Are you a cautious person? Do you like to analyze all aspects of something before stepping foot into it? Is a positive outcome all you look for? If yes, you are smart!
Before starting with something, we must know the ins and outs of it. And an industry as crucial as healthcare should only have seasoned players.
Telemedicine is gaining more users with time. Its benefits are hidden from no one. However, what do you think telemedicine has in store for you? Is it your ideal solution in emergencies? Is telemedicine enough for all your healthcare needs? Is there anything that it doesn't cover? Are there any limitations? So many questions may pop up in your mind when you think of getting into the telemedicine system. We know how bewildered all these questions might leave you. Your health and fitness are your top-most priorities, and you don't want to compromise on them.
So, what you need right now are answers to all your questions. Therefore, we are here with a comprehensive review of the telemedicine industry. Read on to discover if these services are effective in treating patients.
What is Telemedicine: The Ins and Outs
In simple terms, telemedicine is the remote delivery of medical and healthcare services using technology. It makes healthcare more accessible and cost-effective and increases patient-doctor engagement. Telemedicine allows patients to discuss their symptoms and issues over a video or audio call.
Do you remember the days when the pandemic was at its peak? People were in dire need of consultation but were scared of visiting the doctor in person. After all, the risk of infection was sky-high. What did you do back then? Where did you go to discuss your symptoms?
You called your family doctor, right? YES!
Were you able to discuss everything? NO!
Now imagine you had a telemedicine app installed on your mobile phone.
You felt ill and wanted to consult a doctor. You could easily book an appointment and connect with your specialist over a call.
Wouldn't it be very convenient?
Yes! It would be.
Telemedicine has its benefits and limitations; let's go through them.
TIP: Benefits are higher in number (Just saying)
Benefits of Telemedicine for patients
Hello, there! Since you reached this section, we figure you are curious to know more about telemedicine.
Who doesn't want comfort and convenience in today's hectic time and age? No one wants to risk their health and waste time while standing in queues. Also, if there was a way you could save money while getting the best quality services, wouldn't you take it?
Of course, you would!
Telemedicine is that way!
Enough talking, let's jump to the part where we describe the benefits of telemedicine for patients.
As we mentioned earlier, comfort is what people want the most nowadays. No one has the time to wait in long queues or call the hospital now and then to book appointments. They want a solution that functions the way they want. Healthcare apps are such a solution. By indulging in telemedicine, they can consult a doctor anytime, anywhere they want from the comfort of their homes. That means you won't have to adjust your work schedule. Wouldn't that be great?
Telemedicine provides cheaper access to medical services. Consulting from home means no costs on transportation, gas, parking, etc. Sometimes, the doctor may want you to visit five days a row. Wouldn't it be expensive to spend gas and pay parking charges every day? It would be!
"The net cost savings to the patient or payer per telemedicine visit of $19 to $121 represents meaningful cost savings when compared with the $49 cost of an on-demand visit," says Health Leader.
Telemedicine is a boon for those who live in remote areas and patients with disabilities. They can access excellent healthcare services from the comfort of their homes without relying on someone else to take them. It is very beneficial if you live in rural areas. In rural areas, there are fewer physicians available. The unavailability may lead to severe issues. Using a healthcare app ensures that no one's healthcare needs are ignored.
Telemedicine simplifies people to get preventive care, which will benefit their long-term health. It is especially true for those who face financial or geographic challenges in receiving adequate care. Here, you can see the influence of previous factors. Since telemedicine is more accessible and cost-effective, it provides better preventive care making it a better option for you.
Prevents the spread of infection:
Going to the doctor's clinic entails being in close quarters with people who may be ill. It is especially risky for persons with underlying medical issues or weakened immune systems.
Telemedicine eliminates the possibility of contracting an infection at the doctor's office. Using telemedicine saves yourself and others from catching the flu or getting infected.
Improved doctor-patient engagement:
Telemedicine changes doctor-patient relationships by giving patients increased access to doctors and immediate care at home. Physicians reported improved patient communication due to the convenience and flexibility provided by online care. After an online visit, 83 percent of patients thought they received expert treatment, and 78 percent said they would utilize these services again. (Northwest Primary Care, Oregan).
A better option for children and elderly care:
Telemedicine makes it easy for you to deal with child or elderly care issues as these groups are more prone to catching infections. Your child may get tired of the excessive travel involved in in-person consultations. So, isn't telemedicine a better option? Yes, it is!
Limitations of Telemedicine for Patients
Everything around us has some shortcomings. Nothing is perfect, as they rightly say! Suppose you need to get some extensive tests done. Would the entire lab come to your house? No!
You will have to visit the hospital yourself. Telemedicine has its set of limitations, not just with equipment but data privacy too. You must calculate all the possibilities before deciding if it's right for you. Here are some limitations associated with telemedicine.
Health Insurance Coverage:
Not every insurance company takes telemedicine consultations into account. However, the policies are constantly changing, but till then, you are by yourself.
Isn't data privacy the primary concern of all internet users worldwide? It is. No one wants their privacy to be threatened by anyone. Hackers are increasing every day.
However, apps nowadays have data security arrangements and ensure their users' safety.
Suppose you have a medical emergency. You open up your telemedicine app, and the doctor isn't available. You have no other doctor as you don't have an appointment.
You will be stuck, right? Another thing worth noticing is that the doctor wouldn't be much help online if it's a case involving burns or wounds. You will have to rush to ER. You cannot rely on telemedicine for every need.
Telemedicine Scope: Where is this industry going?
Several of our fantasies have come true thanks to technological advancements. Telemedicine is one of them, enabling remote diagnosis and treatment of patients through telecommunications technology. Telemedicine uses the Internet to connect patients and physicians, which is rapidly expanding. Telemedicine is a well-established service, although its popularity has yet to mature. It gives the industry more room for further advances. But what about the future of telemedicine? That is uncertain, but like any other disruptive healthcare breakthrough, it will need time for confirmation and the correct trigger before the medical community completely embraces it. Since February 2020, telemedicine has evolved exponentially. It's all because of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The market value is to increase significantly, with a value of almost 460 billion US dollars anticipated by 2030.
North America has the world's largest telemedicine market. The telemedicine market in the US is expected to rise to $35 billion by 2025. This trend shows a considerable increase compared to previous years. There are numerous goods and applications available in the telehealth sector. Hardware accounts for the lion's share of the telemedicine market in the United States.
Is telemedicine effective in treating patients?
It's time to answer the question you asked us in the beginning. Is telemedicine effective? Was our study of telemedicine scope and telemedicine use cases of any benefit?
No study goes in vain, believe us! So, looking at the benefits and limitations we discussed, what do you think the telemedicine scope is? What does it have in-house for you?
It has accessibility, better care, less expenditure, and safety. With telemedicine, you have better access to healthcare services even if you live in remote areas. You can easily book an appointment without having to wait. Telemedicine is successful in treating common illnesses. It is effective in chronic disease management. You can track your symptoms and vitals using healthcare apps and set a goal. You may also regularly consult your physician and share your issues privately. If you need to get a test done, your sample will be picked up, and a report will be sent to you on the app.
So, our honest review of telemedicine ends here. We hope you got what you were looking for. Remember, nothing is perfect.