How Telemedicine is Helping Improve Medical Services?
A virtual healthcare solution
Improving medical services is always challenging for the healthcare sector. However, you all have gone through the issues of not getting better care solutions.
Healthcare services such as booking appointments, getting treatment, consulting doctors, and finding the right medicine store, are more complex and critical in the traditional healthcare era.
Patients and healthcare professionals go through certain issues. Patients need to hassle in getting medical services by booking an appointment through calling, travelling to clinics and hospitals to get treatment, finding the right medical store for medicine, and the list goes on and on.
On the other hand, handling administrative tasks, recruiting more staff, and arranging appointments become overwhelming for healthcare professionals.
As a result, the implementation of telemedicine is a more promising and effective solution for all medical services problems.
As per the report, “The number of Medicare patients using telemedicine has grown from 11,000 to 650,000 people a week.”
Thus, healthcare professionals and patients get relief due to telemedicine app
Let me guess the reaction of healthcare professionals when telemedicine supports delivering better care solutions by saving time, cost, and resources.
On the other hand, patients react when they get better medical services at affordable prices.
Now, before going ahead let’s understand the evolution of telemedicine in detail.
The evolution of telemedicine in healthcare was phenomenal
Telemedicine came into existence in the 1940s-1950s. The first attempt was carried out in Pennsylvania transferring medical records, radiology images were sent 22-24 miles between two towns using telephone lines.
We wondered what was the big deal in sending the data, but at that time this was a big breakthrough for doctors to connect 24 miles to another hospital.
Another breakthrough took place when a video connection was built between Nebraska psychiatric institute and Norfolk state hospital for the purpose of healthcare in 1959.
After that use of telemedicine came into existence by well-known institutes and hospitals worldwide.
Telemedicine was taken one more step ahead when NASA and Indian health services started a joint project named “Space technology applied to rural Papago advanced healthcare” in the 1960s-1970s.
Information like x-ray photographs and electrocardiographs were transmitted using microwave technology.
But at that time also, it was not adopted as much due to a lot of hardships coming it, some of the main reasons were network, lack of user-friendly apps, and software for telemedicine.
As time passed, these problems were cracked and people started getting aware of telemedicine.
However, telemedicine was the ideal solution to connect patients in rural areas with limited access to healthcare, and it became possible just a few years ago.
How telemedicine is helping doctors & patients?
Telemedicine is the unbreakable rope of connecting patient and doctor.
Explore the benefits of telemedicine.
#1 Easy to access in rural areas:
People living in rural areas face a lot of trouble in getting medical services, due to low facilities.
As per the report, it is found that there are 6,60,893 US residents who live in rural areas without an FQHC(federally qualified health center), RHC(rural health clinics), or acute care hospital.
As a result, telemedicine has opened a new door to connecting healthcare services to rural areas.
#2 Beyond the medical office:
Healthcare professionals and healthcare enterprises are trapped in their medical offices, they won’t be able to go outside to their medical offices for patient care.
On the contrary, taking care of patients becomes more difficult and critical, as also to serve medical services.
Chronic patients need regular check-ups and need to visit hospitals for measuring symptoms of chronic disease. Meanwhile, it also creates hurdles for medical staff to engage the end number of patients at the same time.
As a result, in order to take care of patients in real-time, healthcare professionals can monitor vital signs like heart rate, and pulse rate of patients from anywhere using a telemedicine app.
This way, patients do not need to visit a hospital for regular check-ups.
#3 Consult a doctor from anywhere:
The traditional process of consulting doctors comes to
- Need to call for booking the appointment
- Visit clinics and hospitals once the appointment is scheduled
- Confirming the appointment after reaching the hospitals and clinics
- Seating in a waiting room till the turn come
While using a telemedicine app the game is changed. Patients can consult a doctor with just a few clicks.
- Open an app
- Click on the schedule appointment button
- Get appointment confirmation
- Consult doctor
With an instant tap of a button, patients can connect to doctors and get consultations without any hassle.
However, patients can also chat with doctors and get online prescriptions whenever they want.
One of the most important and reliable benefits of telemedicine is that it saves time. As it cuts off the long process of old traditional methods of getting treatment or visiting clinics and hospitals.
It allows patients and doctors to get connected without any hassle from anywhere, at any time.
It reduces the need for the workforce and administrative tasks as patients are avoiding live-in-person visits using telemedicine solutions.
#5 Hassle-free medical treatment:
Chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer, and heart issues are long-term diseases that need to be supervised constantly.
As per the report “Nearly 45% or 133 million of all Americans suffer from at least one chronic disease, and the number is growing continuously.
As a result, telemedicine is a proven more effective solution for patients having chronic diseases.
It assists patients in every step of the treatment journey from educating patients regarding the care taken to help them in getting a consultation from online visits.
In addition, doctors can also monitor patients’ vital body signs like heart rate, oxygen level, glucose level, and pulse rate in real-time and guide patients according to their health conditions.
Why do we need telemedicine?
For doctors, it is most important to save time, because they need to attain the end number of patients every day and it won’t be possible using a traditional method.
Telemedicine is removing the barriers coming in between for providing quality care to patients. It ensures the operational efficiency of doctors by saving time.
