Medicine is one of the things humans couldn’t live without. Fortunately, it has constantly improved through the years, and now you can have most medical interventions without feeling too much pain or in danger of complications.
But as things change, medicine needs to be better managed, meaning there should be more focus on the digitized sector regarding gathering data and using it for medical purposes. Therefore, telemedicine comes to fulfill that need, and it’s the latest increasing trend in the medical world. Let’s see why people should take advantage of telehealth more.
What is telemedicine?
Telemedicine incorporates technology into the medical sector, allowing healthcare professionals to diagnose and treat patients from any distance through telecommunication devices. Telehealth use increased significantly during the pandemic (video and telephone appointments), which was an important step toward saving people’s lives.
Simply put, when having a health issue, you can make an appointment with your doctor on Zoom, for example, from the comfort of your own home, and they can help assess the situation, so you won’t have to leave your house. The follow-ups are required only when necessary (if physical consultation is mandatory). It’s become more convenient recently, and healthcare providers can perform better in more stressful situations.
Benefits of telemedicine
There are plenty of reasons why you can save money from seeing your doctor online. One would be that it includes fewer lost wages from the time you spent away from the office. Then, the transportation costs are close to none, including the parking lot fees, bus tickets and gas.
It enhances prevention care
One of the first issues medicine struggles to deal with is that patients don’t take time for prevention. Regarding the fees for surgeries, treatments and visits to the doctor, people will still ignore that it’s better to frequently see your doctor rather than only going when the pain is unbearable. But with telemedicine, people might feel more comfortable going to appointments and taking their medication on time.
It helps elders get the proper care
Generally, elders are more anxious about leaving their houses, afraid they won’t return to their belongings. That’s one of the reasons they’re not getting proper care. Aging in place comes with plenty of insecurities about money, personal care and household chores. In response to these concerns, telemedicine for nursing homes can provide all the care needed, ensuring 24/7 bedside care and reduced hospitalizations. Remote telehealth healthcare meets the needs of each patient while integrating itself into elders’ daily care routines.
It minimizes germ exposure
Hospital-acquired infections are occurring more than you’d think. People going into facility care for a health issue might get other unwanted diseases. That’s because hospitals are prone to germ formation, even if the rooms and offices are sanitized. And these infections can worsen a patient’s situation until they experience fevers, rashes, vomiting and diarrhea. But with telemedicine, you simply avoid hospitals (or go only when necessary), minimizing the risk of these situations.
It provides more data security
Healthcare organizations are the most expected to go under a data breach, given that the management is not focusing on the importance of safeguarding digital information. However, IT and security solutions can provide data security and prevent cyberattacks. Suppose doctors are trained to work with data and given the proper digital instruments. In that case, they can get more organized and focus their attention on diagnostics instead of piled-up papers.
An insight into the future of telehealth
As patients seem more confident using telemedicine for their health, the sector must be developed to keep up with expectations and future needs. Luckily, telemedicine is expected to grow, with future patients more likely to have remote consultations. But what needs to be done for telemedicine to develop?
First, doctors are to be provided with the right infrastructure. Besides the medical tools from the hospitals and facilities, they need more digital tools and computers to communicate with their patients and keep data about the patients. Secondly, doctors need more training regarding the usage of these tools because knowing how to operate them quickly will make their diagnoses easier to assess and check later on.
If these two concerns are taken care of, both patients and doctors won’t be overwhelmed about what’s more to follow, including:
- Remote pediatric care. As parents become more accustomed to using virtual technology, it will be more convenient for them to have remote appointments and avoid the long lines and time-consuming schedules.
- Wearable technology for remote patient monitoring. This development is especially useful for people with chronic conditions that must be monitored frequently to ensure the treatment’s effects. Such devices allow doctors to gather real-time data about their patient’s conditions, including heart rates, blood pressure, sleep cycles and glucose levels.
- Integrated data-sharing. Future technologies will provide integrated apps, like fitness-related applications that share data about the step count and heart rate. Health providers will better understand their patients‘ lifestyles and health with this information.
- Chronic care management. As stated before, telemedicine can help people with chronic conditions (kidney disease, heart disease, cancer, etc.) to prevent and treat complications. This comes after realizing that most patients don’t attend regular follow-up visits to help manage their symptoms. That could easily be solved with online appointments that can reduce the cost of a care plan and improve patient engagement.
The limits of telemedicine
Like any other industry, telemedicine has its current limitations. For example, the doctor and patient internet connection will not always run smoothly; therefore, the appointment can’t be managed as needed. Luckily, universal networks will be more accessible in the future.
Secondly, doctors lack training and preparation, but most patients are also not prepared to embrace technology that much. Therefore, awareness should be spread more, as well as more guidelines, should be provided for both sides.
All in all, telemedicine benefits everyone, and patients are encouraged to be more open about using technology for their health. Doctors should be aware of the benefits of telemedicine and include it in their services.