Less than 70 years ago only, some hospitals started experimenting towards providing remote health care to the patients who reside in the remote areas. And we know that technology transformed itself so quickly that now patients can access the health-related information in real-time via phones or computer systems, medical apps, and healthcare software that are also capable of keeping your vital signs inline.
As of 2020, COVID-19 has shown its ugly face in such a manner that people are struggling through constant fear and coronavirus patients are not able to understand whether they would be able to breathe free or not. This is indeed such a horrific state for the world.
Amidst the pandemic situation, patients with conditions like diabetes, cancer, paralysis, asthma, etc. have been snatched the rights of medical attention. Even the prenatal and postnatal patients are deprived of doctor’s help and care. Imagine how they are coping in lack of medical attention, and when everyone is drowning in fear of COVID-19. Well, this is where telemedicine benefits could come up.
As per recent news, in Andhra Pradesh, India telemedicine program has been introduced to help coronavirus patients. They are continually providing online doctoral services for the infected or expected patients under quarantine. Soon this service will be extended to other patients in the state as well. This recent telemedicine example is worth note for.
Got the idea of what is Telemedicine? Let’s take a brief look at it.
What Is Telemedicine?
The concept of Telemedicine revolved around physicians and patients interacting over video apps on phones or video software on computers like Skype, Zoom, etc. However, it is recommended that these tools are HIPPA(Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliant. As patients are becoming proactive to collect basic vitals like blood pressure, sugar levels, etc. at home, this method is helping them to save time and visits.
Telemedicine Benefits (Demand Of The Time)
Connecting doctors miles away
People of all age groups are experiencing telemedicine benefits. Teenagers who can’t share their problems with doctors on a visit, they can talk to their doctors through online access. At the other end, the people above 60 years, who are not able to reach the hospitals easily unless highly required, can now talk to the doctors right from their couch.
- Rural or remote areas are most positively affected by telemedicine emergence. In some cases have proved like a miracle when the patients could not wait to reach the hospital due to the health emergency and have taken help from online health practitioners for immediate actions.
- Immediate Assistance to doctors in critical cases sometimes requires a third opinion, even during the surgery. At this stage, Telemedicine has benefitted not just the patients but also the doctors to make the operation successful.
- Treating vulnerable populations has become simpler. Sooner the conversation, the better the quality of life.
- More patients are coming into the healthcare bracket as Telemedicine is saving time for both patients and doctors, and they can arrange the meeting based on convenience.
- Remote patient monitoring is another fantastic benefit that one cannot deny. For terminal illnesses, this method helps the doctor monitor their patients’ vital signs. Any immediate action required can be completed by a nurse or family member to keep things in check.
Doctors are virtually on the bedside.
- Healthcare is considered as pocket draining in many countries of the world. Thanks to Telemedicine and remote consultation, which can save an ample amount of money and gives access to multiple practitioners for various views.
Telemedicine Side That Needs Improvement
Good things come with some flaws, but if they are improved, hopes of life would undoubtedly be high.
- Investment on technical training and new equipment may look like an additional necessity to many.
- Secured chat is the most important concern here. Hacking into patient’s health data and signs could turn good things upside down.
- Reduction in a physical examination may bring another set of challenges. If patients depend on Telemedicine entirely and leave the chance of visiting doctors in-person, there might be other checkups that miss.
- Strict policies and government backup is highly required for the process to run smooth and glitch-free.
What’s The Future?
In my opinion, Telemedicine is reaching to nooks and corners of the world, making healthcare accessible to many. This idea is itself amazing and cutting the need for running from one location to another and spending valuable money. It will keep rising as the quality improves and practitioners, as well as patients, get aligned to the new technology.
If you ask the future, I recommend that connecting Telemedicine with robotics could help in a much more peculiar manner. For example, during COVID-19, doctors & nurses can even get infected when they near themselves to the patients. Before it turns fatal for healthcare workers, it is okay if technology embraces again.
Jaipur, India; Robots are helping doctors during corona pandemic.
Moreover, if the future can conjoin Telemedicine with any particular home appliances, a person can press it in times of emergency. He or she can even think of calling the doctor every morning where the doctor can monitor all the critical information like blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, etc. using the appliance’s in-built tool and send out the necessary actions for the day. Yes, the future is here but let’s take another step ahead for the betterment of society.
What is your opinion about it? Let us know your views and recommendations in the comments section below.