We all know that with the move to value-based care (VBC), patient engagement is a hot topic, and patient engagement platforms are getting a lot of love. There are a lot of companies trying to make the perfect platform. Patient engagement has been important not only with telehealth and VBC but also with the COVID-19 crisis. As we point out in two of our latest eTech Spotlights, PROCLE Healthworks and Force Therapeutics are two patient engagement vendors that are demonstrating great potential with both their solutions and their support.
Truly Engaging the Patient
The grandfather of Sunil Badve, PROCLE Healthworks’ CEO, was a well-known eye specialist who worked in the remote villages of India. In Sunil’s own words, his grandfather “always wanted a better way to reach patients and help them in their home.” Sunil is continuing his grandfather’s vision through PROCLE Healthworks.
I had one conversation with a provider who talked about patient satisfaction with the PROCLE Healthworks’ system as an unexpected outcome. The patients were really satisfied with the system because of how it was set up, and they demonstrated a desire to be educated. All vendors are trying to integrate telehealth, and all are trying to engage with patients.
Bronwyn Spira, CEO of Force Therapeutics, saw that patients were having difficulty with notes and other information she would send home with them to continue their therapy. To find a better way to communicate with patients in their homes, Bronwyn created Force Therapeutics.
High patient and even physician satisfaction was one strength of Force Therapeutics’ system. One provider I spoke to was concerned about how the patients would react by not being able to come into the hospital because of COVID-19. He was very pleased to find that the patients actually loved the system’s patient engagement and video capabilities, which allowed them to do everything from home in terms of recovery.
Obviously, these types of engagement tools were not around 10–15 years ago, and patients are being engaged at a new level with these platforms. Now more than ever, patients are feeling like they matter and like their doctors or providers really have their best interest at heart.
A Good Problem
For the PROCLE Healthworks spotlight, we interviewed four out of the five organizations that PROCLE Healthworks provided. The providers really did not have a lot of bad things to say or a lot of concerns. PROCLE Healthworks’ main challenge is that providers like everything but would love to have additional functionalities, such as a scribing service. Challenges generally don’t exist around their product, though the ease of use is a concern for less tech-savvy patients.
Force Therapeutics faces a similar challenge along with the added barrier of EMR integration. All five organizations surveyed are highly satisfied with the system but would like to see more optimization as it evolves and matures.
The Next Steps
Many patient engagement platforms are still in their infancy. The waiting game can be difficult in a world where so many things can happen almost instantaneously, but as time goes on, we will start to see patient engagement vendors implement and integrate new functionalities.
We are already starting to see and will continue to see these patient engagement vendors integrate different types of telehealth tools with their platforms. In the same vein, we will see telehealth vendors integrate their platforms with patient engagement tools. We will also see telehealth vendors acquiring patient engagement vendors and vice versa. For example, earlier this month, Teladoc acquired Livongo.
We will likely see a pattern of similar mergers and acquisitions in the coming years. That is where the market energy is going—consolidation of telehealth and patient engagement and remote patient monitoring. Through the COVID-19 crisis, we have seen just how positively telehealth and patient engagement can impact the healthcare industry. The marriage of these two areas will greatly affect the social and cultural energies of the healthcare industry.
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