Ever wonder if you could connect with your doctor when you are traveling on your latest adventure? Thanks to telemedicine, you can. The use of telemedicine is on the rise, and private insurance claims increased more than 1,200 percent for telehealth services from 2012 to 2017.
Let’s take a look at this growing trend and take a look at some telemedicine examples.
What is Telemedicine?
With telemedicine, health care professionals can diagnose, evaluate, and treat patients with that latest technology. Physicians and patients share information using the Internet. Patients can consult with health care professionals from the comfort of home.
Patients do not have to wait for an appointment. Physicians can even capture and see readings from devices at a faraway location.
There are numerous benefits with telemedicine including these benefits for the patients:
- No travel expenses
- Less time away from work
- Visit a doctor from anywhere
- No exposure to sick patients
- No need to worry about childcare
There are also benefits for providers including:
- Better patient follow-up
- Increased revenue
- Improved office efficiency
- Fewer missed appointments
Telemedicine makes healthcare accessible and convenient for both patients and providers. Primary care physicians can also consult with other medical specialists easier by using telemedicine services.
It can also save money on the costs. A study found that $200 billion of healthcare costs were avoidable. Telemedicine can help reduce unnecessary doctor and ER visits.
Telemedicine also makes it easier for providers to follow-up with patients to make sure treatments are working. The providers can complete a video chat instead of making the patient leave his or her home, or some extensive telemedicine systems offer more extensive monitoring with devices to help observe a patient’s heart.
With these benefits, it’s easy to see why the use of telemedicine is on the rise.
Types of Telemedicine
There are different types of telemedicine, which allow doctors to choose the right option for their practice.
Live or interactive telemedicine connects physicians with patients. Physicians can also view the patient’s records, medical history, and more.
Store and forward telemedicine allow providers to share information with other physicians. For example, a specialist can share results with the primary care physician. This helps prevent duplicate testing and the sharing of prescription medicine.
Telemedicine can also be used with medical devices to check vitals and monitor other organs like the heart. Remote patient monitoring collects medical and personal data and transfers this data to a nurse, physician, or caregiver for monitoring. This system is popular with senior living and patients who wish to age at home because it can help prevent falls and alert someone of an issue immediately.
There are also mobile device applications that patients and doctors can use to connect virtually anywhere. If you travel, you can pull up the app if you have a medical question or forgot your medication.
These medical devices also let physicians travel to developing countries and provide patient care.
Wondering when you should use telemedicine? Here are some examples of conditions that can be treated via telemedicine.
- Arthritic pain
- Respiratory infections
- Insect bites
- Sports injuries
- Sore throats
- Bladder infections
Telemedicine services range by speciality. Surgeons can use this technology to check-in with patients before and after a procedure.
Physicians can discuss lab results with patients with live chats. A dermatologist can take a quick peek at a mole to see if it needs further examination.
Medical Specialties That Can Use Telemedicine
As you can see from some of the examples above, telemedicine can be used for more than just primary care. There are several medical specialities that can use this technology.
Telemedicine is a service also offered with health insurance. This service is more convenient than going to urgent care, ERs, or waiting to get into a doctor’s office.
Here are some other medical fields that use this technology and examples of how they use telemedicine.
Mental health uses telemedicine for counseling sessions and to streamline office visits. People can continue counseling if they are out of town. Telemedicine also gives patients in the rural area access to speak to a therapist.
Radiologists can review high-quality images and give feedback from anywhere. They don’t have to be in the same area as the physician or patient. This streamlines the process and helps doctors work together to diagnose patients effectively.
Patients can also contact dermatologists to discuss conditions like eczema, bedsores, psoriasis, allergies, and other conditions. This service is extremely helpful to the elderly or homebound patients.
Dermatologists can help treat these conditions from a video chat and prescribe needed medications. The patient won’t have to worry about traveling to the office if he or she is bed-ridden.
No one wants to bring a sick child around other sick children. With telemedicine, parents can call pediatricians to see if the condition can be treated over the telemedicine conference.
The pediatrician can also educate the parents on what to do next and what to watch for to determine if the child needs to be taken to a local clinic or emergency room. This is a great tool for nervous first-time parents that aren’t sure how to handle common illnesses like coughs, respiratory issues, rashes, and bowel issues.
Final Thoughts on Telemedicine
These telemedicine examples show you just how beneficial and convenient these services can be. With modern technology, you don’t have to sit around and wait for a diagnosis. You can also skip long lines at urgent care and avoid being around other sick people.
Check with your health insurance company and your primary care doctor to see if they offer telemedicine services. You can save yourself some time and money by using these services.
Now that you know you can get medical help anywhere from telemedicine, are you ready to look for your next adventure? If so, keep checking out our site to map out your next travel adventure.