– Virtual health care is here to stay as the world emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic. As the health care industry prepares for a “new normal,” providers, administrators and health care information technology professionals are invited to UPMC International’s inaugural Virtual Health Conference
on June 19.
The virtual conference, which is free to attend, will bring together industry experts and leaders from UPMC
, UPMC Health Plan
and UPMC Enterprises
to discuss the future of care as virtual health continues to grow across the globe. The half-day event will feature both recorded and live sessions on topics including international telemedicine trends, cyber security, the virtual patient experience and remote monitoring.
“With operations in Ireland, Italy, China and Kazakhstan, UPMC International is uniquely positioned to convene experts from around the world to answer critical questions about virtual health and to share valuable lessons learned over the last year,” said Matthew Harinstein, M.D., M.B.A., chief operating officer and associate chief medical officer, UPMC International
. “Moving forward, we must learn from each other so we can provide the best possible care and patient experience, both in person and virtually, anywhere in the world.”
In the United States, UPMC saw its use of telemedicine increase 50-fold last year, supporting approximately 1.1 million ambulatory telemedicine visits. Currently, the health system sees about 6,500 such visits a day, even after the peak of the pandemic—compared to 250 a day before COVID-19.
app, which allows patients to conduct virtual visits, schedule appointments, message their providers and manage prescriptions, along with UPMC Anywhere Care
—which offers 24/7 access to a health care provider—played critical roles in helping patients receive necessary care in a timely fashion. Many patients report that virtual visits provide them more “face time” with their doctor compared to in-person visits.
“UPMC responded to COVID-19 with a global mindset, collaborating across three continents to provide the technology and supplies our health care facilities needed to navigate the challenges of the pandemic,” said Andrew Watson, M.D., M.Litt., vice president, clinical information technology transformation, UPMC International. “With people everywhere now accustomed to a virtual way of life, we must continue working together to evolve health care to meet their needs.”
With multiple hospitals, cancer centers and other health care facilities in Italy and Ireland, an advisory agreement to support an academic medical center in Kazakhstan and a planned partnership to manage a network of new hospitals in China, UPMC has one of the largest and most experienced international divisions of any U.S. academic medical center. With a focus on offering patients the best care close to home—wherever that may be—UPMC partners with health care providers, governments and others in its four focus countries to create sustainable, high-quality health care services.