Virtual Healthcare


In recent years technological advancements have led to a significant shift
toward virtual healthcare. The global telehealth market was estimated
at $354.45 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach $404.45 billion in 2023.

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What is virtual healthcare?

Virtual healthcare, employing technologies like video conferencing, mobile applications, and web-based platforms, provides remote medical care directly to patients.

A comprehensive software facilitating video visits enables seamless scheduling of appointments, easy access to medical records, and direct consultations with family medicine doctors or other professionals.

This innovative system transforms the medical industry, offering high-quality care without the necessity of physical hospital or clinic visits.

Difference between virtual healthcare and telehealth

Telehealth and virtual healthcare both refer to care delivery provided remotely via digital technologies (digital health).

Telehealth is a broader term, encompassing not just clinical services, like video consultations, but also non-clinical services, such as provider training and administrative meetings. It includes a wide array of services like telemedicine, telenursing, and telepsychiatry.

Virtual healthcare, on the other hand, is more specific and focuses on clinical services delivered remotely. It involves real-time interactions between patients and providers, such as virtual consultations, remote monitoring, and digital transmission of medical data.

In summary, while all virtual healthcare is a form of telehealth, not all telehealth is virtual healthcare due to its inclusion of non-clinical services.

The benefits of virtual healthcare

Virtual healthcare provides a range of benefits for both patients and providers. One of the significant advantages is convenience. By means of this practice, patients can schedule appointments at their convenience, avoiding the lengthy waiting times often associated with in-person visits.

But did you know that virtual healthcare can also help reduce the spread of infectious diseases? By avoiding crowded waiting rooms and minimizing contact, patients can lower their risk of contracting or spreading illnesses. This fact is highly-relevant during flu season or when dealing with highly contagious diseases like COVID-19.

Furthermore, virtual healthcare enables medical professionals to provide services more efficiently and at a lower cost. Without a physical office or equipment, providers can offer their services at reduced costs, passing on the savings to their patients.

Additionally, virtual practice can help reduce the workload of healthcare professionals, allowing them to focus on providing high-quality care to their patients.

This practice also offers greater accessibility to healthcare services, particularly for individuals living in remote areas or those with mobility issues. For example, sick patients now have access to specialized medical care, such as mental health consultations, without the need to travel long distances.

Last but not least, virtual healthcare has particular significance in chronic condition management. Certain conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, require continuous monitoring, which can be challenging to achieve in traditional settings.

With virtual healthcare, patients can regularly monitor their symptoms and provide remote updates to their physicians. Treating patients with this approach can lead to better management of chronic diseases, thereby improving quality of life.

Software for virtual care.
Integration, features and support

Integration of virtual healthcare

Optimizing virtual visits is a multi-faceted process that requires thoughtful integration of all components. At its core, this involves creating a seamless patient-clinician experience, achieved through comprehensive preparation and education for both parties.

This process includes guidance on proper camera use, lighting and audio setup, and selecting a conducive environment for virtual interactions, which could extend to choosing an appropriate virtual background.

Continuity of care is a crucial aspect of this process. It involves preparing patients for self-monitoring and self-care and providing educational materials tailored to their needs. Such preparation should extend to ensuring communication is clear and accessible, taking into account cultural and linguistic factors to foster trust and effective communication.

Moreover, training clinicians and support staff on omnichannel communication platforms is essential. These platforms should encourage proactive engagement with patients rather than just responding to their inquiries.

The goal is to create a unified platform where all communications, regardless of channel, are integrated. This approach enhances the experience for patients and clinicians, promoting more effective and satisfying virtual healthcare interactions.

Important features

Virtual healthcare relies heavily on specialized software systems with features designed to facilitate communication between organizations that provide care and patients:

Video consultation

This feature allows patients to request real-time video chats with doctors, nurses, or nurse practitioners. It eliminates the need for travel, makes healthcare more accessible for those in remote locations, and can help to reduce the spread of contagious diseases.

Appointment scheduling

A comprehensive virtual care platform often includes a feature for scheduling appointments. It allows patients to book, reschedule, or cancel appointments at their convenience, reducing the administrative burden on healthcare organizations and increasing satisfaction.

Prescription management

Some software includes a prescription management feature (prescription refills). It allows healthcare providers to send prescriptions directly to a patient's preferred pharmacy, reducing the potential for error and making the process more efficient.

Electronic health records (EHR) integration

Integration with EHRs allows medical providers to access and update patient medical histories. Such functionality can lead to more informed decision-making in health plan creation and improved patient outcomes.

Remote patient monitoring

Some virtual care platforms allow for remote patient monitoring. This practice can be useful in managing chronic conditions, as it helps healthcare providers track a patient's vitals and well-being in real time, adjusting treatment plans as necessary.

Secure messaging

Secure messaging allows patients and medical providers to communicate about non-urgent issues. Guaranteed security makes it easier for people to ask questions and express concerns, thus improving patient engagement.

Payment processing

Such systems often include a feature for processing payments, so patients can pay for services online, reducing the administrative burden on medical organizations.

Artificial intelligence tools

Some software includes AI-based tools, such as symptom checkers or predictive analytics. These can help guide primary care and lead to better health outcomes.



Supporting virtual care visits necessitates a dual approach. First, there should be an investment in technical assistance that is readily available for all stakeholders, ensuring that help is on-hand when needed. Second, supply-chain redundancy is required to address potential issues with devices or connectivity, thus maintaining trust in the service.

To enhance patient support the circle of care should be widened to include family members, caregivers, and other physician specialists in the virtual visit. This integrated approach helps create a more holistic care experience. Simultaneously, self-monitoring technologies and digital platforms should be leveraged to empower patients in their self-care journey.

The challenges of virtual

Virtual healthcare offers numerous benefits but also faces challenges. Key issues include ensuring data security and patient privacy due to the technology employed. Accessibility issues can arise for those lacking the necessary technology or Internet connection, particularly in remote areas. Also, the inability to conduct physical examinations in virtual consultations may limit diagnosis and treatment options.

Patients with impairments, like hearing or vision, may find technology communication challenging, and healthcare providers need to offer them adequate support. Lastly, concerns exist about the quality of virtual services versus in-person encounters, with some patients preferring the personal touch and improved communication of face-to-face consultations.

All the challenges above explain why healthcare providers should employ best practices for care in virtual settings that mirror those for in-person, utilizing evidence-based decision criteria to determine when remote care is appropriate, typically for lower-complexity and lower-emotion visits.

Clinicians should familiarize themselves with patient health records before virtual encounters and other clinicians’ notes should be accessible. The entire care team should participate in preparing for, connecting during, and closing the virtual visit, minimizing the additional work associated with virtual care.

Addressing virtual healthcare challenges within your healthcare system requires a reliable partner. BGO Software, with its robust telehealth solutions, is ready to help you navigate these complexities.

We are committed to creating secure, efficient, and user-friendly platforms tailored to your patient’s needs. Contact BGO Software today and let us empower your services through transformative virtual healthcare delivery.

The challenges of virtual healthcare

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