Telehealth technology is bringing a revolution in the world of virtual healthcare. You can imagine its popularity when facts and figures show that more than 83% of healthcare executive leaders intended to invest in telehealth in today’s era. According to the American Telemedicine Association, the people who used telemedicine services in 2015 has doubled in the last few years. National insurers are also revising their policies to expand their coverage which includes telemedicine services.
Today’s technologically advanced society is ready to embrace telemedicine with open arms. With countless conveniences such as online appointment scheduling, virtual doctor visits, and decreased costs- it is the perfect solution for patients living in remote areas or for facilities that are facing a physician shortage.
Telemedicine doesn’t require much in terms of its application. With minimal setup costs and staffing needs, telemedicine is slowly changing how healthcare providers care for patients. It is no more a realm of science fiction as more and more people continue to benefit from it. Whether you are a patient living in a rural area or a professional with a busy schedule- telemedicine is a reality that has something in store for everyone.
Today we are going to learn more about the increasingly common ways in which telemedicine has bridged the gap between healthcare providers and patients. Thanks to smooth electronic communication, healthcare services can now be provided via teleconferencing, image sharing or chat boxes.
Here are some of the ways in which telemedicine has revolutionized health care for the future:
1- High volume of virtual visits
Gone are the days when telemedicine was rare. Today, virtual appointments are available readily. New parents, people with busy schedules or those who don’t have access to good healthcare facilities, are the perfect examples of patients who prefer virtual visits.
People have realized that unless they want to visit the doctor’s office for a detailed hands-on visit such as an eye examination, throat culture or detailed physical examination, telemedicine is the perfect solution to save time and money. Furthermore, people with agoraphobia, germaphobia, and social anxiety preferred telemedicine as it is the only way they feel comfortable seeking care.
As time passes, we will witness many traditionally brick-and-mortar services, such as follow-up care, pharmacies, and counseling services moving online.
2- Empowers patients to take care of their health
One of the great ways in which telemedicine has changed the future of healthcare is that it has made the patients empowered enough to manage choric health conditions such as hypertension and diabetes.
Thanks to latest mobile apps and other online tools, patients are more concerned about their health than before. According to a research carried out by CDW’s 2017 Patient Engagement Perspectives, 70% of the patients feel that they have become more proactive and engaged in their healthcare within the last two years.
Another survey evaluated that telemedicine and online patient portals have managed to increase patient engagement levels by leaps and bounds. So, there is no denying the fact that the ease provided by telemedicine has increased communication between patients and doctors.
Telemedicine has made it easier for patients to self-manage chronic health conditions by providing them with care management portals in their hands.
3- Improving healthcare around the world
As mentioned above, telemedicine has greatly helped in improving healthcare conditions all over the world. Third world countries and other parts of the developing world have healthcare services that are next to none. Telemedicine has bridged this gap and offers services like remote consultation centers, where health issues can be addressed before they convert into something major and untreatable.
Telemedicine has made it possible for doctors to treat cataracts before they cause permanent blindness, guiding new mothers about do’s and don’ts of raising a newborn and so much more.
While there is still a huge requirement of electronic equipment and strong internet connections in rural areas, telemedicine is slowly carving its niche in the developing world.
But just like any other technology, telemedicine has its own share of risks. It is necessary that both patient and physicians must have a secure internet connection and appropriate hardware and software to ensure 100% confidence and avoid data breaching.
If you are a healthcare provider, make sure to go through the federal government’s telemedicine conditions for participation. It is a concise outline of what is expected of you as a provider of telemedicine services. However, keep in mind that different states have unique licensing rules.
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