Technology and data are changing the way we receive and view our healthcare information. Advances in both will allow consumers, caregivers, and healthcare providers to better assess, diagnose, and personalize care. Perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of this journey is navigating the inclusion of diagnostic testing in a manner that earns consumer and healthcare provider trust.
To date, the diagnostic journey can prove to be a bit of an odyssey, whether due to a lack of access to quality or specialty at-home lab testing, lack of awareness by healthcare providers on how to best incorporate and interpret the number of clinical test options into their care paradigms, limited in-network options, or for some lack of adequate coverage for certain lab tests. Fortunately, due to continual improvements and investments in both technology and data, coupled with increasing interest among Fortune 25 companies such as Apple, Walmart, Berkshire Hathaway, Amazon, Microsoft, etc., at-home, diagnostic testing will experience exponential growth as a means to ensure we remain healthy and productive while reducing overall healthcare costs.
In a 2019 online Telehealth Harris Poll Consumer Study of more than 2,000 adults, designed to measure usage and sentiments toward telehealth, it was noted “66% of consumers are willing to use telehealth. Unsurprisingly, the younger demographics are most open to telehealth, with 74% of 18-34-year-olds and 72% of 35-44-year-olds saying they are willing to use it. While the senior population has the lowest interest overall, 52% of seniors are still open to using telehealth. That means that of the 47.8 million Americans over the age of 65, 24.85 million are willing to use telehealth.”
In addition, a recent review based on Accenture’s 2019 Digital Health Consumer Survey found that 51 percent of respondents manage their healthcare conditions and lifestyle with a wearable device or mobile app. It was found that “technology allows consumers to take more responsibility for their health than previous generations…Taking the time to explore their community’s expectations may enable medical professionals to stay relevant, as technology increases the availability of healthcare tools and information.”
Responsibly applied telehealth, particularly in the areas of laboratory medicine for precision health, may help consumers and healthcare providers streamline the diagnostic journey. When approximately 70% of clinical diagnoses are made based upon the results of clinical laboratory testing (JAMA Intern Med 2016 May 1;176(5): 635-642), telehealth becomes even more important as technology increases the information available to both consumers and healthcare providers. A significant gap remains between consumer ordered at-home tests and the use of the related results by one’s primary care physician and/or specialist. Bridging this gap is essential to truly leverage the benefits of precision medicine, tailored to the individual.
The arrival of cost-effective and highly accurate PGx testing is a benefit to both consumers and healthcare providers, helping to more precisely understand how a patient may respond to a given prescribed medication and allowing for optimal treatments for each individual patient. Advances in PGx science have shown that 95% of a person’s response to a drug is determined by their genetics make-up. (Pharmacogenetics 1998; 8(4): 283-289).
By comparing therapeutic options to an individual’s genetics, healthcare providers can improve quality of care, reduce cost, and minimize adverse reactions to prescription medications – a serious issue in the US killing more than 100,000 consumers each year (US FDA, Preventable Adverse Drug Reactions: A Focus on Drug Interactions, March 2018).
PGx testing is becoming more widely adopted, and we are learning more about how this field of medicine will benefit consumers in a very personal way. The demand for PGx information by healthcare practitioners and consumers is growing. Technology and responsibly applied tele-diagnostics will play a valuable and important role in meeting the demand.
More and more consumers are taking control of their own health, and choosing the convenience, transparency and cost savings of telehealth. Our national network of experienced healthcare providers, with board-certified physicians and other licensed practitioners, makes it easy for labs to responsibly offer e-commerce options for their consumers. Are you looking to expand your precision medicine market share? Partner with the experts who specialize in responsible personalized lab medicine and tele-diagnostics, in compliance with current regulatory guidelines.
If you offer best-in-class and highly accurate clinical tests, where clinical claims about the test results can be substantiated, coupled with reports that are easy to read and understand for both consumers and clinicians, InTeleLabs is interested in discussing mutual opportunities.
Meaningful provider involvement is at the center of our offering. This starts with our board-certified physicians, or licensed practitioners, reviewing and understanding a consumer’s health history before ordering a test. InTeleLabs then goes a step further to ensure a positive consumer end-to-end experience where that same provider then reviews the results and provides follow up as needed to help consumers better understand their personalized test results and to share with their local primary care or specialty physician.
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