As per the report, from 2010 to 2016 the number of actively licensed physicians was 295 against a 100,000 population in the US. Similarly, India with a population of 1.33 billion is being served by 1.8 million registered graduates. So, the ratio is 1.34 doctors against 1000 Indian citizens in 2017.
In this situation, serving healthcare solutions becomes difficult for healthcare professionals.
As a result, it becomes essential for healthcare professionals to adopt outcome-driven solutions like telemedicine in order to serve care solutions to a large number of populations with ease.
Explore the features of telemedicine apps or software
Telemedicine holds a dynamic feature in itself.
#1. Easy patients registration:
Patients can access telemedicine apps from anywhere. It allows them to get appointments from the app by seating in their comfort zone, and further, it will save time.
#2. Patient dashboard:
The patient dashboard allows patients to access their health records, appointment history, etc.
As shown in the above image, patients can check their details like
- Appointment scheduled
- Checking transaction history
- Monitoring real-time metrics like heart rate and pulse rate.
- Daily activity
- Health condition monitoring
#3. Doctors catalogue:
Doctors catalogue shows the overview of the doctor’s current activity, it also helps to measure the analytics report.
As shown in the image, doctors can check their details like,
- Number of patients attend
- Appointment schedule
- Patients data
- Revenue history
- Monitor real-time metrics of patients
This makes it easy for doctors to keep the clinic in their pocket and access it anytime from anywhere.
#4. Appointment booking:
After registering, patients can book an appointment with listed doctors, and choose it by using a filter that helps to select the best doctor. Use filter like
- Choosing a doctor located nearby or are available for online consultation
- Based on ratings
- Based on their qualification
#5. Audio/video/chat consultation:
Once the appointment is scheduled patients can take online consultations using audio/video/chat features.
A patient can directly chat with the doctor and can discuss his/her problems. Meanwhile, doctors can guide patients regarding their healthcare issues.
It is more beneficial for chronic patients because they need to visit clinics and hospitals for their regular check-ups.
Similarly, doctors can monitor real-time vital symptoms of patients and can guide them through video consultations using a telemedicine app.
#6. EHR (electronic health records) integration:
It allows patients to share their past health records with doctors, which ultimately helps doctors to understand patients’ health history and further in treatment of patients.
It can be stored in the app in the form of electronic data and can access whenever they want.
Doctors can send a prescription via SMS and email using the e-prescription feature.
#8 Secure payment gateway:
Patients can do secure payments using the payment gateway feature which also allows them to track how much money they are spending on healthcare services every month.
How is it helping to reduce the rising cost of healthcare services?
Telemedicine plays a significant role in reducing healthcare costs and time-saving by breaking down certain barriers.
Let’s understand from the patient’s point of view:
- Patients living in rural areas can save the cost of traveling by avoiding in-person visits.
- In a situation like an emergency, where patients need immediate doctor treatment, telemedicine can help to avoid costing of an ambulance and helps to get doctors’ treatment by seating in their comfort zone.
Let’s understand from the doctor’s point of view:
- Handling day-to-day administration tasks are overwhelming for doctors, they need to recruit medical staff for a certain task, but using telemedicine, doctors can avoid paying high salaries to medical staff.
- Doctors can attain more patients using telemedicine apps that help to generate more income to cover expenses.
How did telemedicine help during the COVID-19 pandemic?
COVID-19 was the biggest global health crisis in human history.
The entire human being was scared as this deadly virus has poorly impacted every corner of human lives, especially mental health.
- Increase in stress level
- High blood pressure
- Deep depression
During that situation, doctor consultations and advice were necessary for patients. Meanwhile, for doctors going outside the hospital for patient care was next to impossible.
As a result, telemedicine helps doctors and patients to connect in their comfort zone, and also it helps in education to assist patients in what things should they avoid which cause COVID-19 diseases.
How can telemedicine be used in healthcare?
Telemedicine is the trending solution in healthcare. The usage of telemedicine can be done in various ways like,
- Telemedicine for chronic care
- Telemedicine for women’s health
- Telemedicine for childcare
- Telemedicine for mental health
- Telemedicine for dentist
- Telemedicine for COVID
- Telemedicine for skincare
- Telemedicine for men’s health
- Telemedicine for mental and physical therapy
Does telemedicine hold great potential in the future?
After covid-19 the usage of telemedicine increased as people are getting aware of telemedicine solutions.
As the usage of telemedicine is increasing day by day there is no doubt that it will hold a big market potential in healthcare in the upcoming years.
If we talk about the current market potential of telemedicine then it is around 55.4 billion and it is expected to grow to 134.8 billion by 2026.
As you can see all the parameters are indicating that telemedicine has a bright future.
In conclusion, healthcare enterprises are investing in healthcare app development and healthcare software development for solutions like telemedicine to improve care outcomes without any hassle.
As per the report, “Around $250 billion in US healthcare spending could potentially be shifted to virtual healthcare in the upcoming years.”
Today, the Health-tech industry is growing significantly in the area of the healthcare ecosystem and is decoding the unsolved puzzle for patients, healthcare professionals, and stakeholders without compromising the cost.