【telemedicine】What is telemedicine?
Mr. Ma lost one leg and suffered from aftereffects after a traffic accident. He needs to have long-term consultations, but it’s difficult for him to go to the hospital or clinic every time. He even needs his friends to accompany him to the hospital. Recently, several medical institutions launched their telemedicine programme, and doctors can use video software to consult with the patients. Mr. Ma thinks it’s very convenient, but he doesn’t have enough confidence to use it, so he wants to know more about what telemedicine is.
Learn About Telemedicine
Telemedicine involves the usage of video, audio and computer systems like telephone, messages, WhatsApp, email and other forms of electronic communication to provide medical and health care services to patients. Telemedicine has grown increasingly popular due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It is an excellent alternative to direct consultation at a hospital as it carries the desirable factor of convenience. By simply clicking a button, patients can receive direct diagnosis, learn treatment options or receive a prescription. In some cases, healthcare providers such as hospitals can even remotely monitor your condition from medical devices. Telemedicine is definitely beneficial to modern society.
There are three different types of telemedicine:
1) Interactive medicine - in which physicians and patients are able to exchange information in real time.
2) Remote patient monitoring - caregivers are able to closely observe patients who use mobile medical devices to collect data on blood pressure, blood glucose levels, etc.
3) Store and forward - providers gain access to share the patient’s health information with other healthcare professionals or specialists.
When is telemedicine applied?
Telemedicine is simply not a viable option in emergency cases such as heart attacks, strokes, cuts, lacerations, etc. To add onto this, telemedicine cannot be used for broken bones, which will require splints, X-rays or casts. Any issue that requires prompt, direct care must be handled in real life. Despite this, telemedicine is very useful for simple issues and consultations that can be followed up immediately. For example, if you suspect that the wound caused by cutting onions last week could potentially be infected, you could always schedule a virtual consultation with your healthcare provider to discuss any symptoms. In short, the possibilities of using telemedicine are endless!
Moreover, telemedicine can also be used for various other health issues, comprising of psychotherapy and teledermatology. This offers consultations of moles, rashes, and other suspected skin diseases. Colds, insect bites, sore throats ,and diarrhea are some other common issues addressed using telemedicine.
Benefits of telemedicine services
1) The easy access/ convenience factor
In cases where a patient lives in a remote area in which medical facilities are absent, or has a non-flexible schedule that doesn’t allow time to visit a physician, telemedicine can aid in improvement of the patient's overall health and standard of living.
2) Financial benefits
As telemedicine becomes more common, more insurance plans begin to cover telemedicine visits at the same rate as in-person doctor visits.
With the rapid development of innovative technology, telemedicine has broken through the space boundary and allowed more patients to receive timely treatment. Catalyzed by the COVID-19 pandemic, telemedicine has become an important part of future medical development. The development potential of telemedicine is huge. If the advantages of telemedicine can be further developed, it is believed that the flexibility of medical institutions can be improved.