Telemedicine allows healthcare practitioners to use telecommunication technologies to assess, diagnose, and treat patients from afar. This approach has evolved over the past decade. The growing patient expectation of more convenient care, coupled with the shortage of many healthcare providers (especially primary care providers), has made telemedicine an important part of the US healthcare system. Very often, the terms telehealth and telemedicine are used interchangeably, as their definitions cover very similar areas. In this article
relief seekers explains the various innovations in telemedicine and how it helps the people. keep reading!
However, telemedicine is part of telehealth. That is, if you go into details, then telehealth is a set of tools and methods to improve medical care, healthcare, providing health education and supporting the health system through telecommunication technologies. While telemedicine refers specifically to clinical services. For example, a mobile application that allows doctors to treat their patients remotely via video chat belongs to the category of Telemedicine.
The global telemedicine market in 2016 was estimated at $ 24.9 billion and is expected to reach $ 113.1 billion by 2025. Market growth is likely to depend on the increased introduction of telemedicine, an increase in the incidence of chronic diseases, a growing geriatric population, government initiatives, and a shortage of doctors, among other reasons. Virtual medicine has a positive effect on reducing visits to emergency rooms and hospitalization.
Save healthcare costs. For example, the United States annually spends $ 2.9 trillion on the healthcare system. However, 200 million of these costs can be avoided.
Enhances patient access to medical advice despite their location.
Increased contact between the patient and the doctor. That is, telemedicine allows patients to communicate more often with their doctors. Thus, the relationship between the patient and the doctor is strengthened.
Improved patient care. It allows you to monitor patients despite the distance.
So why don’t consumers dare to use telemedicine?
A survey at the end of 2017 showed that 82% of consumers of US medical services do not resort to telemedicine. The uncertainty of people in the use of telemedicine is associated with various reasons.
Lack of awareness – people do not know that they have the opportunity to consult their doctor through the Internet.
Uncertainty regarding the qualifications of doctors. Doctors who want to work with application developers are, in the opinion of patients, inexperienced or unskilled.
The need for a personal visit. Even in the digital age, many people just want to talk to their doctor. Sick and vulnerable people often need to personally hear about their illness from another person in the same room with him.
Types of Telemedicine
Below we will consider some types of telemedicine:
Teleradiology is a separate area of telemedicine, the main task of which is the transmission of medical diagnostic images from a distance.
Many patients have to wait several hours for their pictures in hospitals. Teleradiology allows you to send pictures to patients at a distance and subsequently receive the necessary advice.
Telepsychiatry allows qualified psychiatrists to treat patients remotely. This type of medical service has become incredibly popular, partly due to a shortage of good psychiatrists, and also because psychiatry often does not require the same physical examinations as other types of medicine.
In teledermatology, as a rule, they use the “save and send” technology. In this case, doctors send the patient a photo of the rash, or other skin abnormality, for remote diagnosis. Primary care professionals are often the first medical specialists to identify a potential problem.
To provide more accessible and convenient care for patients with cancer, the field of Tele oncology has expanded rapidly over the past few years. Some Tele oncology solutions include storing and sending images to doctors for diagnosis. Others include video calls that allow patients to consult with an oncologist.
Telemedicine today: making healthcare more convenient
Telemedicine was created as a means to reach patients living in remote regions. However, as telemedicine is increasingly providing more convenient medical care, many private medical companies with new technologies have begun to offer patients access to medical care 24 hours 7 days a week and with a doctor on call.
Telemedicine has become an important component of hospitals
Telemedicine is fast becoming an integral part of the healthcare industry. According to research, “Consumers are interested in more convenient access to healthcare, and increasingly they want to receive services through video calls. Moreover, patients are ready to try telehealth in other types of medical services, ranging from a chronic condition to subsequent observation at a distance. ”