If you like the idea of seeing your doctor over a video conference on your laptop or smartphone, you are not alone. Telemedicine technology overcomes barriers to health services caused by the distance between you and your doctor, access to reliable transportation, and fragmentation of care due to gaps in time between appointments.
Telemedicine Technology implements digital communications tools and software that allow patients to receive virtual healthcare services wherever they may be. It has eliminated the need to travel long distances for medical appointments and the stress of such long medical journeys.
The Emerging Telemedicine Technology
Telemedicine has been around for over three decades and continues to evolve to meet the growing demand for healthcare on the go.
Getting an appointment with care specialists can be difficult. But telemedicine technology has stepped in to provide medical diagnosis or evaluation that can be carried out over the phone from the comfort of your home.
Your healthcare provider can easily place a voice or video call to you, engage you with some test questions, analyze symptoms of ailments, treat and manage them.
Improved technology has made Telemedicine easier, even for those who don’t consider themselves computer savvy. You can use Telemedicine through online platforms or mobile apps and request a virtual visit with doctors, practitioners, and therapists.
Primary provider and patient communication are provided by most commonplace technology today, like mobile devices and PCs. These devices allow secure real-time audiovisual communication wherever there is a stable internet connection (through LTE, 4G, WiFi, etc.).
Mobile video carts are an emerging telemedicine technology that facilitates similar communication through WiFi or ethernet connection. The video quality from these carts is much better than with mobile devices since they function only over stable internet connections and have mounted cameras that ensure the video feed is steady.
Advanced remote monitoring systems are another example of the technology used in telemedicine and currently being implemented. These include Bluetooth-enabled devices like pulse oximeters, glucometers, blood pressure monitors, scales, etc.
These allow healthcare providers to constantly collect and send real-time data feeds, such as lab tests, vital signs, CT scans, X-rays, and more to other healthcare agencies for interpretation. Your doctor can get in touch virtually while homebound, give you the latest information without delay, and continue to monitor you proactively.
Technology Used in Telemedicine
Various technologies foster communication between you and your healthcare service provider. Below are highlights of some of these technologies:
These are software applications that run on a smartphone or tablet. The health services you need are incorporated into a mobile app to access at your convenience. Suppose you want to schedule an appointment with your doctor; you will only have to log in to your mobile app and create a schedule.
Nearly everyone has a smartphone in this modern age. With your smartphone at your beck and call, you can have your doctor over the phone for medical inquiries or evaluation.
Also, more than one medical personnel can attend to you via the phone at the same time. Some health services you can access via a phone call from your doctor are radiologic images, laboratory results, and prescriptions.
The internet serves as a hub for everything, from enabling connection to healthcare services to finding health-related resources. Whatever education you need with regards to a disease condition is available on the internet.
However, when using the internet, it’s recommended that you source information from your healthcare service provider’s website. This will help you filter valid information from false ones.
Online Video Conferencing and Webcams
Video conferences allow you to have real-time interaction with your doctor. It is commonly used for patients recovering from an ailment.
During the live video chat, your doctor can evaluate how fast or slow you’re recuperating. Depending on their findings, they can decide to prescribe new medications or reschedule you for an in-person medical appointment.
Secure Email (Store-and-forward)
With a secure password and username, email is a safe means of communicating with your doctor. The good thing about emails is that your medical lab reports, scans, and prescriptions are delivered to you privately.
No one has access to them but you. Hence, emails are the best for such purposes if you desire privacy and would like to keep your health conditions away from others.
Advantages of Telemedicine Technology
Telemedicine technology comes with a variety of benefits, and some of these are outlined below:
Telemedicine provides you comfort as you can interact with your doctor from anywhere and at any time. Therefore, daunting activities such as frequent office visits for health services are entirely eliminated.
Having to travel to a health facility for medical services costs lots of money. Most of these travels involve moving across far distances like from one state to another or even across a country. However, with telemedicine, you can save your money as such travels won’t be necessary.
Access to a Pool of Specialists
With the internet at your disposal, you can see the profile of specialists who will attend to you when you visit your healthcare providers’ website. Depending on the exact service you need, you are allowed to choose and schedule a remote appointment on the go.
Increased Security and Privacy
Using telemedicine technology improves your privacy on health-related issues. This technology is vital as there won’t be a need to worry about who has access to your medical reports and results. With this technology, you get an effective and secure way to share your medical files and data directly with your doctor or healthcare center.
Telemedicine is growing in popularity because of the amazing benefits it offers to patients and their healthcare providers. Patients don’t have to drive to the doctor’s office or clinic, park, walk or sit in a waiting room when they feel sick. Instead, you can see your doctor from the comfort of your own bed or sofa.
National Coronavirus Hotline offers video visits with licensed doctors and medical professionals. You can speak with a physician from the comfort and safety of your own home. With NCH’s telehealth services, you can talk with a doctor one-on-one, access your symptoms, get advice, order lab tests, have a physician send prescriptions to your local pharmacy, and obtain referrals to local doctors if you need to be seen in person