The healthcare industry has seen numerous technological advancements that are driving growth and efficiency. Generic medicines, data analytics, real-world evidence, electronic health records (EHR), and medical wearables are some of the examples of such technological advancements. However, despite such these developments, physicians and patients are more excited about telemedicine. Telemedicine makes use of telecommunications technology such as phones, tablets, and computers so that healthcare professionals can deliver quality healthcare to patients from any part of the world. Additionally, telemedicine also allows doctors and physicians to consult with one another in the diagnosis or treatment of the patient without having to leave their facilities.
So how can Telemedicine facilitate healthcare providers and patients?
Convenient and Accessible Healthcare
Each place has a geographical distribution that is not always ideal. For instance, the majority of the population will be centered around main cities, with few dispersed in the outskirts and small towns. The problem with such dispersion is that even the infrastructure such as healthcare facilities will be sparsely distributed. Such distribution can be problematic for patients who might not be able to access healthcare facilities easily. Telemedicine arrives as a boon to the healthcare industry as it can deliver healthcare services even in remote or rural areas; thereby, negating the shortage of medical professionals or hospitals. Additionally, it also extends to urban lifestyles where busy schedules can make it difficult to avail healthcare services on-demand. Consequently, communications over e-mail, Skype, SMS, and other IM platforms will save all the traveling time and wait time to make their lives easier.
Reduction in Healthcare Costs
Apart from assisting medical professionals and patients, telemedicine also enables medical providers, insurers, and employees to reduce healthcare costs and save money. The emergence of the emergence of HIPAA-compliant mHealth (mobile health) apps, secure messaging solutions, and remote monitoring and online management systems has drastically reduced unnecessary physical check-ups and ER visits. Diagnosis of simple health issues such as skin rashes, colds, sore throats, and flu can be easily eliminated by doctors remotely analyzing the symptoms.
Improved Patient Outcomes and Care Quality
The most significant advantage of adopting telemedicine is the fact that the patient can be connected with healthcare professionals instantly when they need it. A timely diagnosis and early detection can vastly improve the patient outcomes and improve the quality of care being offered. Remote monitoring programs also help in periodical follow-ups with patients after the initial check-up so that the physician can modify the medicine or its dosage as and when required.