Going to the hospital regularly can be costly, especially if you live in a remote place. People choose telemedicine because it is safer in the post-Covid-19 era. Owing to video conferencing and other forms of virtual technology, telemedicine services allow for a reduction in the number of in-person doctor appointments. Patients and doctors alike can benefit from the time and money telemedicine saves them by using it. In addition, because of its speed and other benefits, it can help hospitals and clinics streamline their operations.
Since the Corona Virus outbreak, telemedicine research has continued to grow. People have begun to understand the value of healthcare facilities that may be accessed remotely. Telemedicine had already become widely used before the COVID-19 pandemic ever began. About 60% of hospitals in the US use telemedicine.
Is telemedicine a game-changer for online medical care?
Falsely labeling telemedicine as “virtual healthcare” is a widespread misperception. This is actual medical care provided by top-certified doctors and nurses, and it’s helping more people all around the world get the attention they need.
The global telemedicine market was worth over $45 billion in 2019, and experts predict that figure will increase to nearly $120 billion by 2026. These numbers demonstrate that telemedicine is a major player, and its significance is expanding at a lightning rate.
Now, let’s take a look at the impressive data to see how telemedicine is helping to advance virtual treatment.
The healthcare sector is being impacted by telemedicine in seven distinct ways.
1. Efficient and convenient access
The availability of medical care is frequently hampered due to geographical distances in today’s world. Hospitals are restricted from treating patients outside of the area since both doctors and patients would have to incur significant travel and lodging expenses. It has helped with keeping tabs on conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure. By simply using their phones, people will have instantaneous entry to medical centers. Parents may now fill their child’s medication without leaving their desks, thanks to telemedicine.
2 . Intensive Care Unit Patient Monitoring
The intensive care unit is now equipped with telemedicine services. When treating and monitoring multiple patients in the intensive care unit, telehealth solutions are a welcome external resource for the doctors and nurses on staff. Staff in an intensive care unit can consult with and work alongside physicians thanks to technological advancements like bedside cameras and remote access to patient records including lab results and doctor’s notes. Doctors who are monitoring patients remotely may devote their full attention to doing so, unlike their on-site counterparts.
3. Getting Patients Home to Rehabilitate After Hospitalization
When a patient is released from the hospital, the next phase of healing takes place in the patient’s environment. Stroke patients and those with other neurological disorders including Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease require round-the-clock care and close monitoring to ensure their safety and speedy recovery. A cognitive or mental evaluation based on a patient’s exercise routine is just one part of the rehabilitation treatments offered by many institutions. Patients with heart, lung and other diseases can benefit from telemedicine’s online instruction sessions for enhanced at-home rehabilitation.
4. Connections with family
You should always take a close family member or friend with you to doctor appointments so that they can help you, provide information, offer suggestions, and take notes. If you give telemedicine the green light, it can include your loved one in a virtual visit even if they aren’t in the same city or even the same country.
As a result of the high cost of healthcare, many people have opted to sign up for health insurance plans. An individual must pay the required premiums for those insurance policies to receive coverage. People no longer have to leave the convenience of their homes or spend extra money on gas to pick up medications because of telemedicine interventions. Reduced prices for healthcare are a boon to elderly persons who are less mobile.
6. Improved security
It’s a strange contradiction that hospitals and clinics, which are meant to treat people, are also the only places where you can guarantee to encounter a large number of individuals who are themselves sick. Because let’s be real, you don’t often visit a hospital unless you need to. But patient safety is a constant challenge for medical staff, especially in overflowing waiting areas.
Even more so with the current Covid-19 pandemic, precautions must be taken. Front Porch’s CIO Kari Olson recently stated that the company supports efforts to increase access to telehealth services. It is especially important at this time for people to stay in their homes to protect the elderly and other vulnerable people.
This is precisely what telemedicine accomplishes, as it facilitates remote doctor consultations without exposing anyone to potential health hazards.
7. Providing Experts with More Resources
Patients in remote places often have to travel long distances to see medical specialists, which is a major obstacle to their treatment. To get the care they need for more complicated diseases, they may need to move.
The advent of telemedicine is changing how people think about accessing medical help from specialists. Because of modern communication technologies, doctors can quickly consult with patients and other doctors, independent of their physical locations.
Since this is the case, geriatric patients can live and travel wherever they like without being overly concerned about how close they are to major medical centers. Even if the patient lives far away from any nearby medical centers, they will still be able to receive the care they need thanks to the availability of specialists in every discipline.
What are the Future Trends of Telemedicine?
These may include the following:
1. The adoption of mhealth
If you’re interested in improving people’s health, the future is in mHealth. To put it another way, it’s a targeted application of mobile technology with the end objective of better health. In 2019, the worldwide mHealth market was estimated to be worth $40.7 billion, a figure that is only expected to rise.
2. Medical care delivered to patients in remote regions
There will be no boundaries in the telemedicine of the future. Many hospitals are considering telemedicine-based specialization outsourcing. Professionals in fields including psychiatry, dermatology, neurology, and mental health have a high demand for suppliers. As a result, the market is expected to expand at a rapid pace and become increasingly competitive.
3. Mental health
A significant problem, mental health is regrettably not often covered by insurance. People may get immediate assistance from a psychiatrist no matter where they happen to be thanks to telehealth solutions, which are also more cost effective than traditional treatment sessions. Over 10,000,000 downloads of the meditation software Calm on Google Play attest to the growing significance of mental health services, especially given the app’s unparalleled popularity during the pandemic.
Mindfulness training and telepsychiatry apps will continue to grow in popularity in the years to come.
4. Artificial intelligence and large amounts of data
Telehealth solutions already perform admirably, but they may be further improved by incorporating big data and AI. Based on thousands of cases, software that automatically collects, processes, and analyzes data can prescribe the best course of therapy. More data means more accurate software recommendations from machine learning.