Health Care Technology
Paging Virtual Medical Help With Telehealth
Who likes to wait? We’re guessing no one. However, we all have to wait for so many things. We have to wait for a train’s arrival, food delivery and even a doctor’s appointment! Well, while there’s not much to do for the other tasks, there’s definitely a solution to end the wait before consulting a doctor.
Thanks to Dr. Telehealth!
As the word suggests, Telehealth is "telecommunication" and "health" coming together to provide clinical health care, professional health-related education, health administration and whatnot.
Telehealth is like consulting your doctor via video calling instead of meeting face-to-face after half an hour in the waiting room. With Telehealth technologies, taking care of ourselves becomes easy. #SelfCareIsImportant
So, read on as we explore Telehealth, including its evolution, benefits, future trends and more!
Health has always been an important part of our lives. From having insurance to routine medical checkups, we try to ensure that we are healthy and fit. However hard we try, though, we all end up going through some or the other medical situations, often known ones, sometimes unknown. (We hope you all are doing fine!)
As the healthcare system continues to advance, healthcare services are also evolving in innovative ways. Telehealth, to name one, where you can consult your favorite doctor from miles away on your mobile screens. However, you don’t need to consult anyone for the latest trends and technologies, it’s all here at TechDogs!
Back to the topic - let’s not confuse Telehealth with telemedicine because telemedicine refers specially to remote clinical services. In contrast, Telehealth refers to both clinical and non-clinical remote services, such as training, administrative meetings, medical education, etc.
This is going to be a feel-good appointment, as we will discover the benefits and future of Telehealth. Keep scrolling!
What Is Telehealth?
Let’s address the definition first: Telehealth is a way of consulting doctors or getting healthcare services through video or audio calls rather than face-to-face. Technology involves the transmission of images, voice and data with the help of telecommunication to provide health services.
As per the ASPE Office of Health Policy survey, almost one out of every four people over 18 conducts an appointment with the doctor over the phone or by video. This only proves one thing: the healthcare industry will also leave no stone unturned when it comes to digital transformation. Moreover, it is also found that the specialists who interact the most with the patients via these technologies are Radiologists, Psychiatrists and Cardiologists.
Now that we know what Telehealth is, it’s time to take a walk in the past to understand how Telehealth came into the picture. Shall we?
Evolution Of Telehealth
The core of Telehealth technology is telecommunication. As telecommunication evolved over the years, so did Telehealth. Let’s refer to the history pages for its evolution:
It was 1924 when Radio Magazine introduced the idea of a doctor attending to a patient via video call long before televisions and video calls were common. Later, in 1948, it was the first time when doctors used a telephone to send radiological images to other specialists.
Soon after, during the 1960s and 1970s, NASA became the prominent pioneer in moving forward the research and development of Telehealth. With the internet's birth in 1983, computer networks brought universal communication standards.
It was the year 1993 when the internet was up and running and people started to see its potential in various industries, healthcare being one of them.
Following the recession in 2008, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was passed. Right after, CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) thought of considering a meaningful way to record medical records digitally – Electronic Health Records (EHR).
In the last few years, when the world started breathing on the internet, Telehealth came to the forefront, helping millions of people get better from their homes.
Quite historic, isn’t it? However, different types of Telehealth serve different requirements. Let’s talk about them.
Types Of Telehealth
Telehealth has become the new superhero in healthcare and has been a real game-changer for doctors and patients. If you are wondering about the best options for your patients, buckle up because we're about to spill the beans on that!
We all have made video calls to our friends and family. Well, we can have with doctors as well - a virtual doctor's appointment. This helps people in far-off places get good healthcare without traveling a ton. No more stress about waiting rooms!
Snap & Share
Imagine you have a medical image, like an X-ray and want your doctor to see it. With store-and-forward, you can send it digitally. This saves time and helps doctors help you better. However, remember, it's not the same as a physical checkup, so it can lead to misdiagnosis.
