It is important to understand the efficiencies of technology. Telemedicine and telehealth are two types of technology that provide people access to healthcare without visiting a healthcare facility and the associated costs. But telemedicine is not a new thing, and people worldwide have been using it for years.
But it is COVID-19 that highlighted the need for remote healthcare. After the arrival of this deadly virus, people have been compelled to maintain social distancing and stay at home. The government has also set strict rules and regulations. Amid such a critical situation, telemedicine is an increasingly important tool for people.
Patients can connect or make an e-visit through a secure portal. This may include email, text, and video conferencing, provided they have a phone or computer, and an internet connection.
Everything has positive as well as negative points, and telemedicine is not an exception.
The best part of telemedicine is that people living in remote areas can get in touch with doctors. They will get access to some renowned healthcare services virtually. This method of connecting people and doctors ensures the safety and health of people. Patients will not have to visit a clinic physically, so there will not be any social interaction. People will not have to stand in the queue. Everything will be done online.
Ideally, it reduces costs as well. One area of concern with existing medical infrastructure is the costs associated with operating large buildings, upkeep, and associated staff. All of this gets passed along to the patient and health insurance providers.
Telemedicine also keeps contagious people from spreading illness to others in the waiting room or on door handles or other surfaces.
Implementing technology is not as easy as it sounds. Finding people to develop communication technology to allow doctors and patients to connect securely is important. For older patients who are unfamiliar with these types of technology and how to use them creates over problems as well. The outcomes that patients will receive through telemedicine might not be perfect either. Telemedicine does not allow the doctors to diagnose the patient properly, as there is no direct interaction.
Doctors have to make decisions based on what the patient says about their condition. Doctors cannot visibly check for symptoms, swelling, a fever, or other issues that may present themselves through visual means. They can suggest patients wear things like smartwatches or respiratory monitors to measure vitals, but the person has to remember to wear it, keep it charged, and complete any other tasks the doctor requests of them.
This can lead to difficulties or inaccuracies that can only be solved with a visit with a doctor.
If consulting with your doctor online is the future, there are still a lot of hurdles to overcome to make it more optimal and with better outcomes.