What is Telemedicine? – Overview
What is telemedicine – Telemedicine is a considerably new concept on the internet. It has developed with lightning speed in the past decade, thanks to the advances in internet technology.
If you’ve heard about the concept and want to know more about what is Telemedicine, then you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about telemedicine, including what is telemedicine, the difference between telemedicine and telehealth, the benefits of telemedicine and the applications of telemedicine.
What is Telemedicine?
Telemedicine might seem a strange new concept but it has been around in its rudimentary form since the 1950s.
Back then, doctors, healthcare providers, medical institutions and hospitals began finding new ways of efficient and faster communication by sharing these through the telephone.
The first success was achieved when two centers in Pennsylvania successfully transmitted a radiologic image over the telephone.
With the advance of internet technology down these years, telemedicine technology has also been boosted greatly.
As smart devices become increasingly common, it has become easier to record and share high-definition videos that patients can share with their doctors from remote locations.
What is the difference between Telemedicine and Telehealth?
Telemedicine and telehealth are two terms that are wrongly used as alternatives for the other. However, there is a stark distinction between the two.
Mainly, telehealth consists of a wide range of technologies and services that provide patient care and improve the overall healthcare delivery system.
Telehealth has a broader scope of remote healthcare services as compared to telemedicine. Telehealth services also include surveillance, health promotion and public health functions.
On the other hand, telemedicine is meant for specifically remote clinical services but can also include non-clinical services, such as online training, administrative meets and continuing medical education.
Telemedicine involves using electronic communication tools and software to provide clinical services to patients through virtual means.
Telemedicine allows doctors to treat patients over the internet.
This technology is highly useful for follow-up visits, managing chronic conditions, management of medication, consulting with specialists and for many other clinical services that can be easily provided using secure video and audio connections.
What are the benefits of Telemedicine?
Telemedicine is an excellent alternative to in-person visits to your doctor. It has various benefits for patients and healthcare providers alike.
Benefits of Telemedicine for Patients
Using telemedicine, you as a patient can enjoy:
- Reduce time spent away from work
- No waste of time or travel expenses
- Lesser interference with elder or child care responsibilities
- Optimal privacy and security
- Avoiding exposure to other potentially contagious patients
Benefits of Telemedicine for Doctors
As a doctor or healthcare provider, telemedicine is beneficial to you as it helps to:
- An alternative source of income for doctors
- Improve clinical efficiency
- Solve competitive threat of retaining health clinics and online-only healthcare providers
- Improve patient follow-up appointments and better health outcomes
- Reduces losses from missed appointments and cancellation
- Reimburse through private companies
5 different applications of Telemedicine
Let’s take a quick look at some of the most common applications of telemedicine today:
You can use health software for regular follow-up visits as remote monitoring has proven excellent for patients and healthcare providers alike.
This technology also ensures less risk of missed appointments and improves overall patient outcomes.
Remote chronic disease management
The drastic increase in chronic illnesses has been a major challenge for healthcare workers for years. However, with telemedicine software, it gets easier and more cost-efficient for patients to maintain their overall state of health.
Remote post-hospitalization care
Studies have shown that a telemedicine program can help to drastically reduce hospital re-admissions and follow-up checks, especially when treating cases of chronic diseases.
Preventive healthcare support
Quitting the habit of smoking and reducing unwanted weight are the main ways to lower the risk of heart trouble and many other severe medical conditions.
With the help of telemedicine, healthcare providers can connect with patients and ensure that the patter is provided with complete healthcare support.
Assisted living center support
Telemedicine software tools have proven highly useful in keeping residents of assisted living homes out of the hospital.
Nights and weekends are often the most common times that patients require hospitalization.
Using telemedicine technology, it has become easier for on-call doctors to conduct a remote visit and determine whether the patient needs to be hospitalized.
Telemedicine is a great boon for the healthcare industry. This technology has enabled easier, more efficient and prompt delivery of healthcare services from remote locations.
This technology is incredibly efficient and is being adopted in various healthcare sectors with eagerness.