How Telemedicine Will Provide Patient Consulting & Monitoring During The COVID-19 Pandemic
Telemedicine is defined as the exchange of medical information via electronic communication, such as video messaging, email, and smartphone apps. As the concept has gained momentum, it’s quickly become a larger part of the healthcare model as a method of patient consultation, and with the rising issue surrounding COVID-19, it’s becoming more and more essential.
As the coronavirus takes more of a grip on society, and as mobile technology and instant access become an increasingly central part of our everyday lives, it only makes sense for medicine to participate in this global trend. Medical professionals are now able to take advantage of the Internet and the many technologies that are available to them in order to help their patients in a much more convenient and efficient form.
One main challenge for practising telemedicine is the lack of standardized rules. When it comes to reimbursement and licensing, each state has different laws and regulations that physicians must understand before practising via telemedicine.
These rules have been temporarily relaxed until the pandemic settles significantly, but they’ll still be around thereafter. There are also varying guidelines on practising across states, which may, in some cases, require providers to be licensed in multiple states
Benefits of Telemedicine During COVID-19
Telemedicine presents many benefits for providers and patients:
- Communication with remote areas that typically struggle with receiving appropriate care
Patients in rural and remote areas who are under suspicion that they may have contracted the virus may not be able to easily reach clinics or hospitals. Telemedicine enables communication in these areas to provide basic healthcare such as checking for symptoms and step-by-step instruction in terms of what needs to be done.
- Immediate contact with licensed physicians
It easily allows patients to contact physicians for whatever they may be in need of.
- Remote patient monitoring
Patients can possess wearable devices that make it easy to monitor their heart rate, physical activity, sleep patterns, and more from a distance. This kind of monitoring can also allow for improved care of seniors who may need to be closely observed.
- Minimized cost and resources
Because the entire visit can be completed electronically, both patients and providers benefit from not having much of their time wasted. The typical costs associated with medical visits, such as for administration and medical staff are also lowered with telehealth sessions. This is a pretty vital aspect during a time whereby furloughing is rampant, and money is being slowly lost in many households.
Telemedicine has several uses in other aspects:
- Research and data collection:
Medical professionals are able to remotely collect data for agencies and other facilities to study – which can have long-term benefits going forward.
- Consumer health information:
Patients have access to all kinds of professional health information, discussion forums and support groups – which is always handy for someone looking to improve on their health and well-being.
- Medical education:
This kind of technology means that medical professionals are able to continue their education through online seminars, classes, and discussions—a very convenient way of building up their knowledge and advancing in their career.
This new-age form of treatment provides patients with improved access to healthcare, greater quality of providers, and a greater sense of satisfaction. It can help with reducing costs, improving efficiency, and decreasing hospital stays, thereby benefitting the providers as well. We’re in a time where telemedicine is going to be exercised very heavily. While it’s a little more pressurizing for professionals at this time, this is an experience that may prove to be vital as more lessons can be learned, and the entire field can be improved upon at a speedier rate.
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