• Ashley Dauwer

Relationship-Based Telehealth

A collaborative health conversation with two experts on leveraging tech to connect and heal over time

Telehealth is becoming the new normal in healthcare. 88% of patients who used telehealth for the first time during COVID-19 say they’d use it again. The convenience is indisputable, especially in a global pandemic. “Telehealth” is a broad term, but it often consists of a one-time video link in which the patient and provider don’t know each other and will never speak again, which makes sense in some situations, but not necessarily for the management of complex, long-term conditions.

There is another model: relationship-based telehealth. Registered Nurse and Certified Diabetes Educator, Angie Stevens, and her patient, Glenn DeJulio, have experienced it first hand. Angie and Glenn used telehealth for nearly a decade as part of a program with a major health system. In the model they used, remote connections were augmented with ongoing real-time data streams from devices and wearables to help clinicians (and patients) to see the big picture of an individual’s health and intervene when medically needed — or just to let the patient know that somebody cares.

What kinds of results was Angie seeing with Glenn and other patients who were managing hypertension, diabetes, and related conditions as far back as 2013 — long before telehealth was widespread? Here are a few examples:

  • 55% of patients were able to eliminate one or more hypertension meds within 9 months of completing the program

  • 81% of patients achieved normal blood pressure within 3 months, with no office visits

  • 93% of patients reported a high or very high quality of “patient experience”

Perhaps most important, 100% of patients would recommend the program — and this model of relationship-based, data-driven care — to a family member or friend. But Glenn says it better: “I don’t ever want to go back to the way it was — this really is a special type of care.”

In this episode of Health IRL: A Collaborative Conversation, we covered Relationship-Based Telehealth with Angie Stevens and Glenn de Julio. The topics we talked about included:

  • How telehealth can strengthen both health and human relationships

  • The impact of ongoing relationships on health habits and behaviors

  • How coaches, nurses, and other caregivers can collaborate with doctors to optimize each others’ skill sets and save time

  • Relationship-based telehealth in a pandemic

Watch the recording here.


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