Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, a day when matters of the heart are front and center. For doctors, their patients’ hearts are always among their primary concerns.
Each year, 1 in four deaths in America is due to heart disease, making it the leading cause of death for men and women. About 805,000 Americans will likely have a heart attack this year, and about 1 in 5 heart attacks will be silent, meaning that the person won’t even know of the damage done.
To help manage the conditions that underly these often tragic and life-altering health events, it’s important that doctors identify heart disease early and closely monitor the patient. Unfortunately, the reality of human behavior can get in the way.
The challenges of patient monitoring
To successfully treat heart disease, as well as conditions related to cardiovascular disease (CVD), health professionals encourage patients to make lifestyle changes and continue a regular course of medication. They also require regular follow-ups. Despite the obvious potential health benefits provided by regular doctor appointments and tests, clinic visits can present an imposition on daily life. Not surprisingly, patient compliance is a common issue, which then reduces the likelihood that the patient will stick to the course of treatment.
With the pandemic, that situation only grew worse. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the challenges health systems already face monitoring heart disease and CVD. Clinic visits and elective procedures were suspended, and patients delayed seeking care out of concern that the coronavirus posed an even greater health risk. As two CVD-specialist doctors recently wrote for the American College of Cardiology:
“[The pandemic] has led to disruption in every aspect of cardiovascular care delivery.…The adverse impact on cardiovascular care delivery and outcomes will likely be long-lasting if our health systems do not adapt quickly and efficiently.”
How telehealth offers a new window into the heart
Telehealth is one key way health systems are adapting. It also provides a path to overcoming some of the systemic barriers to monitoring heart disease and CVD.
With the right technology, physical distance can almost be erased, providing a personal interaction between doctor and patient. Telehealth offers the ability to remotely monitor conditions that contribute to heart attack and stroke, providing an opportunity to implement primary and secondary cardiovascular prevention without trips to the clinic..
Patients can get any tests done prior to the appointment at a lab close to their home, or measure their blood pressure with an automatic blood pressure cuff at home, their local pharmacy or senior center.
Quite simply, telehealth appointments are more convenient than in-person clinic visits, for both doctors and patients. Doctors can review test results and discuss face-to-face with the patient about how to manage their condition.
In the future, remote monitoring of health data using wireless-enabled devices that measure a person’s weight, blood pressure, blood sugar, pulse, and heart rhythm could further advance telehealth’s promise.
How Vidyo enables cardiac and cardiovascular care
To implement a successful approach to telehealth, patients must have access to a secure but inviting and natural interface for patients to review their health information with their doctors and family. This empowers health providers to enhance patient satisfaction, improve the quality of care they can deliver, and protect patients’ privacy.
Behind the scenes, a telehealth platform must seamlessly integrate into a health system’s clinical workflow.
Vidyo Telehealth is purpose-built for healthcare organizations and securely integrates with systems, devices, and software, enabling virtual specialty care, including cardiology. It enables medical professionals to collaborate, consult with patients, and provide real-time care and education to patients.
For example, the VidyoConnect Patient Room Experience provides a high-quality video environment that allows patients to connect with medical professionals and family members virtually. The HIPPA-compliant solution enables patients to attend scheduled meetings with family members which increases the patient’s ability to adhere to treatment protocols.
Get to the heart of the matter
Learn more about how the Vidyo Patient Experience supports cardiac and cardiovascular patient monitoring and more.