What You Should Know:
– A new “State of Virtual Care” report by Omada Health and Digital Medicine Society, in collaboration with Rock Health, reveals that buyers today are inundated with vendors labeling themselves “virtual care providers,” regardless of the care model they’re selling. This phenomenon is blurring their perception of V1C’s potential impact, and what that means for improvements in healthcare delivery and outcomes.
– V1C solutions like Omada Health are changing the market, supporting patients’ health through strong engagement, high-quality data science and human-led care delivery. Visionary Buyers are accelerating the new era of V1C by making innovative and informed investments in their workforces’ health. At the same time, there’s still work to be done to paint a clearer picture for the industry.
Insights into the State of Virtual Care
The “State of Virtual Care” report by Omada Health and Digital Medicine Society, in collaboration with insights from Rock Health, reveals key trends and insights into the state of virtual care, which are listed and explained as follows:
1. Telemedicine Roared During the Pandemic: At the height of COVID, a digital tool widely known as telemedicine skyrocketed out of necessity; patients quickly adapted to replacing in-person appointments with video visits to satisfy social distancing measures. Given the broad array of telemedicine and virtual care solutions offered today, The Digital Medicine Society (DiMe) and Omada set out to understand buyers’ perceptions of virtual care offerings. How do buyers perceive virtual care? How well acquainted are they with the developing virtual-first system of care adopted by industry leaders? And how can these perceptions shape market strategies for innovative health plans and providers? After surveying 754 buyers (528 employees, 107 payers, 129 benefits consultants) it was identified that telemedicine use increased 38X from the pre-COVID-19 baseline, as people were forced to take their doctor’s visits online instead of in-person.
2. Buyers and their Experience with Virtual Care: Given the rapid expansion of telemedicine during the COVID-19 pandemic, it wasn’t surprising that almost all buyers surveyed reported some level of experience with virtual care, or are offering a platform focusing on a specific condition. There is a near-universal openness to expanding offerings beyond the most common programs (diabetes, mental health, and weight management). Buyers also consistently expressed optimism about the possibilities of virtual care. Most employers, payers and consultants report that virtual care is a top priority for their organizations because they see virtual care’s positive impact on workforces, including indicators like social determinants of health (SDOH). More than half of buyers also agree that virtual care is improving patient care and outcomes. Why was this contradiction seen? Because today, most buyers are only using telemedicine, which means they don’t have the experience they may need to imagine use cases beyond replacing in-person care with video visits, or interactions with a digital health coach —when they look to the future, they see more of the same. For example, less than half of employers have implemented remote monitoring devices.
3. Not all Buyers are Visionary: One-sixth of buyers surveyed deeply understand a model beyond telemedicine. These Visionary Buyers, made up of equal parts employers, payers, and consultants, agree that the healthcare ecosystem is poised to undergo tremendous change thanks to the innovations made possible by virtual care. Visionary buyers believe that virtual care delivery models will drastically revolutionize how healthcare is provided and patient outcomes are achieved. The report also revealed that visionary buyers are only just beginning to innovate in the care delivery space, and will slowly but surely become the main model of care for most cases over time.
The report also highlighted certain key characteristics of visionary buyers. They are explained as follows:
1. Visionary Buyers See ROI Differently: Surprisingly, in contrast to more traditional buyers, Visionary Buyers are almost three times more likely to view ROI–measured as near-term cost savings per customer–as least important in the decision to adopt or expand virtual care options. Visionaries agree that virtual care makes sense regardless of the initial impact on cost savings. But Visionaries do focus on how virtual care can impact costs in the long term, by providing the best model of care to patients.
2. Visionary Buyers Prioritize the Virtual-First Care Model: Visionary Buyers want digital tools that do more than what telemedicine offers. Understanding their priorities can help other buyers evaluate virtual care offerings, and understand the developing model of virtual-first care. Visionary Buyers’ priorities align closely with the developing model of virtual-first care (V1C). With V1C, patients are empowered to be active participant in their care plan, with the aim of achieving the best possible clinical outcomes. Patients can initiate care anytime, anywhere, intentionally selecting the care setting matched to their clinical needs and preferences. Their data is ethically shared, and protected under all applicable standards of care, safety, security, privacy and data rights.