Telehealth technology is no longer restricted to something that gained mainstream status during the COVID-19 pandemic, where it filled up several gaps in the healthcare space.
It is today regarded as the future of healthcare and not without reason. Telemedicine has been increasingly used from the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, while it has evolved swiftly to cover needs and realities beyond the pandemic.
Telemedicine is a concept that aims at linking doctors and patients irrespective of locational distance, which has become a key plus point for people throughout the world. It is possible with more advanced technologies for telecommunications and growing smartphone usage.
The worldwide telemedicine market in 2019 alone had a value of $50 billion as per Statista.
Yet, reports indicate that within only a decade, this market will zoom up to almost $460 billion in terms of its value, which represents a ginormous increase at all levels.
The figures themselves speak of how virtual healthcare, remote care, and digital health services are steadily gaining momentum.
These are terms that have got into the mainstream healthcare lexicon while ensuring the spread of medical solutions and prompt diagnostics across remote locations which were previously not covered under conventional hospital or institutional networks.
Telemedicine functions through the usage of devices and technologies for ensuring prompt remote care and clinical solutions.
Healthcare institutions and providers tap into virtual healthcare tools for prescribing medication, ensuring better treatment, conducting diagnoses, e-visits, exchanging crucial healthcare data, tracking vitals, and even combating diseases in some cases.
It is used throughout several branches of medical care, right from neurology and primary care to acute care, pediatrics, physical therapy, and more.
Telemedicine and digital health services have transformed into a major empowerment tool for those living in areas with fewer hospitals and healthcare centers or even specialist doctors.
These individuals can now receive the right care and guidance with telehealth technology, while these technologies are also ensuring better standardization of digital healthcare in turn. This entire system lowers the requirement for face-to-face appointments while enabling the dispatch of crucial medical history and information of the patient to the doctors without any interactions in real time.
The store-and-forward mechanism of telemedicine, when correctly applied, saves time and resources for not just doctors, but also their patients.
These technologies have a wider field of operation with several specific aspects. Some of these include the following:
Telehealth technology takes care of a pressing healthcare problem for millions of people worldwide, without access to specialist healthcare providers or infrastructure.
At the same time, it is also affordable for patients, saving them time and resources greatly.
A study by the University of Montreal discovered how the usage of telemedicine for routine care leads to 15% in higher savings as compared to conventional home care.
A study by Software Advice discovered how 70% of patients started using telemedicine solutions at the time of the pandemic, while more than 60% confirmed their preference for virtual appointments while witnessing coronavirus symptoms. 62% of patients still value telemedicine and consult doctors remotely whenever required.
These benefits play a vital role in making telemedicine the way forward for the healthcare industry in the future.
Telehealth technology is an advanced technological framework that enables remote care, monitoring, and consultations. It relies on telemedicine apps and interfaces to connect doctors, nurses, and healthcare providers with patients.
Telehealth technology benefits healthcare greatly, making it more accessible for those in remote and untouched areas without access to specialist doctors, clinics, hospitals, and treatment. It saves time and resources for patients while enabling easy access for doctors to medical records and other information. Real-time consultations and diagnosis enable quicker and more convenient outcomes as a result.
Risks include incorrect diagnosis and prescriptions owing to some gaps. At the same time, there are other risks, including patient privacy and data security issues, location-specific liability and coverage, system and technical breakdowns, and issues with insurance coverage at times.
Unlike traditional healthcare systems, telehealth technology functions through digital and mobile ecosystems, enabling videoconferencing with doctors in real-time for consultations, diagnosis, prescriptions of medicines, and advice. At the same time, all records and information can be digitally accessed by doctors, while nurses and physicians can remotely monitor patient vitals and statuses remotely through medical equipment and devices.