By | Tarah Mills
Visiting a doctor is not always an option for everyone. Whether a patient is too uncomfortable to drive, or they live far away, physically meeting with a physician does not have to be the only option available. Using new technology to create telemedicine can improve the lives of many.
What Is Telemedicine?
Telemedicine, unlike telehealth, provides a narrower service of remote health care that is individualized for the patient. By using current technology, a physician in one physical location can care for a patient in a separate location. Telemedicine is especially beneficial when increasing healthcare services to those who live in rural and under-served areas of the community.
Why Is Telemedicine Used?
Telemedicine technically started in the 1960’s. Televisions that could create physician consultations were used in a psychiatric setting. Since then, telemedicine has helped the general population for over a decade. Developing countries, as well as developed communities, can now successfully receive remote care.
Since the current advancement of technology, the medical field is quickly evolving to meet more patients’ needs. By using video monitoring, a physician or nurse can check for any warning signs the patient may be experiencing. A healthcare provider can successfully track vital signs for those who are recovering from recent surgery.
Real-time video medicine orchestrates a live interaction for both doctors and patients or doctors and other medical professionals. Through this software, physicians can share medical data automatically. This can cut down on time and effort.
Affordability and accessibility to healthcare have exponentially improved over the years. By using live video, patients that would have faced huge obstacles such as climate or lack of transportation can also receive treatment.
Types of Telemedicine Connections
There are several different types of telemedicine connections available. Most connections involve high-speed internet, but depending on where the physician and patients are located, options may vary. For remote areas, certain connections may be limited.
The 3 Popular Connections
Networked connections can be used to link remote health clinics to hospitals. Approximately 200 networked telemedicine programs in the U.S., are allowed access to rural areas. These connections are often run through high-speed internet lines.
Monitoring center links are also commonly used in telemedicine. These links are used for remote patient monitoring. By manufacturing a digital connection between the patient’s residence and a monitoring center, those experiencing serious conditions such as pulmonary or cardiac issues can get medical care.
Point to point connections is typically used to connect remote health facilities to hospitals. Like Networked connections, both centers are linked by high-speed internet. Point to point connections is particularly beneficial for understaffed clinics that need to stay in touch with specialists. Telepsychiatry and urgent care services are usually used on a point to point connection.
The Benefits of Telemedicine
Patient engagement has increased with the option of remote care. In the United States, rural areas can stretch for miles without any neighboring developments or houses. Living in isolated areas can be risky for those who do not have access to reliable transportation. Even those who do have access to a car or public transit, inclement weather may prevent patients from being able to travel. With a remote option for medical care, people who may not have risked driving into town can now see a physician through video software.
The quality of care is not jeopardized by telemedicine. Because it is easier for a patient to follow up with their care provider, additional appointments can be scheduled with ease. Although diagnosis and medication can be made from the initial appointment, patients can often experience side effects from treatment. This level of care allows patients to feel confident in their treatment from start to finish.
Popular practices that first used telemedicine include teleradiology, telepsychiatry, and teleobstetrics. Now there are many other medical fields that also use this technology for health care purposes.
How Does It Work?
Medical software has come a long way in recent years. Although there are many unknown companies, Kareo provides seamless integration that is reliable. By using video software, certain telemedicine companies offer HIPAA-compliant remote conferencing for patients and physicians. This kind of medical software is critical when upholding a patient’s privacy as well as the integrity of the medical practice.
Setting up practice information online can help alert patients to all their options. Many physicians benefit from clearly stating online that they provide telemedical services to patients. A provider profile allows the physician to showcase their areas of expertise while allowing patients to book appointments.
Using telemedicine can greatly benefit both patients and healthcare providers. For those who cannot easily travel to a hospital or physician’s office, this type of care can be crucial. Telemedicine has been used to monitor patients after surgery, help with psychiatric care and check basic medical data. With more access available to a growing population of patients, treatment is widespread.