This article is supposed to enlighten the reader on
Telemedicine. With any new development in the technology industry there is
bound to be consequences, both positive and negative.
What is telemedicine? It is the remote diagnosis and
treatment of patients by means of telecommunications technology.
Aside from connecting patients and medical providers,
telemedicine also offers a way for health care professionals to consult with
other physicians or specialists in the diagnosis or treatment of a patient
without having to leave their own facilities.
Telemedicine has been around for decades in some way or
another. But with the giant leaps in technology that the world has experienced
over the last two decades, it is only now that telemedicine is really beginning
to take a place in the field of health care delivery.
Telemedicine is the use of telecommunications
technology such as phones and computers to provide clinical services to
patients over long distance communication. Through phone calls, emails, mobile
apps, and even video chat, health care professionals are able to diagnose and
treat patients without the need for long travels or in-person hospital visits.
the early days, telemedicine was used mostly to connect doctors working with a
patient in one location to specialists somewhere else. This was of great
benefit to rural or hard to reach populations where specialists aren’t readily
available. Throughout the next several decades, the equipment necessary to
conduct remote visits remained expensive and complex, so the use of the
approach, while growing, was limited.
rise of the internet age brought with it profound changes for the practice of
telemedicine. The proliferation of smart devices, capable of high-quality video
transmission, opened up the possibility of delivering remote healthcare to
patients in their homes, workplaces or assisted living facilities as an
alternative to in-person visits for both primary and specialty care.
the telemedicine field is changing faster than ever before. As technology advances
at exponential levels, so does the widespread affordability and accessibility
to basic telemedicine tools. For example, not only do we now have the
technology for live video telemedicine, but much of the U.S. population has
experience using online videochat apps (like Skype or Facetime), and access to
a computer or mobile device to use them.
was originally created as a way to treat patients who were located in remote
places, far away from local health facilities or in areas of with shortages of
medical professionals. While telemedicine is still used today to address these
problems, it’s increasingly becoming a tool for convenient medical care.
Today’s connected patient wants to waste less time in the waiting room at the
doctor, and get immediate care for minor but urgent conditions when they need
expectation for more convenient care, combined with the unavailability of many
overburdened medical professionals (especially primary care providers) have led
to the rise of telemedicine companies. Many offer patients 24/7 access to
medical care with an on-call doctor contracted by that company. Others offer
hospitals and larger health centers access to extra clinical staff and
specialists, for outsourcing of special cases (common model among teleradiology
companies). Still others provide a telemedicine platform for physicians to use
to offer virtual visits with their own patients. Increasingly, telemedicine is
becoming a way to give medical practices an edge in a competitive healthcare landscape
where it’s difficult to stay independent or maintain a healthy bottom line.
impacting the rise of telemedicine today is the growing mobile health field.
With the wide variety of mobile health apps and new mobile medical devices that
are consumer-friendly, patients are starting to use technology to monitor and
track their health. Simple home-use medical devices that can take vitals and
diagnose ear infections, monitor glucose levels, or measure blood pressure let
patients gather needed medical information for a doctor’s diagnosis, without
going into the doctor’s office. And again, as more patients get proactive about
using technology to manage their health, they also will be more open to
alternative ways to get care – through telemedicine!