The healthcare industry is an integral part of our society; it heals and treats the ailing. Many industries were hit hard by the pandemic and struggled to continue. Some organizations went out of business, but the healthcare industry could not afford it. The pandemic forced us to stay in our houses and stopped us from going to the doctor when needed. In such a scenario, it made sense to use something safe to get consultations; Telemedicine.
Data from McKinsey suggest that virtual visits increased almost 40 times during the pandemic. It proves that Telemedicine has become an essential part of the healthcare industry, and it has changed our view about care interactions.
Here we will explain the various telemedicine types beneficial for your organization.
What is Healthcare?
The prevention, treatment, and management of illness and the preservation of mental and physical well-being is called Healthcare.
The ailing obtain this through the services offered by the medical, nursing, and allied health professions. It takes over 10% of the GDP of most developed countries. In 2018, the global health industry was worth $8.45 trillion.
What is Telemedicine?
Telemedicine is an amalgamation of two words, Tele and Mederi. The Greek word “tele” means distance, and the Latin word “mederi” means to heal. Thus, it means healing at a distance.
Telemedicine means the practice of providing medical help to patients remotely through telecommunication technologies, which means that patients and doctors need not share the same room to interact and start treatment. Furthermore, Telemedicine enables patients to consult any doctor; who might be in a different town or even country! It has made the in-person visit a thing of the past. Telemedicine is also becoming a significant part of the American healthcare infrastructure. 41%–42% of U.S. adults reported having delayed or avoided seeking in-person care during the pandemic because of COVID-19 scares.
PROBLEMS SOLVED BY TELEMEDICINE
- It is unlikely that your patients live within walking distance from your hospital. They might have to travel a considerable distance to get themselves treated. It is even worse for those who live in rural areas. One of the telemedicine features is video conferencing. It allows you to diagnose and examine your patients without sharing the same room. It also makes it possible to provide medical help to rural people who sometimes wait to schedule an appointment unless it is inevitable.
- To err is human. There is a risk of mistakes when patients book appointments through a person. Telemedicine apps avoid this by removing the middleman. One of the telemedicine features allows online scheduling, which means patients can book an appointment by seeing the available dates from the in-app calendar. This feature frees the staff, who can now focus on other critical tasks.
- In 2018, 27.9 million nonelderly individuals did not have health care insurance. It is one of the reasons why people avoid going to the hospital as no insurance means expensive bills. Telemedicine allows you to offer your patients virtual visits, especially those who don’t have insurance. It costs them cheaper, encouraging them to pay you soon.
- Patients might call you even after appointments. You can avoid such calls by moving such queries to the digital system. It allows you to charge them while keeping the bill inexpensive.
- There are times when patients cannot drive. Telemedicine allows you to treat them virtually. It means you can diagnose their condition, prescribe medicines, and follow up in a few days, all from the same virtual platform. Patients can get the quality care they require from the comfort of their beds. This Telemedicine feature eliminates virus exposure for you, your staff, and everyone in your waiting room.
Types of Telemedicine
Three main telemedicine types exist are:
- Remote monitoring
- Real-time interactive services
Let us see them in detail below.
The Store-and-Forward type of Telemedicine revolves around the interaction of two healthcare providers who are not in the same place. It is also known as asynchronous Telemedicine.
Healthcare providers use this to share lab reports, videos, patient records, and other patient information among themselves. It has made discussing issues easier for doctors. Again, patient security and confidentiality are maintained. It allows doctors to interact at a time suitable for them. The fields of dermatology, radiology, and pathology use this type of Telemedicine. In comparison to the email system, it is more secure.
Real-time interactive services
Real-Time interactive services refer to Teleconsultation, which offers patients and physicians to communicate in real-time.
The ability to reach out for medical help saves patients time traveling to and from the doctor’s office. Cisco research says that 74% of patients prefer using technology for consultations to in-person visits. It even takes care of patient privacy, unlike tools such as Skype, Zoom, Facetime, etc. Numerous examples of teleconsultation usage are present, Telenursing, Tele pharmacy, and Telerehabilitation being a few.
It provides immediate advice to patients in need of it. Real-time interactive services of Telemedicine help us assess medical history, simple visual examinations, psychiatric evaluations.
Remote monitoring involves combining technology and devices. They, when combined, permit clinicians and medical professionals to monitor patient health remotely.
Biosensors worn by patients give doctors information to treat them. This gathered information helps them suggest treatment plans and prescribe medication accurately.
These wearable devices that help doctors obtain information can range from a simple device (electronic scale) to a complex one in nature (implanted glucometer). There are numerous features and benefits of Telemedicine. Though, the main benefits are reduced costs and improved patient satisfaction.
These are the main types of Telemedicine. Though three other types of Telemedicine also exist, which we describe below.
Other three types of Telemedicine
Doctors use it to offer neuropsychological consultation to patients remotely; doctors conduct standard evaluation tests via video conferencing, diagnose, treat, and follow-up with patients remotely.
It means patients located far away from the hospital can get treatment at the right time.
Telenursing is another type of telemedicine that offers patients remote nursing services. It is fast gaining popularity among chronic patients and healthcare givers due to its affordability and accessibility.
Patients get pharmaceutical recommendations through Telepharmacy. It is helpful when it is difficult to get in touch with pharmacists. It ensures that patients get continued medication and recommendations through the phone.
As time changes, humans evolve. With evolution comes technological advancements, of which Telemedicine is an example. Telemedicine was always in use, but the pandemic accelerated the speed at which people accepted it. Now that many people find it easy to get medical care through Telemedicine, it has become essential for healthcare providers to adopt these ways of operating.
If you want to flourish your healthcare business, get in touch with AppsRhino to get a Telemedicine app made for you.