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The technology to enable effective telemedicine interactions amongst patients and doctors has been present all over the world.  We’ve seen the last 10 years tech empower remote monitoring technology for chronic conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension. What we haven’t had aligned with the technology are the policies that allow multi-regional and national employers to efficiently deploy these solutions across their entire populations. Many states previously blocked telemedicine and the ability to prescribe. And other roadblocks seemed to instantaneously disappear when COVID no longer allowed for patients to physically visit their doctors during the mass shutdown during early spring 2020.  The question is, was the technology lagging or was politics and industry lobbying prohibiting broader access and adoption?

Now that we’ve seen it’s possible, there is a great opportunity to make things much more seamless and efficacious. It’s great if you can see your doctor via video and have a meaningful interaction, but how effective is it if you don’t have a remote blood pressure cuff at home? And wouldn’t it be even better if your doctor was able to receive your A1C through a data cloud based report in between appointments to better prepare to address any emerging issues?

The challenges I see are way too many “point solutions.” Some have the telemedicine play, others chronic disease management with coaching services, or even AI-enabled interactions. Meanwhile, yet others have the data play that allows for greater transparency and less subjectivity in the patient-doctor relationship; however, in order to create the optimal experience for both employer and patients, we’d need greater connections between and amongst these solutions, as having to contract with 5 to 10 different vendors to manage the population’s health seems cumbersome and short-lived, and white labeling these solutions is not enough.

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