Telemedicine is the practice of rendering patient care remotely. Presently, patients are no longer limited to scheduling a physical appointment with their primary physicians. Telemedicine utilizes telecommunication and information technology to connect with patients via integrated HIPAA compliance video conferencing tools. The World Health Organization (WHO) refers to Telemedicine as “healing from a distance.”
On the contrary, telemedicine is not an old practice because the concept dates back to the 19th century. Contemporary telemedicine means people can reach their doctors through mobile phones and computers. As technology’s rate of accessibility increases, telemedicine is becoming more convenient for individuals living in rural and urban areas. Furthermore, the use of digitalized medical devices makes it possible to monitor important vitals, like any changes in blood glucose levels.
Current Benefits of Telemedicine
Here are a few ways patients, providers, and payers can get benefit from Telemedicine:
- Reduces the accidental spread of contagious disease
- Acquire immediate care, reducing waiting hours
- Schedule consulting hours during work or peak times
- Overcomes the struggles to find care options
Current Disadvantages of Telemedicine
Despite its clear-cut benefits, Telemedicine also has a few drawbacks:
- Unclear policies
- Fewer face to face consultations
- Healthcare systems find it challenging to adapt to these changes since it requires a well-trained staff
According to recent research reports, another notable shortcoming of Telemedicine was that it led to the overprescribing of antibiotics for children suffering from cold symptoms and respiratory infections. Antibiotics were prescribed in higher amounts when compared with urgent care clinics or doctors’ offices.
There are also a few security concerns regarding the integrated HIPAA compliance video conferencing tools. Telemedicine, ultimately, is a medium for doctors to connect to their patients via video chat, text, or call, but not all communication mediums are completely safe. The shared data must be fully encrypted, secure, and compliant with all HIPAA regulations for the information to be safe.
What are the Applications of Telemedicine?
Physicians should think about how Telemedicine might improve their practice. It is an opportunity for the physicians to connect with their patients from wherever they are.
If you’re curious about some of the more valuable applications of Telemedicine, here are a few popular ways it is used:
- Chronic disease management
- Medication Management
- NICU/ICU to monitor the patient from different angles
- Disaster Relief (provide emergency care immediately)
- Paramedic or Ambulatory service
- Mobile Health Services
- Mobile device streaming but is not limited to,
- Digital stethoscope
- Pulse oximeter
- Blood Pressure cuff
Medical specialties that can incorporate Telemedicine:
- Mental Health
Telemedicine is here and, so far, ready to use. The process may take a bit longer to fully ensure that it is the next step in rendering quality patient care for those who cannot physically meet their physicians.