Over the years, healthcare has come a long way. It is much more accessible now than it was a few years ago. Still, there are many challenges to it. Those challenges usually include the accessibility of services to patients. But Telemedicine can solve these issues. If you don’t know what Telemedicine is or how it is changing the medical industry, keep reading the article.
What is Telemedicine?
In simple terms, Telemedicine is a way to provide medical services to patients via long-distance communication. For Telemedicine, electronic means of communication are used, such as video calling, remote patient monitoring, teleconferencing, image sharing, etc.
It has offered a great deal to doctors and health professionals, who can provide their services and coordinate with their patients. They can also provide a successful diagnosis to the patients without having to leave their homes or office.
The concept of Telemedicine came into existence to bring healthcare facilities to those living in rural or remote areas. But with the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become a necessity and a major part of the healthcare industry.
Now a patient doesn’t need to visit a medical facility to get help. One can easily coordinate with a health professional over a quick video call and discuss the right treatment for their illness.
Is Telemedicine the next big thing?
With changing times, Telemedicine has certainly proven its worth. It is capable of overcoming the modern-day challenges faced by both patients as well as health professionals.
No matter where you are, you can easily reach out for support. So whether it is a medical emergency or just a quick consultation, one can get the required help with telemedicine. To conclude whether it is the next big thing or not, one needs to look at a few other aspects.
Growth of Virtual Healthcare
As mentioned above, Telemedicine introduced to reach those living in remote areas. The concept has been in existence way before the arrival of COVID-19.
The benefits of Telemedicine are undeniable. For Telemedicine to work, all a person needs is a smartphone or a computer with a stable internet connection. One doesn’t need to travel very far to find a facility. They can just log in to their computers and connect with a doctor for an appointment. This has made it convenient for patients to get medical help.
Telemedicine accepted widely since Covid-19 arrival. It has become the primary form of consultation for patients who want quick and cost-effective consultation. The process which was gaining slow but wide recognition, COVID-19 sped the process. To grow more and more only predicted worldwide acceptance.
With the interoperability of telecommunications, the entire care process is being facilitated by Telemedicine, including diagnosis, health education, or treatment.
Applications of Telemedicine
1. Administrative Management
Telemedicine can easily facilitate the management and the administrative process that may include a follow-up on the previous consultation or putting in requests for any medical tests.
2. Providing Distance Education
The process contributes to promoting collaborative work and communication among health professionals, no matter their geographical location. And this does not just work in favour of health professionals. It is also proving to be a great asset that empowers the patients in dealing with their illness.
3. Remote care to Patients
We have already established how telemedicine can reach patients living in remote areas. But one thing is undeniable: the process is taking up more and more space for providing care to the patients.
A health professional can easily monitor the patients remotely. This enables the patients to get a follow-up easily. They don’t necessarily need to go to a hospital, but they can still play an active role in taking care of their health via telemedicine.
And it’s not just teleconsultation or telemonitoring, telesurgery is also one of the biggest revolutions in the telemedicine world. It uses virtual reality and robotics for remote surgeries, and the number of experimental surgeries is growing.
There’s very little doubt about questioning the applications of Telemedicine and its relevance in the healthcare world.
Benefits of Telemedicine
There are many benefits associated with Telemedicine, as reported by the American Telemedicine Association. Some of them are listed below:
1. Quality Care Treatment
Telemedicine has certainly improved the quality of care given to patients. One can easily follow up remotely with their patients and solve their queries over a quick online session. The ATA mentioned that in cases of mental health problems or Intensive care unit, the product delivered by Telemedicine is far superior. Also, there’s a higher satisfaction rate among the patients opting for it.
2. Cost-Effective Healthcare
One of the biggest reasons for adopting telehealth technologies is to contain or reduce the healthcare cost, as mentioned by ATA. Telemedicine can help a person save money by reducing travel time and cutting down on hospital stays.
3. Higher Engagement
The ATA also doesn’t fail to mention how telemedicine makes it easy for a primary care doctor to consult with a specialist regarding a patient’s case. No matter how rare or new an illness might be, one can reach out for help within seconds. This way, a patient will ask more and more questions from a doctor and take care into their hands.
4. Patient Satisfaction
The ATA also writes about how telemedicine has improved patient satisfaction. These kinds of services offer better access to healthcare and medical professional to a patient when compared with a typical scenario. One doesn’t need to travel long for help when it can be provided at home.
All these points towards the fact that it is the future of healthcare. Even though there are still some challenges to it that mainly involve technical issues. But apart from that, the benefits are undeniable. With time, it only continues to evolve and become a part of our daily life.