Telemedicine: all you should know about this new & exciting technology

The term telemedicine is derived from the combination of a Greek word 'Tele," meaning "distance" and a latin word "mederi" meaning "to heal.

The world Health Organization defines telemedicine as, "The delivery of healthcare services, where distance is a critical factor, bay all healthcare professionals using information and communication technologies for the exchange of valid information for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease and injuries, research and evolution, and for the continuing education of healthcare providers, all in the interests of advancing the health of individuals and their communities".

For example, a patient , a healthcare provider, or caregiver may use a wireless phone to automatically upload vital signs and send it to a remote monitoring center. Telemedicine was one of the first technologies which improved the spread of healtcare services where in areas that considered inaccessible initially now had a means to connect patients with doctors remotely.

Why Telemedicine?

Telemedicine is a way to reduce costs at the same time providing consumers with the convenience they want to get help when they need it.

The increasing popularity of telemedicine technology is literally transforming the healthcare industry. Modern information and communication technologies (eg. computers, access to the internet, and cell phones often dubbed as ICTs) are transforming how individuals communicate with each other, seek and exchange information.

A few factors have made the widespread adoption of Telemedicine possible:

The availability of high-speed internet access and mobile phones. People already have access to computers and Smartphone to access the internet. The need for medical care solutions for elderly patients who cannot easily go back and from a hospital on a regular basis.

Telemedicine is becoming more and more appealing among physicians and doctors all over the US. Simon Stertzer, Chairman of Biocardia Inc is especially optimistic about the future of telemedicine:

The ability of patients to visually, and reliably communicate with professionals from home or the workplace, is a truly 21st century capability heretofore unavailable to the general public. So now it is possible to personally query and interface with one physician by means of a computer screen, avoiding the travel time, waiting room the loss of work or other personal time.

Types of Telemedicine

There are various types of telemedicine use cases supported today. Here are the top there:

Store and forward (also known as asynchronous telemedicine). This is a method in which the patient's medical information (imaging reports, diagnostic reports, videos, and other records) are stored and forwarded to a medical care professional for remote assessment of a patient's condition. With this method, medical care professionals can analyze the patient's information. effectively based on their schedule and priorities. With the solution, a medical specialist can live a different timezone than the patient or the attending physician. The type of telemedicine has been adopted a scale by various healthcare disciplines including raiology, dermatology, ophthalmology and cariology.

Remote monitoring (Telemonitoring) refers to the clinical measurements of patients who can be monitored from a distance. This is beneficial for elderly patients living at home with chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and even asthma.

Live Interactive or Real Time Telemedicine - Synchronous Telemedicine Video conferencing platforms allows patients and physicians to interact with each other real time for remote consults. This type of telemedicine is often leveraged for follow-up visits.

Then underlining technologies used in telemedicine are designed to protect patients' privacy and usually follow HIPAA compliance rules and standards.

In an age where technology is almost more accessible than water, telemedicine has become an increasingly efficient method for patients to get the best medical care for specific medical situations on short notice, especially when they do not have a primary care physician or when they're uninsured or underinsured.

In an age where technology is almost more accible than water, telemedicine has become an increasingly efficient method for patients to get the best medical care for specific medical situations on short notice, especially when they do not have a primary care physician or when thery're

Telemedicine allows doctors and patients to talk in real time about symptoms, vital signs, and possible treatments in using mobile devices. Telemedicine also give patients the flexibility to travel while remaining in touch with their primary care providers.

Much as the internet and computer networking signficantly impacted the way that companies exchanged information, telemedicine has also changed the way that medical professionals communicate.

Instead of having to be in person to witness or moniter a pace dure, a doctor can now participant e virtually via a mobile device. This is especially beneficial to patients who choose to have low cost surgeries abroad. Doctors can discuss their patient's prior medical history, and advise specialists abroad before, during, and after surgical procedures.

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Key benefits of Telemedicine

Below is a list of key benefits the adoption of telemedicine brings to both patients and physicians:

  • Older adults with chronic conditions can be treated by doctors miles away without leaving their homes.
  • Video conferencing systems help medical practitioners interact with the patient almost immediately after an accident, reducing the cost to treat a patient and potentially improving the quality of care.
  • The cost of patients traveling to the hospital and waiting time is drastically reduced
  • Patient Health records are stored securely following the HIPAA standards and shared with the appropriate care team members to speed up treatment and recovery.
  • Patients can be diagnosed and treated earlier which leads to improved outcomes and standard treatments.

Telemedicine improves accessibility to health care facilities for patients living in remote areas and allows physicians to reach out to patients and expand their services beyond their clinic. Telemedicine reduces the traveling time for both patients and the health care providers. It also decreases the number of hospital stays, allows for shared health professional staffing that translates into reduced costs for the hospitals offering telemedicine services. Telemedicine also improves continuity of patient care as the patient, primary care physicians and specialists, can all be actively involved during a consultation.

Summary

Telemedicine is the answer to the question of solving the problem of healthcare inaccessibility. With proper implementation, it can serve multiple purposes and help patients and physicians alike. Recent technology advances have improved the quality of telemedicine services and also reduced the costs of implementation. Telemedicine offers extraordinary potential for delivering faster, better, less expensive and more convenient care.

The articles comes from Digital Authority Partners, a Mixpanel partner

 
 
 
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