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The Role Of Telehealth In The Modern Healthcare Landscape
Digital Healthcare Technology Telemedicine

The Role Of Telehealth In The Modern Healthcare Landscape

By Rajarshi April 17, 2023 - 158 views

Telehealth is contributing immensely towards reshaping the entire contemporary healthcare landscape, as we know it. Telehealth meaning is the provision of remote healthcare via telecommunications and other technologies. It can be called a form of virtual care or digital healthcare. 

The term gained traction throughout the 1980s and ever since, the sector has expanded considerably, including many new technologies and devices for the transmission of medical data on a real-time basis worldwide. This has enabled the entire healthcare industry to provide services to those under-served or un-served.

It is also being deployed now by both private and public providers of healthcare services, with goals including efficient emergency care, treating mental illness, enhancing long-term outcomes for patients, and more.

The indispensable functions of telehealth in the healthcare sector 

Telehealth is steadily becoming indispensable for the modern healthcare industry, especially with regard to expanding the scope and accessibility of healthcare for more people. Here are some of its vital functions- 

  • Better Multi-Area Expertise- Telehealth enables superior expertise in almost all departments. The usage of medical devices for tracking patient health remotely has naturally ensured higher convenience for providers and patients alike. Telemedicine is thus supplementing in-person or regular visitors to doctors, enabling the creation of more intensive plans for treatments. It may also ensure extra care that would be unavailable otherwise. 

Telehealth solutions have ushered in expertise across multiple areas. For instance, a community or group without access to a cardiac care specialist may remotely get the same in case of any requirement. It will not fully do away with visits to the doctor but rather work in tandem with the same for treatment cycles.

Healthcare providers and doctors will be able to better monitor and track patients within these cycles while keeping them on track with their treatments. Practitioners will also get access to invaluable data for supporting treatments. 

  • Helping Underserved Patients- Telemedicine consultations have revolutionized access to healthcare for underserved patients. The biggest advantage of telehealth is its capability of ensuring instant access to healthcare, which would have been impossible otherwise. Many communities are under-served or un-served altogether. 

Telehealth creates the interface between patients and healthcare providers, ensuring that suitable advice is given along with ensuring health tracking and more specializations that patients would not otherwise obtain.

Communities grappling with emergencies or natural disasters can also use telehealth for additional access to critical care solutions. It has already transformed emergency care in recent years. 

  • Ensuring Affordable Solutions for Patients- Telehealth is not just affordable, but it makes things more convenient for patients. Many health insurers are now offering reimbursements for telehealth in tandem with Medicare solutions. Patients are now seeing it as a more affordable way to get healthcare access. Wearables are also contributing towards better health tracking, data gathering, and also evaluating chronic ailments, thereby reducing future costs of patients. 
  • Revolutionizing Mental Healthcare Access- Mental healthcare is one of the biggest segments benefiting from easy access to telemedicine, with easy tracking, access to practitioners and experts, quick consultations, community access, prescriptions, therapy sessions, and more. 

How Telehealth will look in the Future

Telehealth will evolve greatly in the near future as per expectations. Here are some of the key points worth noting in this regard. 

  • Telemedicine will eventually turn into a standardized solution throughout multiple care-based settings. With patients getting more used to the higher access ensured by telemedicine consultations, it will naturally witness steady growth in the future. More than 1 billion telemedicine visits were reportedly in the works by the end of 2020 alone. 
  • Patients will naturally appreciate personalized experiences, while endeavouring to choose their healthcare providers, platforms, providers/doctors, and hospitals, on the basis of telemedicine access and consultations. Patient wait times will slide hugely and patients will choose those health systems offering virtual care or digital healthcare access. 
  • Healthcare players integrating telehealth will witness significant growth in patient retention and loyalty, along with scaling up their growth in revenues and business alike. More patients now seek telemedicine-based solutions. 
  • Telemedicine could be a future beacon for preventive care. It will enable easy access to follow-up consultations, tracking, specialists, quicker diagnosis, and treatment guidance. Hence, there will be lesser readmissions in the hospital system along with inpatient stays and other issues. The costs will come down and preventive care will be the emphasis for most patients. 
  • Hospital wait times will come down considerably, while there will be round-the-clock access to medical specialists. Hospitals will have speciality centres with networks of physicians and customers can get instant access to the same through telehealth platforms. These facilities will also ensure accessibility towards more focused care solutions for patients. It will go a long way towards greatly enhancing focused care and overall patient experiences along with lowering hiring costs for full-time staff members. 

As can be seen, remote healthcare or telehealth is here to stay. And for good reason. 

FAQs

What is the meaning of telehealth, and how do they work?

Telehealth means remote, virtual, or digital healthcare, including tracking, consultations, medical advice, treatment solutions, and diagnosis. This works through dedicated online or mobile platforms. 

What are some potential challenges and limitations of telehealth?

Challenges include proper internet connectivity, technological hesitation amongst a section of the under-served population globally, and so on. 

How can telehealth be used to improve access to healthcare in underserved communities?

Telehealth can be a godsend for better healthcare access in underserved communities. People can easily find specializations that they desire in emergencies and also for regular consultations and follow-up care. They can also avoid visits and long-distance travel to hospitals by consulting physicians/practitioners via digital or virtual platforms and getting all necessary medical care and advice. 

What impact is telehealth having on the overall cost of healthcare?

Telehealth has greatly lowered the overall cost of obtaining healthcare, considering that people no longer need to wait in line at hospitals and go for more expensive procedures or spend money on admissions. Preventive care and tracking are now readily possible via telehealth and this has lowered overall patient costs in the healthcare system. 

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