The word “telemedicine” sounds very high-tech, but it is becoming a more common practice as the years progress. Telemedicine is the future of health-care for many reasons, including its efficiency and ease-of-use. Continue reading to find out more about this innovative new practice in healthcare.
What is Telemedicine?
Telemedicine is a two-way, real-time interactive communication between a patient and a healthcare provider at a distant site, supported by audio/video equipment and integrated medical devices. Basically, you are attending a doctor’s appointment in the comfort of your own home via a program similar to Skype!
- Benefits of telemedicine include:
- Overcoming distance barriers.
- Widening access to healthcare in rural areas.
- Reduced travel times/costs.
- Lower cost of care.
- Shorter wait times.
- Shared professional staffing.
How Has Telemedicine Impacted The Healthcare Industry?
Companies like eNcounter provide telemedicine equipment to healthcare programs. This software allows healthcare providers to see their patients over long distances. While in-office visits are always going to be necessary, telemedicine is opening doors in the healthcare field that allows so much more flexibility in patient care and treatment.
One way telemedicine is impacting the healthcare industry is providing more widespread access to healthcare in places where it isn’t as widely available. Rural areas are given better access to healthcare because now patients can be seen by a doctor for minor sickness and injuries from the comfort of their homes, reducing travel times and costs to larger cities where healthcare is more available. This improves the health of citizens in rural communities and also reduces the costs of office visits for those that may not be able to afford them.
Telemedicine is also providing faster access to healthcare providers, improving patient outcomes and catching possible problems more quickly. It also provides an easier way of managing prescription refills/adherence and managing chronic conditions. Patients are spared unnecessary trips to the actual office when all they need is a refill or maintenance/advice for any chronic conditions they may have.
A major positive benefit of telemedicine is the ease with which different healthcare providers can now collaborate together and share their knowledge/research with one another, even across large distances. Before this method of communication, healthcare providers had to go to much greater lengths to share with others in their profession, but now it is as easy as a Skype call!
What Is the Outlook For Telemedicine in the Healthcare Industry?
With the technological advances being made every day, the implementation of telemedicine is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years. Wider access to technology and the efficiency it provides will allow telemedicine to continue growing into a more common practice.
The idea of telemedicine is now a reality. It brings healthcare to a different level, allowing for more personalized and easier treatment of patients and collaboration of healthcare providers.