Telecom provider Verizon is jumping onto the telehealth bandwagon. On Monday, Verizon Business announced the launch of BlueJeans Telehealth, which aims to streamline the telemedicine experience for providers and patients. Such a development helps the home care market.
Krish Ramakrishnan, chief of product and strategy at BlueJeans by Verizon, told McKnight’s Home Care Daily the system was designed specifically for ease of use and doesn’t require downloading an app.
“It works on mobile, it works on all devices. All you have to do is click on a link and you can join on your favorite device,” Ramakrishnan said.
Ramakrishnan co-founded BlueJeans more than a decade ago. Verizon acquired the cloud-based video conferencing system last year. Since that time, Verizon and Ramakrishnan have consulted with providers on how to improve the telemedicine experience.
Ramakrishnan says integrating BlueJeans with Verizon brings 5G connectivity to telehealth. The solution also includes a virtual waiting room, allowing patients to fill out forms and watch videos while waiting for the healthcare provider. It also has more than 200 interpreters integrated into the system.
“When you make a televisit call and you need an interpreter service, that is just a click of a button. Two hundred interpreters are instantly available to you, including sign language,” Ramakrishnan said.
The use of telehealth has exploded since the COVID-19 pandemic. A report by business consultant McKinsey & Company found patient use of telemedicine increased from 11% in 2019 to 46% in 2020, due to more flexible rules adopted by insurers and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services during the pandemic. That flexibility could continue in a post-pandemic world. Additionally, President Joseph Biden’s American Jobs Plan calls for $100 billion to upgrade broadband infrastructure, potentially expanding telehealth’s reach.
Last year, the telehealth market was valued at $9.5 billion, an 80% increase versus the previous year. The market is projected to grow another 30% over the next few years.
Ramakrishnan said BlueJeans Telehealth will continue to improve the technology as telehealth expands.