Telemedicine is the simple use of technology to improve the quality of health care and also to increase the reach of health services to remote areas. While in the beginning, telemedicine was accurately considered as a technology that can help bring healthcare services to rural and remote areas that lack basic healthcare infrastructure.
What is TeleMedicine?
Telemedicine, which closely means ‘healing at a distance’, involves the utilization of modern information and communication technologies to make healthcare and health information available to people at a distance.
The World Health Organization (WHO) explained telemedicine as follows: The delivery of health facilities where distance is a critical element by all health professionals who use information and communication technologies to change rational information for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. Disease and injury, research and evaluation, and the continuing education of health care providers, all to improve the health of individuals and their communities.
Advantages of TeleMedicine
- People without insurance can use this facility.
- Sends instructions to local pharmacies for pickup.
- Offers a range of specialties for most health problems.
- Healthcare professionals are available 24/7 in all 50 states.
Types of TeleMedicine
Tele-Medicine with a Store-and-Forward Capability:
This is also referred to as “asynchronous telemedicine.” And understandably, many people are interested in what type of technology is used in the asynchronous version of telemedicine.
Telemedicine stores and forward works similar to email in that patients share medical information such as lab reports, X-rays, and other health-related information with healthcare providers who then share this important information with professional consultants such as radiologists or physicians who are located elsewhere.
It’s not unlike how we all share regular emails; however, a significant difference in this situation is that the platforms used to transmit such sensitive information have built-in security mechanisms and are HIPAA compliant, ensuring the privacy of patient records.
By providing easy and secure data sharing, storage, and transfer, telemedicine makes it easier for patients, healthcare providers, and specialists to engage and collaborate remotely. The method permits patients to see the best doctors for their treatment even if they are in different roles in the country. Some specialists such as radiology, dermatology, ophthalmology, and others use this strategy quite often.
Tele pharmacy is used to advise patients on pharmaceutical recommendations in cases where it is not possible to contact pharmacists. This ensures continuous medication for patients as well as telephone referrals.
Real-Time Interactive Telemedicine:
Interactive, real-time telemedicine is offered through safe video chat, messaging applications, or other online communication channels and also be provided through a phone call. The bottom line is that real-time telemedicine replaces traditional in-person visits to a doctor’s office.
This type of telemedicine is broadly used by primary care physicians and psychiatrists. It provides timely care, especially in urgent cases. Real-time interactive telemedicine is best for follow-up visits and medication monitoring.
It is important to keep in mind that all medical communications must be conducted through HIPAA-compliant telemedicine platforms.
Videoconferencing and other communication technologies can be used to make specialized psychiatric services available to people living in underserved areas.
Diagnosis, follow-up, and follow-up of drug intake in these patients are possible. These facilities also allow consultations between psychiatrists and the provision of educational programs.
Remote monitoring, also known as self-monitoring or self-testing, uses a diversity of technological devices to monitor a patient’s health status and clinical symptoms remotely. It is widely used in the treatment of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus, and asthma.
Some of the advantages associated with remote monitoring include cost-effectiveness, more frequent monitoring, and greater patient satisfaction. There is some risk that self-administered tests may be inaccurate; however, the results are generally considered to be similar to tests on professional patients.
Using digitized medical equipment and communication technology, patients living in remote locations can be provided with optimal facilities for eye care and monitoring of chronic eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy. This helps in providing low-cost eye care and entrance to eye specialists for poor and uninsured patients.
Telenursing is a type of telemedicine that provides nursing care to patients remotely. Telenursing is fastly gaining popularity among chronic patients and caregivers due to its lessened cost and ease of use.
Benefits of TeleMedicine
- Access to healthcare for patients living in rural or underserved areas without the need for hospital trips.
- Useful in post-disaster, natural disasters, or other emergencies where travel is not possible.
- Elderly patients and those with chronic illnesses can be monitored and monitored regularly through telemedicine.
- Medication monitoring and dose management can be done over the phone.
- Travel time is saved and treatment costs can also be reduced.
- Facilitates health education by allowing students or health professionals to observe and listen to experts in their fields. Medical education is made possible by making academic material and case presentations available through webcasts and teleconferences.
- Electronic search engines, online medical sites, and journals provide the latest research news to help healthcare professionals stay informed. Specialists can also communicate with each other and solve complex cases.
- It allows patients to participate in the decision-making process because they know at their disposal.
- The presence of a computerized database, especially in the primary care setting, allows the physician to access patient records and multidisciplinary collaboration whenever needed. This could improve the quality of patient care.
- Home dialysis options are available to patients via video link supervision whenever needed.
Telemedicine services are a major step forward in improving access to healthcare for all patients, especially those living in areas with limited local healthcare providers. In addition, they offer the significant advantage of lower costs compared to traditional face-to-face meetings.
Telemedicine is an extremely lush field that has dramatically changed the face of healthcare in a relatively short time. By improving the breadth and density of communication and information sharing between patients and medical professionals. The overall level of healthcare available to individuals worldwide has dramatically improved. In the future, purification in the field will generate a global network of doctors and other healthcare professionals who can engage and educate their patients to a truly unprecedented degree.