As the coronavirus pandemic made everyone confined to their homes, the need for providing medical care to the ones in need has become more difficult. But, the latest technology has erased the notion of distance. Tele healthcare and telemedicine has made medical care more accessible even during a global pandemic.
You can easily access a wide range of care options through telemedicine services, such as primary care consultations, physiotherapy, psychotherapy and even emergency services to some extent.
What is telemedicine?
Telemedicine is a method of providing medical care without in-person visitation, generally through phone call or video call. Telemedicine offers healthcare using devices such as smartphones and computers. People, who learn how to order medicines online, can benefit greatly from telemedicine services for their medical follow-ups and stockpiling their medicines in case of emergencies. Mostly consultation and care are given through video conferencing. But, phone calls and email medium are also used to provide services.
Doctors and patients can use telehealth services to:
- assess if the patient needs treatment in person or not
- provide medical care, such as therapies and consultations
- Renew or write prescriptions to patients
- Offering medicine intervention in case of drug abuse or substance abuse
Telemedicine is useful in situations in which the patient is unable to visit the clinic in person or is practising social distancing.
Benefits for patients
Some other benefits of telemedicine include:
- Lower costs: People who use telemedicine can save cost and avoid staying in the hospital. Also, fewer visits to the clinic or hospital mean fewer expenses on travel and childcare.
- Improved access to care: Telemedicine makes it easier for patients with disabilities to access quality care in case they are not able to go out. It can also prove helpful for older citizens and people who live far away and are geographically isolated.
- Preventive care: Telemedicine makes it easier for people to access quality care that improves their overall health. This is especially true for people with geographic or financial barriers to gain quality care. For example, it was studied in 2021, that telemedicine improved health outcomes in the US.
- Convenience: Telemedicine allows people to access care for their loved ones in the privacy and comfort of their home. This means that a person does not have to arrange childcare or take time off of work to go for a doctor’s visit.
- Slowing the spread of infection: Going to the hospital or clinic for checkups mean being around people who may be sick, that too nearby. This can be dangerous for people with weak immune systems. Especially during the ongoing pandemic, telemedicine has reduced the risk of spreading infections to a great extent.
Benefits for healthcare providers
- Reduced overhead expenses: Healthcare providers who offer telemedicine services can reduce overhead costs.
- Less exposure to illness and infections: When doctors see patients remotely, they reduce exposure to any pathogens the patient may carry.
- Patient Satisfaction: If patients can easily get their diagnosis while sitting at home, what could be more better than this.