【Telemedicine】Telemedicine:Benefits and limitations for patients
Mr.Li and his wife were unfortunately infected with the coronavirus, and required to enter the quarantine hotel. They wanted to get some medical advice, but they were not sure if telemedicine was right for them, and what its limitations were.
Benefits of telemedicine
- No transportation
- No need to take time off
- Convenient access to care for people with disabilities and remote areas
- Reduce the risk of infection
- Easy access to specialists
- No waiting time in healthcare facilities
- Improved management of medication, lifestyle, and chronic conditions
- Easier access to preventive care to improve long-term health
Limitations of telemedicine
Even though telemedicine has many advantages, there are some limitations as well.
1. Lack of equipment
Telemedicine seems handy for us. Patients just have to create an account and consult with the doctors. However, the situation is more complicated than that. Telemedicine requires a large amount of equipment and IT staff. Many healthcare institutions may not have enough financial power to provide telemedicine services. This leaves many patients deprived of it. Besides, if the system isn't implemented properly, it could affect user experiences and lose their confidence in using video consultation.
2. No in-person consultations
Many providers and patients like “face-to-face consultation”, if you are one of them, you probably opt out of telemedicine. Many conditions require a physical exam to ensure treatment is on the right track and telemedicine can’t help in this case. However, it still can be a good option for cases that don’t require checkups.
3. Reduced care continuity
Telemedicine allows patients to use on-demand service that connects them with random physicians, in these circumstances, the care continuity suffers. This is because clinicians don't have medical records and other important information about that patient. Consultation depends strongly on a person’s medical records from previous visits. This problem can be solved with improved data solutions in healthcare.
Telemedicine offers patients numerous advantages, but it has some limitations as well. These limitations are manageable and we can expect them to be solved as this type of healthcare service thrives amid covid-19.