Remote Patient Monitoring
Ever wish your doctor could keep an eye on you without you going to their office all the time? That's what Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) does - a medical buddy who checks your health stats from afar. Super useful for chronic conditions or post-surgery recovery.
Mobilized Health or mHealth, is when your smartphone and health apps team up to help you stay healthy. These apps can track blood sugar or remind you to drink water. They're like mini health coaches and can even connect to your health records for easy access.
The different types of Telehealth have different features. Let’s explore them and meanwhile, make sure to have a healthy diet!
The Features Of Telehealth
The numbers should not surprise you but as per the survey of Greenway clients, 96% of providers conducted some form of Telehealth visit and most of them plan to continue doing the same. The features of Telehealth seem to keep healthcare providers excited and happy, which include:
To make talking with your doctor better, you can use a chat feature. You and your doctor can talk on the phone and also type messages at the same time. This is helpful if the internet is not working well or there's a problem understanding each other during the call.
Smooth scheduling lets you manage a lot of remote bookings at once. This helps doctors manage their appointments and ensure patients get treated on time.
Reminders & Alerts
The notifications are sent in real-time to both the doctors and patients despite being in different time zones. This makes sure no one forgets about the appointment.
Telehealth does more than just connect you with doctors online. It stores medical history and lets doctors analyze and study to treat patients better.
HIPPA Compliance Solution
HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliance is a must for Telehealth, protecting patient data and ensuring security and trust. Moreover, patients also prefer HIPAA-compliant apps for their safety and privacy.
Well, these are some of the fascinating features Telehealth offers. Moreover, the features bring a handful of benefits along with them. Let’s discuss them.
The Benefits Of Telehealth
There would be around 206 bone-fits of Telehealth. However, here are our top five bones, we mean, benefits. #BonePuns
Easy On The Pocket
Let’s get real. When we opt for new technologies, we talk about ROI first. While there is no need to attend in-person medical appointments, there are no tolls, parking fees or gas expenses. Saving some bucks here!
Telehealth is becoming appealing due to its availability during work hours. With no need for in-person appointments, you do not need to take time off from work.
Accessibility & Independence
For many seniors, staying independent is really important. Telehealth brings accessibility and independence, allowing them to stay independent and get medical help.
In emergencies, we often end up going to the emergency rooms, urgent care clinics or even the wrong doctors. However, Telehealth makes sure that you find the right doctor, that too quickly!
Organizations that opt for Telehealth can leverage this technology to build a comprehensive healthcare system, catering to patients and making healthcare more efficient than ever.
The benefits may have got all of us excited. Don’t worry! Just take a deep breath as we step into the future of Telehealth.
Future Of Telehealth
We may not know the future of our health but we are sure Telehealth will be there! Let’s see how:
Better Mental Health
With evolving times, people have finally started understanding the importance of mental health. Therapists and counselors will be opting for Telehealth therapy to support their patients. Not only will this make therapists more available but they will also be able to help more patients.
Telehealth's growth is driven by patient demand for convenient care. As it continues, telehealth providers will prioritize patient experience to stay ahead in a competitive market. Integration of better services, real-time communication and smooth user experience will be critical to meet patient expectations.
AI and Machine Learning will revolutionize Telehealth by enhancing diagnostic accuracy, predicting patient outcomes and streamlining healthcare workflows. They'll enable remote monitoring and personalized treatment plans, reducing costs and delivering more efficient and effective healthcare services.
It’s time for the final words from Dr. Telehealth. Let’s hear what the doc has to say!
Who would have imagined that the same calls we once made to schedule a doctor's appointment would now be used to get in touch with the doctors directly? Thanks to Telehealth! It has evolved healthcare technologies and changed how healthcare works for patients and doctors. While Telehealth makes treatment convenient and comfortable, wearable technology and AI will only improve remote health monitoring and diagnosis with time.
Ready for a world where healthcare is digital and virtual? We sure are!
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