Emerson M. Wickwire, PhD, provides 7 reasons why telehealth will grow in sleep medicine. For more on the topic, read his related article, “Promises and Pitfalls of Telehealth.”
7 Reasons Telehealth Will Grow in Sleep Medicine
1. Increased access to care: Telehealth approaches can help compensate for a shortage of medical and behavioral sleep specialists.
2. Improved education: Telehealth educational tools can increase patient knowledge and readiness as well as improve provider knowledge of best practices.
3. Improved communication: Telehealth technologies can improve communication between patient and provider as well as between provider and provider—for example, when a generalist seeks counsel from a specialist.
4. Improved patient and provider satisfaction: Patients prefer convenience and cost savings. Providers prefer elimination of routine tasks.
5. Improved medical outcomes: Telehealth technologies can systematize and make consistent treatment algorithms, as well as leverage validated self-management technologies such as guided online cognitive-behavioral treatments.
6. Monitoring and documenting outcomes: Telehealth technologies can aggregate both objective as well as patient-reported outcomes.
7. Cost savings: Telehealth approaches require less infrastructure and overhead than traditional medical approaches.