The Value Of Virtual Care A strategic futures, research and design exploration
The COVID 19 pandemic necessitated a rapid implementation of virtual care within our healthcare system, generating previously unimagined levels of virtual care uptake and accessibility. The transition to virtual care revealed many benefits and rewards for both patients and providers including a reduction in cost, time saved, and greater protection from infection through a ‘replacement’ of discrete in-person ‘moments’ of care with digital interactions such as phone and video visits. But what else might be possible and what we might be able to design for a post-pandemic world.If healthcare systems are to capitalize on the affordances of digital health and technology solutions, we must continue to change and adapt how we consider the role of virtual care and technology across the care experience. Using design research and strategic foresight methodologies, this design research exploration proposes a more integrated care model. Extending digital health interactions across a broader spectrum of time and care modalities may have the potential to support patient-provider relationships through ongoing asynchronous connection and communication.