Telemedicine refers to the use of telecommunication to provide healthcare to patients. Many healthcare providers are starting to use this method to save time and money. When a patient has a small medical problem, such as a cold, he or she can talk to a doctor over the phone or via video chat to receive treatment, rather than visiting the doctor’s office. When the issue is something simple, the physician can diagnose conditions and prescribe medications using telecommunication instead of seeing the patient in person.
Mordor Intelligence predicted that telemedicine will be worth more than $66 billion worldwide by 2021. As the number of providers using telemedicine continues to grow, we can expect to see the following trends this year:
Because telemedicine captures patient data, the amount of patient data collected will continue to grow. Every time a person uses telemedicine, that person’s information is recorded and stored in insurance and provider databases. Indviduals are also starting to use medical mobile applications to monitor their own health. Information stored on these apps can also be used to help treat the patients. The more data that is collected on patients, the better they can be served.
Many hospitals and health insurance companies store their patients’ medical data in a cloud to be accessed by authorized individuals at any time. This decreases paperwork and the duplication of information. Using cloud storage is a safe and efficient way to keep and manage data. In order to keep data safe and secure, companies will increase security by encrypting portable devices and performing regular HIPAA security checks.
This year, it is expected that mobile devices will be used in healthcare interactions 65 percent of the time. Many doctors already use mobile apps in their practice. In the near future, the healthcare industry will bring more personalized telemedicine apps to patients and healthcare providers. Some of the best apps will allow for the transfer of information from patient to doctor. For example, say that a patient is in a video chat call with a physician, who tells him “Take your pulse, blood pressure, and blood sugar.” The patient can then use an app on his phone to take his vital signs and send it to his doctor. The doctor then uses the information received on his own mobile app to help him make a diagnosis. This is called mHealth, which stands for mobile health, and is already being used by large health care providers.
Telemedicine is an efficient, cost-effective way to offer quality healthcare to patients around the world.