To begin with, it’s necessary to identify what lies behind the word ‘telemedicine’. In general, telemedicine means providing remote health services through real-time communication between the healthcare provider and the patient, with the help of electronic visual and audio means. The simplest example of telehealth is giving a phone call to the doctor when the patient has no emergency medical problems. In this case it complements face-to-face consultation without replacing the latter. Nowadays telemedicine has gone further and it is a real alternative to in-person consultations with the specialists. So what to expect if you decide to try telemedicine?
First and foremost, telemedicine provides great convenience both to practitioners and patients, because there is no need in physical visit in order to get medical treatment or advice. So it’s cost effective and time saving, as you don’t have to sit in a queue to see a doctor. Moreover, when a common doctor’s office is closed, you have an opportunity to give a call to the telehealth center and receive the necessary care.
It’s also noted that telemedicine is of unquestionable value in monitoring patients with high cholesterol, chronic diseases or high blood pressure. Surely, these patients do not require urgent medical help but they need follow-ups and medical advice on lifestyle regimens, dosage adjustments or prescription refills. Sometimes it’s difficult for them to go to a hospital on a weekly or monthly basis but with telemedicine perspectives patients can accumulate all the necessary data and simply send them to the physician without leaving their home.
So how does it work? Today the Internet has made audio and video calls much more available and affordable to a greater part of the society, and that’s a plus for telemedicine as it’s practiced from a hub. This is a website where distant doctors deliver healthcare services via a telecommunication system. The first secure virtual care platform of this type was launched in Canada in 2012 and was called Medeo. It’s still working allowing patients and healthcare providers to have online appointments via absolutely secure messaging system, private video, file sharing and patient care plans. All you need is a computer, laptop, tablet or mobile phone having a camera and connected to the Internet.
Another benefit of telemedicine is that your doctor has an access to your secured medical record database online, which makes it easier for him/her to make more accurate and reliable prescriptions for you. Besides, those who are for the use of telemedicine, note its great convenience, less time on waiting for a consultation, lowers costs and easier access to high quality medical treatment and diagnosis. All these factors positively influence the entire physician and patient experience. Consequently, telemedicine produces improved health results, which is the fundamental target of all healthcare services.
As you can see, telemedicine is becoming more and more popular due to its obvious advantages. In the modern fast developing world its role is very important, as it gives you an opportunity to be much healthier and reduce spending your precious time on travels to the hospital and waiting in a line.
Luis Norman writes this article with the goal to shed light upon a new growing area of telemedicine and matters alike.