Telemedicine is the effective use of technology in healthcare where the medical information exchange between doctors and patients is done electronically. Telemedicine also offers patients the ability to receive medical services at their own convenience, in the comfort of their own homes or anywhere in the world.
Telemedicine is administered in a number of forms. Below is a list of a few mediums in which telemedicine can be administered.
Electronic mediums for telemedicine:
- Video conferencing: Video conferencing is conducted between doctors and patients to assess the current health status of the patient. It allows patients the ability to gain an audience with a doctor to inquire about their concerns without going to a health campus.
- Transmission of still images: Still images can be transmitted via e-mail or electronic health record for interpretation by a physician in a remote location.
- Nursing call centers: Nursing call centers are set up where nurses are available 24/7 to provide assistance to the patients.
- E-health portals: Portals are designed with information about common diseases and symptom’s. Patients can check portals for assistance and to pull information.
Benefits of telemedicine:
Both healthcare providers and patients can greatly benefit from the implementation of telemedicine. Below are a few examples of how each party can benefit from the intersection of technoloy and healthcare.
Benefits for patients:
- Convenience: Patients can communicate with doctors at their own convenience. Patients in remote locations and rural areas can utilize video conferencing or email communication with doctors, eliminating the tiresome journey to a hospital or other healthcare facility. Timely treatment can be administered close to home.
- Reduced waiting/travel time: Wasting time in the waiting room is another hassle faced by patients. The worry of missing an appointment or having to reschedule for showing up a few minutes late adds to the annoying nature of in-person visits. Telemedicine provides patients with a travel-free option for healthcare.
- Multiple doctors consulting for second opinion: With telemedicine, it is possible to consult other doctors for a second opinion without having to schedule so many in-person appointments. X-rays, MRI scans and other scanning records can be sent to doctors via email.
- Cost-efficient for patients: Telemedicine reduces the cost of transport, cost of paper and posts for the patients. Doctors are also charging less for patients who communicate with them virtually.
Benefits for health care providers:
- Cost-efficient for doctors: Doctors can treat more patients within a given time frame. This eliminates the need for elaborate setups and equipment.
Technological advances in communication have been making life and business easier for people in recent years. This trend has translated well in healthcare. Telemedicine is a revolutionary innovation in the field of healthcare. Both doctors and patients can reap the benefits and make life and health less complicated.
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