How Hippo Helps Fill the Specialist Gap Between Telehealth and Telemedicine

Virtual care has helped physicians and specialists break down barriers to delivery of care by bringing the care to the patients, no matter their location, instead of bringing the patient to the care center.

The past two years have seen unprecedented change in the healthcare space, with a great deal of innovation in virtual care as the world searched for new ways to care for patients remotely. Virtual care has helped physicians and specialists break down barriers to delivery of care by bringing the care to the patients, no matter their location, instead of bringing the patient to the care center.

Despite these efforts, there remain an estimated 116 million patients who need specialty care but struggle to receive access due to physical distance, scheduling delays, and delivery barriers. These barriers can be even more pronounced for patients in rural, underserved areas who may have to wait weeks and drive over an hour to reach a specialist. The US can save as much as $82B in medical costs annually by overcoming these barriers – while increasing specialty physician efficiency and revenue by up to 30 percent.

Hippo Technologies is on a mission to bring access to high-quality care to everyone, everywhere.

Our telemedicine platform leverages the power of hands-free wearable computing and industry-leading voice activation software to provide clinicians with two-way audio and video interaction – enabling them to see through the eyes of the clinician anywhere, anyplace, anytime, on a global scale. These wearable solutions deliver clinician extender capabilities at scale, enabling specialist providers to communicate and collaborate in real time.

This technology solution helps to solve a very real problem experienced by patients all over the world. As physician shortages continue to increase, it will become all the more important to incorporate virtual care into everyday medical practice to provide opportunities for specialists to be at the point of care on a global basis, at scale.

Hippo’s platform was built with providers in mind and incorporates integrated clinical workflows for orders, evidence-based guidelines and checklists – with medical-grade cybersecurity and compliance. Our goal is to enhance the clinical enterprise by providing an affordable, scalable solution that can be deployed with ease.


The Difference Between Telehealth and Telemedicine

While many may find telehealth and telemedicine to be interchangeable terms, they do have some notable differences in care delivery. Telehealth can be described as a physician-to-patient transaction and is sufficient for primary care settings which often end with an e-prescription, a referral to a specialist or tele-triage to a higher acuity setting. Telemedicine, on the other hand, creates a more advanced collaboration between the physician, caregiver, and patient. It effectively enables physicians to oversee and guide treatment in real time through clinician extenders on the ground. Telehealth provides up to 10 digital vital signs using Remote Patient Monitoring, which again makes it fine for primary care visits. Telemedicine, however, uses Intelligent Automation to support the collection of over 70 qualitative symptoms required for a specialist consult. That’s where Hippo Virtual Care excels.

Hippo’s Virtual Care platform combines the latest in hands-free, voice-enabled wearable computing and medical-grade software to enable the delivery of specialist care through clinician extenders wherever the patient is located.


Real-World Experience

Our platform is bringing specialty healthcare to patients around the globe today. In Nigeria, access to care is very limited and many patients’ healthcare needs are underserved. Using Hippo’s Virtual Care platform, we are helping to build a collaborative clinical team to begin meeting patient needs remotely. Our first efforts focused on rounding, teaching, proctoring, consulting, and ambulance care. This was all done in a low 3G environment to give real-time remote decision support to clinicians that conforms to their needs and workflow on the ground in real-world settings. Our goal was to begin addressing immediate patient needs while building a foundation for sustainable growth.

Hippo is also working to implement a program in Uganda in collaboration with Mount Sinai’s surgical program. The majority of Uganda’s population lives in rural areas, while their surgical teams operate in urban ones, necessitating that patients travel more than two hours for basic and essential surgical care. Leaders at Mount Sinai wanted to help bridge this gap and bring care closer to patients. To accomplish this, they helped build a sustainable and affordable surgical center in a low-resource rural setting.

Using Hippo’s technology, experts from Mount Sinai are able to share their knowledge with surgeons in Uganda to increase their skills and provide high-quality care for patients. Thanks to the use of head-worn computers, Mount Sinai’s surgical team now have a first-hand view of operating rooms thousands of miles away, allowing them to provide real-time feedback and assistance to personnel on the ground. As a result of these efforts, new physicians are being trained and more patients have access to the care they need. Watch the video here.

At Hippo, our focus is on enabling the delivery of quality, affordable, specialist care to patients around the globe. Our goal is to address the growing lack of access to specialty care, resulting in fewer delays, increased provider productivity, and better patient outcomes at a lower cost.

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