Over the past few weeks, the onslaught of coronavirus has catapulted the healthcare industry to quickly pivot and adapt its approach to care. Amid this global pandemic, remote care and telehealth solutions are now not only a necessity, they are our silver lining. The distribution of these remote health-related services allows for virtual care, education, treatment, intervention, monitoring, advice, even prescription refills, in a time when most cannot leave their homes. As such, these patient-first solutions are triaging demand and ensuring immediate, remote access to healthcare for all. We are lucky enough to support some of the leaders helping to drive forward this change. In this blog post we’ll introduce you to two clients that are adapting to and meeting the needs of patients during this unprecedented time.
Physical Distance, Social Connection
Having a voice and feeling heard are fundamental attributes of humanity—and whether these are enacted literally or metaphorically, communication is a lifeline, and a human connection can mean the difference between despair and hope. Twilio, a cloud communications platform, provides companies with the tools to build lines of communication and to manage engagement on a single platform. As a company built by developers, for developers, Twilio supports a variety of COVID-specific solutions including telehealth video solutions, like the one built by a children’s hospital in a week, or secure hotlines, like Crisis Text Line, which experienced a 116% increase in traffic in the last week.
“What we need right now is physical distance and social connection,” Nancy Lublin, Crisis Text Line founder, told The Wall Street Journal. “Crisis Text Line is not a script and it’s not a robot; it’s an empathetic human being.” Noting a sharp rise in virus-related anxiety, Lubin continued, saying that the conversations mirror places where cases are swelling and where schools and workplaces are shutting down. “If the first wave is anxiety, we are watching for a potential second wave that could possibly be child abuse, domestic violence, substance abuse. The side effects of being quarantined.”
Immediate, Virtual Access to Providers
Recently, many vulnerabilities within the healthcare system are being exposed, including how patients connect with their primary care providers. Firefly Health turns primary care on its head by re-rationalizing healthcare delivery for all. Through its virtual primary care platform, patients are able to receive comprehensive, high-quality care from a personalized team to improve everyday health while defeating disease. Firefly offers proactive and continuous support to improve health outcomes, from the flu to depression, with in-app direct messaging, video and the revival of in-office visits in a post-COVID world. Additionally, with the surge of coronavirus-related anxiety and depression, Firefly’s virtual-first approach offering the integration of behavioral health into primary care is especially valuable for patients.
“Our current healthcare system is built around disease and traumatic injury, but the industry is finally starting to rethink the primary care structure to care more about the patient every day — but it hasn’t done it quick enough as the coronavirus shows. It’s time to give patients care wherever, whenever they need,” said Executive Chairman Jonathan Bush. “Remote screening can help determine when patients need or don’t need a diagnostic test without making them come into a crowded waiting room, potentially infecting dozens of others. Overtime, as we accept how much of this care can be treated digitally, it will become the new normal, making everyone live safer, healthier lives.”
Embracing the Change
Today, more than ever, it is crucial for remote care and telehealth companies to take action and deliver new ways to provide immediate access to healthcare for patients, especially as stay-at-home orders continue to be mandated and social distancing is crucial to flattening the curve on COVID-19. The demand for remote access offerings will only continue, and Highwire PR is proud to be supporting leaders at the forefront of this evolution.