Treatment methods for patients have seen a lot of changes in recent years, with new treatment methods being explored and used extensively for the swift and healthy diagnosis as well as recovery of those individuals who are suffering.
Telemedicine is one such relatively recent method of diagnosing and providing treatment to patients. Actually, telemedicine as a concept and as a means of providing care and treatment has been around for quite a long time, with its initial mention in the year 1925, and then being more actively put to use in the 1950s. But it has really proliferated in the last few years as a form of diagnosis and treatment from a distance owing to rapid-paced technological advances.
What is telemedicine?
It is defined as the use of telecommunication along with information technology to aid in diagnosis and treatment as well as providing health care to patients from a distance. It has proven to be especially helpful in areas that are inaccessible or in far-off rural regions or in other places that are separated by geographic or economic barriers. Given the accessibility and benefit of telemedication, it has rapidly expanded and proliferated in recent years.
Effectiveness of telemedicine as a form of diagnosis and treatment
Telemedicine has been effective and beneficial in several ways for healthcare professionals and patients alike.
- Telemedicine increases access to health care
Via telemedicine, patients who are remotely placed can obtain clinical services and healthcare easily. Additionally, emergency services and intensive care can also be provided by hospitals that are remotely located.
- Telemedicine improves the outcome of healthcare
Patients get timely treatment, recover on time, and save huge costs for further treatments owing to care being provided in a timely manner. Also, the mortality rate is reduced as people receive ICU care via telehealth, which reduces complications and also reduces lengths of stay in a hospital.
- Healthcare costs are reduced by telemedication
The high costs of hospital visits and stays are reduced thanks to the home monitoring possible due to telemedicine. Also, the high costs for transfer of stroke patients and for other emergencies are reduced.
- Telemedicine takes care of the shortage of healthcare providers
There is often a mis-distribution or shortage of healthcare providers, which can be taken care of via telemedicine. Nursing shortages can also be addressed via telemedicine, and specialist doctors can provide their services to a wider number of patients through telemedicine.
- Telemedicine provides education in clinical techniques
Often clinicians located remotely can be in need of further education and training, which can easily be provided through telemedicine. Also, rural clinicians can consult with specialists easily via technology.
- Patient support improves through telemedicine
Patients can stay within the comfort of their homes or their community and can be close to their families while getting healthcare through telemedicine. They can also actively participate in their own healthcare and if hospitalized can stay in touch with their families and friends through telemedicine.
Additionally, telemedicine improves the productivity of the healthcare organization and invariably helps protect the environment too, which further adds to its effectiveness.