Telemedicine has come a long way in the past few years. Thanks to the widespread adoption of smartphones and the Internet, patients can now access medical advice from a doctor via video chat at home or a local coffee shop. It’s called telemedicine or telehealth, and it’s now an accepted part of modern medicine. In short, it means that physicians no longer see their patients as isolated individuals, but as members of a community who can benefit from collaboration. And telemedicine is only going to become more common in the future. To get a better idea of why check out these 12 things you should know about telemedicine.
Telemedicine is Saving US Billions
The amount of money spent by the U.S. on health care is getting higher and higher every year. And telemedicine is one way to combat rising costs. A study out of Boston University found that if just 10% of doctors used videoconferencing, we could save $87 billion in health care costs over the next 20 years! Telemedicine offers a variety of benefits, including reduced expenditures and improved patient outcomes. With telemedicine, patients can avoid making trips to the doctor’s office and they can get more personalized treatments since they’re in their own homes or workplaces.
One of the most important features of telemedicine is video chat. Video chat has been around for a while, but it’s become more popular in recent years thanks to advancements in technology and the Internet. With video chat, patients can see their doctor in real-time from anywhere with an Internet connection. They don’t even need a computer – they just need a webcam and a place to talk. With video chat, patients can keep their doctor up to date on their conditions remotely. They can also have virtual check-ups and consultations where doctors can examine them remotely as well.
Remote Patient Monitoring
One of the most common uses for telemedicine is remote patient monitoring. This is an especially useful technique when it comes to chronic conditions like asthma or blood pressure, which can be easily monitored over video chat. For example, a patient might wear a BP cuff and have their blood pressure checked every day remotely by their doctor. In this way, the doctor can monitor the patient’s progress over time and suggest necessary changes in medications or dosages as needed.
Telehealth for Patients
Telemedicine has provided many benefits for patients. Telehealth allows them to visit with a physician online, which is especially helpful for those who live in rural areas and can’t access medical care as easily. Patients can also get recommendations and prescriptions without having to see a doctor in person.
Telehealth for Healthcare Professionals
If you’re a doctor, telemedicine provides many benefits. For one thing, it saves you time and travel costs. You no longer need to visit every patient in person, which is often difficult for those in rural areas or who have difficulty meeting with others.
Telehealth solution also makes it much easier for doctors to consult with specialists. With video chat, you can easily get advice on diagnosing a patient’s condition and then send that advice over to your office so that he or she can be treated properly. The Mayo Clinic states that the use of telemedicine is one of the top 10 medical innovations of all time and predicts that by 2020, more than 50% of primary care visits will be done via telehealth.
Electronic Medical Records
Electronic medical records (EMRs) are an important part of telehealth technology. They allow patients to access their medical information from any location.
Patients with chronic conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, can use EMR to keep track of their medical history and daily activities. This empowers them in many ways; first, they can see what a doctor is prescribing and why. Second, they can decide if the treatment makes sense for them. And third, they can take steps to manage their condition themselves instead of relying on doctors for every decision.
1) Electronic Medical Records
2) Telehealth is cost-effective
3) Patient empowerment
4) Improved patient-doctor relationships
5) More convenient for everyone involved
6) Physicians save time and money when utilizing telehealth
7) Patients have increased access to healthcare services
8) Telemedicine increases the speed of diagnosis
9) Increases continuity of care and lowers the risk of hospitalization and unnecessary ER visits
10) Decreases isolation/loneliness among rural communities & improves the quality of life for those living with chronic illnesses or disabilities that limit mobility/physical contact with friends/family members
11) Improves mental health by lowering incidence rates of depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other mental health issues related to social isolationism or the inability to find adequate care in rural areas when populations increase due to natural disasters like flooding or forest fires.
Collaboration is Key
One of the main benefits of telehealth services is the opportunity for patients to be more engaged in their care. We’ve heard about how America’s medical system is changing, and this is one of the ways it’s doing so.
Telemedicine allows doctors to reach out to their patients through video chat, which helps us get a better sense of their lives outside of our clinic. When we understand their circumstances better, we can tailor treatments accordingly and help them achieve better health outcomes. The patient-doctor relationship becomes less hierarchical when physicians can see an individual as part of a community rather than just an isolated patient who appears at our doorsteps and disappears into the ether.
Legislation and Regulations
Policymakers in the United States are still navigating the complex terrain of telemedicine, and the landscape is changing constantly. The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) participated in a survey of policymakers and found that 52 percent of respondents were unaware of any state-level policies on telemedicine. But this is changing as more states adopt legislation to address telemedicine. Currently, 45 states and Puerto Rico have adopted legislation on telemedicine, while Washington, D.C., and five U.S. territories have not yet taken a position on the issue.
Telemedicine is a new and emerging field, but the potential for impact is huge. When you think about it, telemedicine offers so many benefits to patients who live in remote regions and have difficulty getting access to care. It also offers physicians an opportunity to collaborate with other health professionals who may not be available in their region. In short, it’ll change everything.