Telemedicine is the process where doctors or patients utilize the internet to connect and interact. It is developing massively through the terms e-health, m-Health, and telehealth that are regularly interchanged for telemedicine, the deliverable is consistently the association and collaboration among patients and caretakers in an advanced digital medium. While telemedicine is an established service that helps humankind with set up assistance, the utilization of the tool is growing drastically.
What does the future of telemedicine mean for the healthcare industry? What issues remain to ruin far-reaching adoption? How has the innovation advanced and what is that which is pushing the usage of these tools to enhance and sometimes replace the traditional way of clinical visit?
The growing use of telemedicine over the past few years makes it appear as a relatively new use of communication technology. The fact is that telemedicine is being utilized in some form or the other for more than 30 years. In the early stages of telemedicine, The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) helped it grow and made efforts for it start smoothly in the early 1960s when humans began to fly in space, and physiological parameters were made and transmitted from both the spacecraft and the spacesuits during different missions.
The WHO characterizes the term Telemedicine as “The delivery of healthcare services, where distance is a basic factor, by all medical services experts utilizing information and communication interacting technologies for the exchange of information for the diagnosis, treating and preventing of disease, burns, or injuries, exploration and assessment and for the proceeding with instruction of medical services suppliers, all in the concern for propelling the health of people.
Telemedicine has been utilized to improve patient outcomes for more than years. Transmission of digital and video imagery, or store and forward telehealth, has been a norm of radiologists since the late 1980s. Yet widespread broadband access has empowered clinicians to offer consultations in format to their patients and some form of virtual interaction for service administrations.
Why Telemedicine is Called the Future of Healthcare
At present, the U.S. healthcare system is experiencing the perfect storm of internal and external care deliverable major challenges:
- Declining reimbursement
- Rising care delivery costs.
- Provider Shortages.
- Declining Health Outcomes.
- An influx of patients that live longer with chronic diseases.
- The increase of consumerism in healthcare.
- Increasing competition.
The above said challenges can be mitigated very easily by using telemedicine. As such, the future of healthcare can be obtained through telemedicine. The obstacles are big, but still, we will soon be covering them because here the advantages are very high and in the end public expects it. Here telemedicine can:
- Increased access to healthcare.
- Remote patients do not have to travel for treatment. Instead, they can expect a doctor to come to them as a virtual visit.
- Rural clinics and hospitals can have video consults with forte providers.
- Chronically ill patients can receive daily monitoring in the comfort of their homes.
- Improve healthcare outcomes.
- Increase the monitoring of chronic conditions.
- Diminish flake-outs. Patients will be less likely to skip follow-up or routine preventative treatment when they do not have to travel for care.
- Improve mortality, reduce complications, cut hospital accommodation, and readmissions.
- Lower healthcare costs.
- Decrease readmissions, ER visits, and patient transfers.
- Reduce medical practice physical overhead.
Doctor deficiencies can be mitigated with telemedicine. Yet, it should be noted that the benefits of telemedicine are not simply on the clinical side; the patients we care for are likewise experiencing difficulties that telemedicine can rectify.
Over half of Americans have at least one chronic ailment. There are likewise 59 million Americans that live in Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs), which are usually primary rural areas that lack specialty care providers.
Patients nowadays have less time for healthcare. It is not unusual for patients to flake-out, when the traditional clinical visit does not fit in their lifestyle. Telemedicine permits patients to interfere with their clinical suppliers and providers, regardless of whether they cannot genuinely get to the doctor’s office.
Telemedicine Continue to Grow
Telehealth is an industry that is brimming with a guarantee. As a beginning, it can conceivably bring medical treatment to people who would not otherwise have access to it. The future broad adoption of telehealth is currently recognized to be a sureness. This assertion should not create panic in clinical groups weary of one more technology fad. Truly, telehealth was never proposed to replace the on-site clinical visit. All things being equal, telemedicine should be used as one more clinical utility method with the aim of better care for our patients and expanded operational efficiencies. However, in the near future, practices that neglect to embrace telehealth will lose patients to their competitors that offer this choice.
Telemedicine in favor of Public Health
An Epidemiological Surveillance-
- Telemedicine applications for epidemiological surveillance are steadily reaching new heights with the improvement of technology, for example, geographic information systems (GISs).
- It can give knowledge into geographical circulation and gradients in disease prevalence and occurrence and important insights into population health assessment.
- It additionally gives important data of differential populations at risk based on risk factor profiles.
- It helps in separating and portraying the risk factors in the population.
- It likewise helps in the interventional arrangement, assessment of various interventional strategies, and their adequacy.
- It can assume a significant part in anticipating pandemics.
- It is a fundamental tool in real-time monitoring of infections, locally and around the world.
- GIS gives the basic architecture and scientific tools to perform spatial-temporal demonstrating of atmosphere, climate, illness transmission supportive in understanding the spread of vector-borne infections. Remote sensing procedures have been used recently in this regard.
- A GIS-based strategy for obtaining, retrieving, examining, and managing information differs from traditional modes of disease surveillance and reporting. It encourages aggregation and integration of different information from multiple sources so it can direct the definition of public health programs and policy decisions.
Healthcare Communication and Prevention of Diseases
- Information technology and telemedicine can be utilized to educate, impact, and motivate people on health, health-related issues, and adoption of healthy lifestyles. The different methodologies and applications can progress and support primary, secondary, and tertiary health advancement, and sickness counteraction plans.
- It can transfer information to people just as well as to the whole population. It can provide easy access to those living in remote locations.
- It empowers us with educated choices. It likewise streamlines the health decision-making process between healthcare providers and people with concerning anticipation, determination, or the board of an ailment. Therefore, the users are exposed to a more extensive decision base.
- It can go far beyond promoting and maintain sound practices in the community.
- It can likewise help in companion information exchange and enthusiastic help. Examples incorporate online internet applications that empower people with explicit ailments or issues to speak with one another, share data and provide emotional help.
- It advances self-care and domiciliary care practices. Many living in distant regions can be profited by self-management of health problems which will enhance existing healthcare services.
- It tends to be a vital tool for the assessment and monitoring of healthcare services.
It does not require too much inspiring imagination to understand that telemedicine will soon be just another way to see a health professional. Remote-based monitoring can make the most of the time by gathering clinical information from numerous patients at the same time. However, information obtained might be lost because of a software glitch or hardware emergency. Subsequently, depending too vigorously on a computer system framework to prevent issues in healthcare information might be dangerous. There must be a smart balance between total dependence on computer solutions and the utilization of human intelligence. Finding the kind of balance may have a significant effect in saving somebody’s life. In the year 2008, the capability of telemedicine, telehealth, and e-health is still left to our imaginations. Time itself will tell that telemedicine is a most advanced and a step ahead in a backward direction, or to summarize Neil Armstrong, one little advance for IT yet one giant monster jumps for the healthcare industry.