Telemedicine will expand healthcare into our homes and beyond

Telemedicine will expand healthcare into our homes and beyond

4th March, 2015

If there is one thing that has certainly taken over throughout the past few years it is technology. From buying our groceries to catching up with friends, the digital world is at the heart of everything we do. Technology is well and truly transforming the way we live. This also applies when it comes to the healthcare industry. Technology innovations are providing a whole host of benefits, from better patient outcomes to increased access to information. Keeping that in mind, one trend we can certainly expect to see emerging throughout the coming year is telemedicine. This will expand health care into our homes and beyond. Continue reading to discover everything you need to know about it.

Telemedicine is also known as telehealth. It essentially refers to the act of a patient connecting with a doctor by the use of their mobile device. The doctor can then provide a diagnosis via this manner instead of a traditional doctor’s visit needing to take place. There are many benefits associated with this approach, as you will soon discover.

One of the main advantages in regards to telemedicine is the reduction of doctor’s appointments. At the present moment in time, one issue that is occurring all over the world in regards to health care is too much demand and not enough supply. Doctor’s surgeries are often full and people visit medical professionals for everything from a common cold to more serious and complex injuries and illnesses. Telemedicine is going to enhance efficiency and productivity because a lot of people will now get the information they require via their smartphone or tablet. With the introduction of telehealth, expert advice will be provided online so that individuals can easily and comfortably deal with their injury or illness from the comfort of their own home. Not only is this convenient for the individual in question, but it has a positive impact on the overall health care industry, as it ensures doctors can take on more appointments and give greater attention to those that genuinely need it.

This leads onto further benefits. Telemedicine represents an extremely cost effective solution. It eliminates the costs that are associated with visiting a GP practise or hospital for treatment. Everything can be conducted from the your very own home.

When taking this trend into account it is not only vital to think of the way telemedicine is going to impact both you and me, but it is also crucial to see the full picture. Telehealth is going to bring some exceptional benefits to countries whereby the state healthcare system is extremely poor. Needless to say, not all counties have the resources to offer world class treatment. However, the introduction of telemedicine represents a fantastic opportunity for those in deprived areas, as well as those in remote locations. People in such situations find it exceptionally difficult to get their hands on the advice and assistance they require. Nevertheless, thanks to the use of the smartphone and the rise of online communications, people in such areas will be able to connect with experts with a greater degree of ease. They will no longer be required to visit a doctor. Not only does this enhance convenience dramatically, but it means that they are able to gain access to a high level of care that they wouldn’t be able to, as it wasn’t able to them locally.

Telemedicine does not only influence patients that live in remote areas, but doctors and specialists as well. Thanks to telehealth, urban and rural based physicians can now reduce barriers to care in underserved regions and increase the range of acutely ill patients they are able to manage. This gives them greater opportunities and improved scope for profit. Such professionals are less isolated and are able to effectively consult with experts and specialists in the area.

Telemedicine is also undoubtedly going to lead to an improvement in the quality of care experienced by all people, not just those situated in remote areas. This is because individuals are able to maintain communication with their doctor. They will communicate more regularly, without putting further strain on a doctor’s already busy schedule. Frequent communication creates a platform for much better care, with a greater level of attention to detail. This is exceptionally beneficial for individuals that have on-going conditions, such as chronic or acute illnesses, like heart disease or diabetes. The individual in question can schedule virtual visits with their doctor in such an instance, as opposed to having to make the long trek to see a suitable medical professional.

In addition to the points that have already been mentioned, it is also worth touching upon the sheer number of different services that can be provided by telemedicine. This includes medical education, consumer medical and health information, remote patient monitoring, as well as primary care and specialist referral services. There are many different ways these services can be delivered via digital platforms as well, including patient data for later review, video clips, diagnostic images and live interactive videos. Delivery mechanisms that can be used are the likes of web-based e-health patient service websites, monitoring centre links, point-to-point connections and networked programs. This gives you a glimpse into the sheer scope of telemedicine and why it is going to prove to be so vital.

All in all, there are many benefits associated with telemedicine and this is something that is undoubtedly only going to grow and grow in popularity as the year continues. The reason why it is growing so rapidly is because it presents such exceptional benefits. Consumers want telemedicine because it can reduce stress and travel time, yet the advantages do not end there. Telemedicine can also lead to improved quality, cost efficiencies and improved access. It really is not hard to see why this is set to take the health care world by storm.

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Alison Massey

Group Marketing Director

Now Health International

Alison Massey is a 15-year digital marketing veteran, who has spent the last seven years using social media to help expats and soon to be expats find out what to expect from a life overseas. An expat living in Hong Kong herself, Alison is the Group Marketing Director of Now Health, the award-winning international health insurance provider.

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