and telemonitoring

Helping people decrease their risk for chronic diseases and improving a patient’s ability to live with chronic conditions are international concerns. The increasing incidence of chronic conditions is approaching epidemic levels and finding evidence-based and effective strategies to promote health and for the prevention and management of these conditions is essential. Multiple studies have demonstrated that transforming care for this population requires a fundamental shift towards care that is coordinated around a range of services. Using models that provide a structure to healthcare for individuals with chronic diseases and comorbidities, such as the chronic care model, within an integrated care system has great potential to improve patient care and outcomes.

How Can We Help?

Chronic diseases, such as heart disease and stroke, are costly and preventable, yet they affect half of all adults. Telemedicine can be a useful tool in reducing deaths and managing the negative health effects associated with these conditions. Telemedicine is often used as a broad term that includes “telehealth,” “e-health,” “mobile health,” and “connected health.” These terms refer to the delivery of health care via information and communication technology (ICT). With the advance of ICT, telemedicine can improve access to health care, improve the quality of health care delivery, and reduce health care costs.

The telemedicine technologies used in chronic disease management are diverse and include:

  • Videoconferencing
  • Point-to-point connections
  • Dedicated networks
  • Wearables and sensors
  • Implantable devices

The primary role of telemedicine in this context has been to:

  • provide education to consumers to improve self-management
  • enable faster, cheaper and instantaneous transfer of health-related information via telemonitoring
  • facilitate communications between patients in rural and remote areas with healthcare professionals
  • improve electronic health record (EHR) management