How HealthTap Puts Remote Healthcare into the Hands of Consumers
The Covid-19 pandemic put a never-seen-before spotlight on telehealth. Remote healthcare services stepped into a sudden reduction of in-person care created by fears and restrictions caused by the virus.
While the most intense days of the pandemic are fading into the past, remote healthcare isn’t going anywhere.
Much like remote work, the ability to provide safe and accessible healthcare without the need to be onsite will remain an essential part of the healthcare world moving forward.
One company continuing to champion telehealth — pandemic or not — is HealthTap. HealthTap is a remote-friendly, tech-forward healthcare service. It’s focused on the goal of continuing to offer improved and affordable healthcare access and outcomes through the growing remote healthcare channel.
How HealthTap is Putting Healthcare Into the Hands of Consumers
HealthTap’s mission is, in the words of the brand, “to give real-time access to high-quality, affordable healthcare to all.” Founded in 2010, the online enterprise has spent more than a decade working toward this goal.
Its industry-leading tech-based solutions are steadily pushing toward the company’s objective of putting a primary care doctor in the hands of everyone in the U.S. — regardless of whether or not consumers have insurance.
There are several ways that this innovative remote healthcare brand is shaking up the status quo and leading the way toward a healthier, telehealth-friendly future.
A Healthcare Reset: Same Healthcare — Different Approach
The most significant factor that sets HealthTap apart from other healthcare solutions is its unique approach to the problem.
Most similar companies work to improve a broken healthcare system. For the HealthTap team, though, the solution had to come through backing up and starting from a new, consumer-centric perspective.
With that in mind, the founders asked key questions.
- What do consumers need?
- What are patients looking for?
- Are they lacking specific services with current healthcare solutions? The costs and inconveniences are deeply embedded in the current system and were found throughout this process. As patients seek straightforward and direct answers to very solvable health problems, the inefficiencies often show up.
For instance, too often, insurance carriers influence the choice of doctors, procedures, medications, etc. Geographic limitations are also a factor that restricts patients from finding the best doctor to fit their needs.
No matter the circumstances, third-party entities with other goals and objectives should never make important, highly personal decisions like these.
Consumers control other areas of their lives. Logically, they should also be able to make detailed decisions about their healthcare. With this goal in mind, the HealthTap team has labored to create its innovative remote healthcare solutions.
Comprehensive Remote Healthcare: HealthTap’s End-to-End Experience
One of the things that has helped HealthTap stand out from other telehealth providers is its focus on virtual primary care.
The company has worked hard to develop a network of doctors that approach each virtual patient as a living, breathing human — not just a collection of symptoms.
Members can also choose the same doctors for each appointment. This allows them to develop trust over time.
HealthTap combines this personalized touch with a robust set of tech tools that help keep costs low and services accessible around the clock.
This end-to-end experience starts with AI that asks a member questions, providing a digital “interview,” so to speak. This helps HealthTap’s system triage each patient, classifying their issues and assigning a level of urgency to their care — e.g., a sore knee isn’t as urgent as a broken thumb.
From there, the company uses the information to set up a virtual consultation with a doctor. This can utilize a variety of remote healthcare communication channels. For example, text chat, audio, and a video, audio, and text combo offer patients multiple ways to contact a provider — although video is always recommended for maximum effectiveness.
This virtual communication facilitates the conversation as patients and doctors discuss symptoms. Doctors can provide treatment plans, as well, as they shepherd the patient from one end to the other of the telehealth experience.
Accessibility: Treatment Any Time, Any Place
One of the key factors that make HealthTap’s remote healthcare services different from traditional healthcare is the fact that they are available around the clock.
This ability to offer 24/7 care isn’t just convenient. It’s essential.
Illness occurs irrespective of manmade time structures. Traditional healthcare services are available 9 to 5, Monday through Friday. Unfortunately, this happens to be right during the heaviest workday hours of every working business in the world.
This fact forces individuals to choose between their health and their work, school, and other responsibilities. If they cannot do this, they must opt for overloaded and costly after-hour urgent care centers and emergency rooms.
HealthTap gives consumers a fresh level of control by letting them access healthcare solutions on their schedules.
Affordability: Efficiency Translates to Lower Costs
It’s no secret that healthcare is expensive. The issue has been growing for years, and the recent pandemic only exacerbated the situation. In fact, in 2020, the first year of the crisis, healthcare costs rose by a staggering 10%.
The ongoing cost concern is making quality alternatives like HealthTap’s telehealth services attractive for another reason: they’re affordable.
Making quality alternatives available is thanks to the tech-focused format that HealthTap uses. Its AI and other tech elements automate many of the manual and mundane healthcare-related tasks. This benefits both members and doctors, saving time and rigmarole on both sides of the process.
When there is a reduction in time and effort, it equates to dramatically lowered costs. Moreover, it’s offered via a service that the company proudly explains is “less than our favorite video subscription.”
The Healthcare Bells and Whistles
This innovative approach to healthcare doesn’t just avoid many of the inconveniences and costs associated with the traditional healthcare system. The digitally-driven telehealth format has also opened up the doors for unique forms of innovation.
For instance, in HealthTap’s system, the developers streamlined and personalized the organization and presentation of personal information. All the information from HealthTap’s AI, notes from virtual doctor consultations, prescribed treatment plans, and all other sensitive member information is saved securely in one place.
Due to its digital nature, this information is easily accessible from any digital device at any time of the day or night.
At the same time, the HealthTap team’s venerable industry experience has enabled it to create a system that is safe and protected. In a study reported in 2018, nearly two out of every three individuals expressed concern over health information when it was electronically managed.
Protecting the Privacy of Sensitive Digital Data
HealthTap is able to overcome this concern. It’s poured more than a decade of work and investment into its network.
The development team did not rush to establish a telehealth infrastructure. Unfortunately, this is very often the case with so many other providers who shifted to this format during the pandemic.
For HealthTap, they were already well-established as a telehealth provider before the crisis even began. As a result, their tech tools are already safe and efficient. This allows the company’s R&D team to focus on other priorities, such as building out the company’s network of board-certified healthcare professionals.
Having board-certified healthcare professionals ensures that a credentialed doctor is always available for any call at any time. In addition, patients can reach a professional from any place within the HealthTap community.
Telehealth is here to stay. However, choosing the right remote healthcare provider can still feel intimidating. It’s essential for consumers to look for options like HealthTap, which offers targeted tech tools, a high-quality network of doctors, and ultimately safe, affordable, and accessible healthcare solutions.
Image Credit: Pexels; Thank you!
How HealthTap Puts Remote Healthcare into the Hands of Consumers was originally published on ReadWrite on April 5, 2022 by Brad Anderson.