As the utilization of progressive communication channels and virtual technologies continues to grow at an exponential rate in the US with each passing day, the adoption of telehealth is becoming a topic of great interest throughout the veterinary care fraternity.
According to the findings of a recent study published by Grand View Research, the global veterinary telehealth market is predicted to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 19.5% from 2021- 2028 and reach USD 417.1 million by 2028.
A considerable number of vets across the US have already begun integrating this state-of-the-art tech innovation into their practice.
Individuals no longer need to make an appointment with a doctor in order to get treatment. Specialists can treat patients who live in areas with restricted access to treatment thanks to the usage of encrypted video and voice links.
It’s just a matter of time until a veterinary office, practitioner, or even a solo veterinary clinic develops a telemedicine app and incorporates it into their medical services offering.
Now that you know what telemedicine is, let’s look at the advantages of integrating telemedicine into your veterinary practice:
i) Enables veterinarian-client-patient-relationship
Telemedicine enables veterinarians to provide after-hours evaluation of a pet’s health by enabling the collection of symptoms and some other clinical information while adhering to the veterinarian-client-patient-relationship (VCPR). Telemedicine isn’t intended to take the place of clinical examinations; rather, it’s a tool that may help you practice medicine more effectively.
A veterinarian giving basic medical information that is not meant to diagnose or treat a patient is known as teletriage. It is information provided to help with sensible care, such as the requirement for annual exams or illness screening. The pet parent saves a lot of time and energy compared to driving to the vet – including stress for the pet. Ease of access to the vet can also reduce the time pet parents ask Dr Google for advice. On the other hand, the veterinary care provider will be able to provide consultation to more patients with all that saved time and effort which will directly contribute toward increasing the bottomline of the practice.
iii) Client retention
Telemedicine manages to improve client retention and trust to the veterinarian by giving pet owners comfort that they can receive a better and faster evaluation of their animal’s medical issue(s) and much more effective ongoing veterinary treatment via online monitoring.
iv) Decreases the stress
Telemedicine can be used to direct patients to veterinarians’ brick-and-mortar clinics, decreasing the number of cases that end up in after-hours ERs. Because many of the practice’s symptom analysis cases end in in-office visits, telemedicine may help the practice’s bottom line while also enhancing patient outcomes.
v) Improves work life balance
Telemedicine allows veterinarians to be available to their customers without being on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, improving their work life balance. Vets may tailor their staff’s telehealth hours and are accessible for consultation (usually a few hours before and after regular office hours). In fact, about 90% of symptom-analysis instances occur between the hours of 6 a.m. and 9 p.m.
vi) Online scheduling
Telemedicine for veterinary practice assists in improving practice productivity and efficiency by enabling strategic appointment scheduling based on telemedicine data. There will be no more last-minute phone calls from customers whose pet hasn’t eaten in a week.
By performing the pre-appointment screening, you may reduce the strain on front-desk personnel as well as possible disputes with customers over the necessity of treatment.
vii) Synchronous Communication
Synchronous telemedicine is done via online video conferencing between a vet and a pet parent, and it enables the practitioner to examine, prescribe, and modify therapy for an animal without having to go to a veterinarian clinic or hospital in person.
viii) Asynchronous Communication
A client may send an email, text, or voice message describing an animal’s medical problem, as well as pictures or videos demonstrating the animal’s medical issue, using asynchronous technology. Asynchronous communication enables the vet to answer to the client based on his routine and the severity of the situation, and also gather sufficient data from the patient such as, test report, pictures with visual signs of disease, etc.) to make an assessment, write prescriptions, or adjust treatment.
ix) Patient monitoring through the internet
Telemedicine also enables gathering data from animals outside of a vet clinic or hospital using cloud-connected biosensors (e.g., smart patches, portable glucose monitors, , etc.) and sending it to a veterinarian’s mhealth application online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Biosensors gather an animal’s vital signs (such as glucose level, heart rate, and so on) and send them to a veterinarian-facing app. The software gives information to a doctor and enables contact between an animal’s parent and a veterinarian through video, voice, instant messaging, and other means.
The following are the two major reasons that are propelling it forward:
Lowering Health-Care Costs
The desire to reduce the cost of treatment is one of the primary drivers of the modern medical services revolution. Telemedicine may reduce the cost of treatment by eliminating the client’s or patient’s travel and time costs. Clients quickly see the benefit and then peace of mind provided by Telemedicine since remote patient checks, scheduled updates, and remote doctor counseling all use live video and voice.
Improving Regulatory Acceptance
Government administrative agencies, such as the FDA, are more receptive to it. In a recent statement, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. urged the finest telemedicine companies to accelerate research in digital health as a means of lowering healthcare costs. Veterinary medicine will soon be affected by regulatory pressures as well.
When it comes to acquiring new clients, the telemedicine growth methods discussed above barely scratch the surface. There are a plethora of different choices accessible. All you have to do is be open to new experiences.
It’s also essential to remember that growth is a continuous process with no one-size-fits-all solution. You must be patient and persistent in your search for innovative solutions to customer issues.
It all boils down to your consumers in the end. The more customer-centric your approach is, the more money your telemedicine practice will make in the long term.