Over the decades we have seen immense growth in the healthcare industry with the latest innovations and innovations that offer comfort and ease.
Nevertheless, the industry still faces many challenges, especially when it comes to accessibility and affordability of services for both patients and healthcare providers.
Telemedicine is one of the approaches that the medical profession and the healthcare system have come up with to fix these problems.
What is Telemedicine?
Telemedicine refers to innovations that put together patients and health-care providers in the digital world. Gone are the days of going to the doctor for a simple cold or mild rash as it is what we can expect from telemedicine.
With telemedicine, patients may have low-grade problems that their doctor tests via mobile or desktop device, rather than scheduling an appointment for anything that can be easily treated with over-the-counter medication.
Apart from linking patients and medical services, telemedicine also provides health care practitioners a way to communicate with other physicians or experts about a patient’s condition or treatment without having to leave their facilities.
How Telemedicine is Used During COVID-19?
Telehealth is emerging as an important and sustainable precautionary, prevention, and treatment approach to stop the spread of COVID-19 in this global pandemic.
It bridges the gap between individuals, doctors, and health-care systems, enabling everyone, particularly symptomatic patients, to remain at home and interact with doctors via virtual networks, helping to minimize the spread of the virus to large populations and frontline health workers.
The global telemedicine market is expected to grow by 17% annually to $38 billion by 2022, according to Zion Market Research.
Telemedicine will continue to be a crucial growth strategy in health care worldwide with hospitals looking to extend their offerings and meet more patients.
What Telecommunications Technology Used in Telemedicine?
Live Video Conferencing
Two typical applications are Pre-op preparation or follow-up between the treatment team and the patient and family consult a physician with a distant specialist.
When a patient transmits medical data for further review to a physician or practitioner. Store-and-forward doesn’t require real-time contact between the sender and the information recipient. It helps in the diagnosis and care.
Remote Patient Monitoring
A variety of technologies that allow for remote monitoring of a patient’s health by a care team. There are four common applications:-
- Devices that measure and wireless transmit data to a care team.
- Wearable devices that automatically record and transmit data.
- Web-based or mobile apps.
- Home-based remote monitoring devices.
How Telemedicine is Used During COVID-19?
Three essential blockchain qualities — decentralization, immutability, and safety may have many interesting cases of use in the healthcare sector.
One area that could benefit greatly from blockchain technology is telemedicine, the relatively new field of providing remote delivery over telecommunications of health care services.
Artificial Intelligence and Telemedicine are now going hand in hand. The introduction of this technology to the healthcare sector has multiple benefits such as cost savings, quick patient record management, and much more.
Telemedicine and developments in remote monitoring offer more autonomy and centricity to the patients in their own care. Meanwhile, advances in virtual reality ( VR), and augmented reality ( AR) are helping doctors make better choices and improve the long-term care experience of patients.
Internet of Things
IoT is pioneering telemedicine in the future as IoT-powered telemedicine holds promise from real-time health tracking to preventive treatment, to enable our elders to seek quality care at home.
Benefits of Telemedicine in Healthcare
Better Care Quality
Telemedicine offers patient-centered care in that it delivers quality care to patients when they need it, and when they need it.
Health problems can be resolved quickly within minutes through urgent, real-time consultations. Prompt diagnosis and a patient’s early care can also result in better results and fewer expenses.
Telemedicine will provide high-quality health care services to patients living in remote areas Regional links and those with challenges in transportation or mobility.
Telemedicine, at the same time, helps health-care services to provide for a much wider range of patients than those residing locally.
Telehealth services allow patients from virtually anywhere to communicate with a provider External Contact, whether it’s their home or workplace.
This approach has been demonstrated to increase productivity and minimize health care costs by fewer hospital visits, shorter hospital stays, shortened travel times, and better chronic disease management.
Stronger Team-Based Care
Telemedicine encourages non-clinicians to employ experts to assist with diagnosis and treatment, ensuring that team-based care can be improved.
Increased Patient Engagement
Especially with the rise of telemedicine and a wide variety of health-care devices available today, patients are becoming more tech-savvy and much more conscious of their health.
Telemedicine increases patient involvement by helping them maintain check-up appointments and schedules for treatment.
Challenges Faced Under Telemedicine
If a primary care provider is unable to observe a patient directly, there is the potential to ignore some signs and symptoms which can lead to an incorrect or incomplete diagnosis.
For some conditions, a diagnosis can not always be made or treatment facilitated through anything but an in-person examination.
Insurers Limited Coverage
Not all telemedicine services are covered by private insurance payers, or federal programs reimburse.
For example, Medicare places specific restrictions on External links on telehealth services, including the requirement that patients have to be in a medical facility and not their own home while receiving services.
Problems relating to privacy
A clinician delivering telemedicine services must adhere to the confidentiality requirements set out in the External Link on Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act ( HIPAA).
Internet interactions may be vulnerable to hacker activity Infringements of external connections or privacy that can compromise patient details.
Small Medical Practices and Telemedicine Adoption
When it comes to telemedicine, how exactly do small medical practices line up? We reviewed survey data captured through four years of telemedicine adoption from business.com.
This shows that interest in telemedicine has not diminished, and expected rates of adoption remain steady across the continuum of specialties among small medical practices.
Here are some facts which we found:-
- 77.5 % of the medical practices surveyed have not yet provided telemedicine.
- 64 % of the medical practices surveyed expected to adopt “ASAP” or “within one month” telemedicine applications to respond to the survey.
- With 2,304 respondents, mental health professionals were by far the most involved in telemedicine software; the next biggest specialty in the survey was family medicine, with 1,832 respondents.
- Respondents were divided almost evenly on whether they preferred a stand-alone telemedicine solution (47.1%) or one that would align with their existing EMR program (52.9%).
Despite the challenges faced by telemedicine including the lack of consistent healthcare legislation, privacy protection guidelines, and payment policies and regulations, it remains a promising and increasingly growing development in healthcare.
Many healthcare providers are innovating to solve these problems and improve access to quality care for their patients. So that you know some of the pitfalls and benefits of telemedicine, you ‘re able to start thinking about how this booming healthcare phenomenon will affect your practice.