Telemedicine is having a profound impact upon the healthcare industry. The following brief blog will discuss what this concept entails, as well as four ways in which the practice is benefitting both doctors and their patients.
Also sometimes referred to as telehealth, this practice enables physicians and patients to interact without the need for in-person meetings. Through the use of technology such as cellular telephones, desktop and laptop computers or any other device equipped with mobile video conferencing applications, healthcare professionals are given the opportunity to appraise a patient and potentially offer solutions and treatments to their maladies based upon the information they are presented with.
Virtual encounters can benefit both a patient’s overall health, as well as a physician’s ability to provide quality care. Online meetings that occur in a patient’s home or another environment in which he or she feels comfortable can foster an atmosphere of less apprehension and greater openness where both concerned parties can allot a greater amount of time to conversing about specific health concerns instead of being consumed with other activities such as filling out paper work or being disturbed by other distractions that might take place inside a healthcare professional’s offices.
Physicians who utilize telehealth technologies can better monitor patients with chronic conditions. Patients with issues that require carefully watching and may need to be tested frequently such as those afflicted with high blood pressure and diabetes can have important tests taken online with results immediately submitted to their physician. Such a practice limits office and laboratory visits and the associated insurance, potential out-of-pocket and travel costs. In addition, online monitoring also affords caregivers the opportunity to check-in and observe patients with serious conditions with greater frequency, which could prevent a serious condition from morphing into a potentially life-threatening problem that could require more urgent and expensive care.
Virtual health encounters enable physicians to see more patients and drastically cut down on the amount of time a particular patient might have to wait to see doctors providing specialized care for a specific illness or condition.
Telehealth can greatly reduce the numbers of hours a doctor must devote to office hours, hospital visits and time spent on call. The demanding nature of the profession has caused burnout in some individuals already ensconced in it and has prompted those considering possible entrance into the field to pursue other career avenues. Virtual medical care might change this occurrence.