Technology is penetrating every field and sector, and healthcare is no exception. Today, people can resolve health issues and monitor their health utilizing technological means. Indeed, we are referring to telehealth. Telehealth allows the utilization of new technological means to deliver and facilitate health and health-related services. It enables the efficient distribution of health services and information through telecommunication and other advanced technologies. Telehealth has become more widespread and yet another part of the “new normal” after the coronavirus outbreak. Many clinicians now have the option of continuing to check in with their patients while ensuring safety and social distancing.
Telehealth services come in various forms. For instance, virtual consultations, in which patients can meet with their doctor via an online video conference, are among the most popular services. Health monitoring apps for smartphones and smartwatches have also become possible thanks to technological improvements. These applications can automatically monitor heart rate, blood glucose level, physical activity, and sleep patterns. There are also electronic systems for accessing various patients’ health records.
Technology has the potential to boost healthcare quality and make it more accessible to a broader range of individuals. It can make healthcare more efficient, coordinated, and accessible to patients worldwide. However, to properly utilize telehealth and its several benefits, healthcare workers must develop a sound understanding of it. Therefore, healthcare facilities need to ensure that workers are abreast of the latest technological developments aiding the sector. For this purpose, they can persuade professionals to opt for a masters degree in health information management and develop skills essential for managing newer technologies. With the increase in technological solutions for healthcare facilities, remaining up to date with healthcare informatics is ever so crucial.
Now we will look at the benefits of telehealth usage in today’s world.
Patients who would typically struggle to arrive at appointments owing to barriers such as transportation or health concerns have significantly benefited from the introduction of telehealth. These constraints have easily been overcome by telehealth, allowing patients and healthcare providers to communicate over the phone or the internet. People who reside in remote locations with limited access to healthcare professionals can also benefit from this improved access to healthcare services. If a rural patient cannot obtain the care they require locally, they can communicate with a specialist via any device that can access the internet.
Saves Time and Money for the Patients
Patients benefit greatly from telehealth because it saves them time and money. They don’t need to waste hours traveling to the doctor’s office, nor do they have to take off time from work. They can easily adjust a virtual appointment during their break time and access it from anywhere. Telehealth services are typically less expensive than in-person consultations, which may serve as an additional incentive for patients to keep up with their appointments. Furthermore, by directly accessing telehealth services rather than visiting in person, people living in rural areas save more time and money. There’s also the matter of convenience: you can see your doctor from the comfort and privacy of your home.
Reduces Spread of Contagious Diseases
A grave issue that hospitals and healthcare facilities face is of containing contagious viruses and diseases. Many patients having infectious diseases can pose a threat to hospital safety. However, telehealth allows doctors to treat patients from the comfort of their own homes. They can then advise them if they need to seek further treatment. The current coronavirus pandemic has further brought this benefit to light. Those suffering from contagious viruses, such as the coronavirus, can conveniently communicate with a healthcare practitioner from their home rather than risking infecting others. A doctor can examine them and either refer them to a specialist or prescribe suitable treatment for them. It also allows the medical practitioners to avoid contracting any disease and keeping their facility contagion-free.
If a patient requires a follow-up, a virtual consultation can prove immensely convenient. For instance, if doctors need to check up on a patient after some surgery, they can conveniently do so utilizing telehealth. And while the patient is recovering, he/she can receive these follow-up assessments from the comfort of their homes. The doctor will then determine if they have improved or they require additional consultations.
People suffering from anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues now have access to therapeutic care through telemedicine. Previously, those suffering from mental problems would avoid seeking consultation because they didn’t feel comfortable letting others know their condition. Now, they have peace of mind approaching psychologists and experts through the touch of a button. Multiple online therapist-led support groups have brought together people dealing with a variety of issues.
Improves Health and Lifestyle
Undoubtedly, telehealth has made it much easier to communicate with a healthcare professional. Previously, people would avoid visiting hospitals for minor issues like behavioral problems, fatigue, or fitness advice. However, given the advantages of telehealth, they can quickly approach an expert and gather suggestions to improve their life. Primary care practitioners, such as family physicians, pediatrics, and dentists, should be seen regularly to ensure your family’s health. Now, you can better manage your lifestyle or any chronic diseases you may have by consulting doctors as often as you need to without the hassles.
Similarly, using telehealth devices such as Mobile Health (mHealth), people can monitor their health, identify any issues, and get quick help. Regardless of where a person is, such devices can prove helpful in times of emergencies. Ultimately, they aim to enhance a person’s lifestyle.
For the healthcare industry, telehealth has become quite significant to ensure satisfactory patient outcomes. It allows the sector to become more efficient and expand access while simultaneously lowering costs for patients and providers. Patients can access health service providers from anywhere they are in the world. It eliminates the need to consult experts in person, allowing people to be at ease. Telehealth has grown immensely in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue to change people’s lives.