The merging of technology and healthcare has allowed for the creation and development of telemedicine software, which is an advanced, electronic platform offering remote clinical and non-clinical care to patients. With the ability to use electronic communications to monitor patient health, this relationship has created a channel for preventive care and urgent medical intervention.
The software of telemedicine eliminates the need for providers and patients to meet in-person and also creates accessibility, regardless of location. There are many variables that come into play with the use of this new platform, for both the provider and patient. While there is an added convenience for both parties, there are still many challenges faced in the development of these platforms.
The benefits are endless but there are many bugs to be worked out with the program itself, such as software vendor repercussions. Some programs have dealt with patients logging into the wrong portal and accessing other patient’s health information. Though some programs are more advanced, some apps struggle with payment portals and ensuring that the doctor is paid for each electronic appointment.
The start-up cost and equipment associated with implementing this program depends on the doctor’s practice. Some software companies may include modular systems with the initial start-up cost; add-on equipment can always be purchased separately or later on as needed. Again, every program and healthcare provider is different from one another and it all depends on the variables involved in the care.
How the patients are monitored is also a key component in determining which application is most fitting. Video conferencing is one of the greatest benefits which is why investing in the appropriate equipment for live interaction is most appropriate, depending on the platform being used. There are hardware and software based portals, again it all depends on the doctor’s practice and the type of care they will be monitoring with their patients.
The software of telemedicine or telehealth can also be used non-clinically, for continuing health education, administrative purposes and training. Though telehealth differs from clinical it still refers to services such as medical diagnosis, and very commonly, the monitoring of one’s own health.
If, for instance, children at school are feeling ill, there are districts that have begun to use this technology and have partnered with health care providers so that they can evaluate the health of a child or receive professional help in urgent situations. Some of these apps have even helped decrease readmission for patients with congestive heart issues.
The ability to communicate with a doctor and obtain medical information quickly not only improves the patient’s involvement with their own health, but makes it easier for the doctor to obtain relevant patient information or medical records. Again, this depends on the software or hardware being used.
Doctors can even conduct physical examinations through the use of scopes that capture images. Some programs may provide the doctor with a “tracking” system so that they can easily monitor each patient and where their progress should be, given the diagnosis, treatment and time that has passed.
Complex technological advancements such as these will take a great deal of trial and error. Overtime the use of them will only become more precise and valuable to the provider and patient. With all of the progress that has been made, it is a very exciting time to witness the cohesion of the medical field and innovation.