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Financing digital transformation – telemedicine

Digitalisation helps healthcare systems to transform care delivery, applying their (sometimes scarce) resources – people, equipment and systems – as efficiently and effectively as possible, and optimising the value from every unit of spend. In this article Penny Pinnock, Sales Manager – Healthcare & Public Sector for Siemens Financial Services (SFS) focuses on one increasingly important aspect of the digitalisation package – telemedicine.  

Telemedicine – the sharing/transmission of health services via telecommunication and information technologies – is changing the face of healthcare. Remote healthcare has existed for decades but with the advent of COVID-19, many healthcare organisations are waking up to its potential.  

In the UK, uptake of virtual care has doubled since before pandemic times and research shows that satisfaction is high on the part of both practitioners and patients.1 The practice is also increasing efficiency at a time when healthcare teams and resources are being pushed to their limits.2   

But there is still further opportunity for telemedicine to alleviate the pressure. It’s estimated that as much as 20% of emergency room visits and 24% of office and outpatient visits could be shifted to virtual care delivery.3  

Offering virtual consultations also enables those in remote communities and underserved regions to access the same level of care as those in metropolitan areas. Not only is there a levelling aspect but this also reduces the need for travel which can minimise further risks to patients, especially vulnerable ones.  

Alongside consultations and general appointments, remote monitoring using care management platforms can help to provide patients with continuous and preventative healthcare at home. With access to real-time data, care providers can recognise symptoms or deterioration in a patient and intervene swiftly. They can also respond with individualised care management programmes. 

Remote access and communications platforms are just one aspect of digital transformation that can help control the rising demand and cost of care delivery. They can connect clinicians, technicians, care professionals, equipment, systems and locations in order to achieve better patient outcomes/experiences more quickly and at lower cost.  

Digital transformation, however, requires considerable capital investment. As a result, many healthcare institutions are turning to specialist private sector financing tools to help manage the digital transformation in a financially sustainable manner. This is delivering rapid access to improved patient outcomes and increased efficiency.  

Smart finance for digital transformation 

Siemens Financial Service (SFS) works with Siemens Healthineers, as well as other technology vendors, to provide cost effective financing solutions for a wide variety of medical technology and equipment, enabling healthcare organisations to access the solutions they need without having to commit precious capital budgets.  

Smart financing enables the acquisition of technology and equipment for competitive advantage, in a way that is financially sustainable and tailored to the organisation’s specific business and cash-flow needs. 

Smart financing offers three major advantages over generalist finance: technology expertise which understands real business outcomes; a breadth of financing solutions which can meet every organisation’s exact needs; and smooth, sophisticated processes which makes the use of smart finance seamless and easy. 

Technology expertise leverages deep understanding of the technology & how it is applied in practice, plus the benefits & return on investment it delivers in real-world applications. 

Breadth of financing solutions offers a true spectrum of financing products and solutions which can be flexed & customised to fit each organisation’s individual circumstances. 

Smooth processes put customer experience front and centre – delivering speed and ease, supported by digital tools, techniques and specialist sector experts. 

Healthcare financiers who have an in-depth understanding of healthcare technology and its applications can provide these tailored financing packages.  

 Conclusion  

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the way we navigate daily life and this is perhaps most true of healthcare. As the demand for remote medicine grows, healthcare organisations should consider their long-term strategy for digital transformation and the role that telehealth plays in this. Specialist finance can help care providers make a sustainable plan for investment enabling them to prioritise care delivery and patient outcomes.  

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