Telehealth is defined as the advanced delivery and facilitation of health-related services. This includes medical care, provider, and patient education. It also provides health information services and self-care through telecommunications and digital communications technologies.
Many people became aware of its use, and since then, it has grown to a wide range of technologies that can transmit medical information around the globe. This has allowed medical professionals to provide services to many communities. Telehealth is now used for both public and private health providers and more. Now, let’s get to know seven ways telehealth has taken modern healthcare to the next level.
Before we discuss the seven ways telehealth has elevated our healthcare system, be informed that the term itself is often used interchangeably with telemedicine. It’s defined as a remote diagnosis and treatment of patients through telecommunications technology. Telemedicine encompasses the use of technologies and telecommunications systems that medical experts used to administer healthcare to their patients in any part of the world.
At the same time, the term telehealth covers all the healthcare components, activities, and healthcare systems conducted through telecommunications.
This modern healthcare system has several technologies in which doctors often used to give medical consultations to their patients anywhere in the globe, such as:
- mHealth: mHealth or mobile health refers to healthcare applications and programs that patients can access through smartphones, tablets, or laptops. These applications allow patients to track their health measurements, set medications and appointment reminders, and share information with clinicians.
- Video conferencing, Video-Scopes, and High-res cameras: Another technology that patients can utilize is video conferencing. It is used to provide healthcare for inmates, military personnel, and patients in rural areas.
- Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM): Remote patient monitoring, also known as RPM, involves reporting, collecting, transmitting, and evaluating patients’ health data through electronic devices such as mobile phones and internet-enabled computers. This technology also reminds patients to weigh themselves and share their health information with their physicians.
- Store and Forward: Store and forward refers to capturing, storing, and transmitting patient health information using data storage and transmission technology. Technologies used for storage include secure servers and routers that temporarily house data packets before sending them to the appropriate end-users.
Modern Healthcare to the Next Level
BRINGING EXPERTS TO ALL AREAS
Telehealth is the future of our healthcare system. Fortunately, technology took healthcare to the next level. The use of medical devices to monitor a patient’s health even in far-flung areas displays a new level of convenience for patients and doctors. This can also serve as a supplement for in-person visits and also complements regular doctor visits.
This modern healthcare system has also provided a more comprehensive treatment plan and offers additional care that is otherwise unavailable. Rural communities can use virtual consultations with experts who can evaluate the patient and give the proper treatment at the right time. This does not eliminate regular clinic visits because the modern healthcare system and physical appointments work together.
ASSISTS PATIENTS WITH LIMITED ACCESS TO SPECIALIZED CARE
One of the most significant benefits of this modern healthcare system is the immediate access to care to some patients, which was challenging to obtain. In some rural communities which lack healthcare infrastructure, patients need to drive hours to see a practitioner, which isn’t always practical or possible. This modern healthcare technology has provided an alternative way for patients and practitioners to remain in contact between appointments, especially with patients who have visits with specialists.
It has provided leverage for additional critical care access for communities cut off by tornadoes and other natural disasters. Doctors and specialists would often use video conferencing for consultation on areas that were affected by a calamity. This allowed them to provide specialized services and save lives.
PRACTICAL AND INEXPENSIVE
It is a declining misconception that if something is involved with advanced technology, it is expensive. In the past, telehealth was quite costly because providers rarely provide reimbursement for services.
This barrier rapidly changed as more health insurance companies are reimbursing the use of this modern healthcare system. This results in more practical and inexpensive healthcare services which patients view as more viable, trustworthy systems.
MAXIMIZES ACCESS TO MENTAL HEALTH CARE
Aside from providing access to specialized treatments, this healthcare system also maximized the key to mental health care. It has paved the way for monitoring visits for everyday mental health struggles such as depression or anxiety. It also utilizes more on speaking with the patient.
In mental health consultations via video conferencing, patients were able to get a quick 10-minute consultation. This helps them alleviate an immediate issue and receive proper prescriptions, and patients can also attend regular therapy sessions.
PROVIDES DOCTORS A BETTER SENSE OF THE SITUATION
Directing patients to the correct physician is considered a significant challenge in healthcare. On the way to getting the best doctor or an expert specialist, patients need to make unnecessary trips to the emergency room or to their family physician.
This modern healthcare system helps doctors better understand the situation through video conferencing rather than a phone call. Doctors could refer the patient to urgently seek a specialist to prevent their health problems from becoming worse.
OFFERS EXTENSIVE TECHNOLOGY OPTIONS
Aside from providing mental health consultations and access to specialized treatments, this modern healthcare also provides extensive technology options, which is helpful to patients. These technological options include:
- Mobile phones, tablets, or other devices to upload information for review by a physician
- Phone Application to estimate how much insulin is needed for a patient who has diabetes
- An online patient portal that helps view results, set appointments, request prescription refills. Patients can also utilize it to email a doctor.
- A system for ordering testing supplies and medications
- Email, text, or phone reminders
Healthcare organizations can use these and other technologies as leverage to improve their existing services. They can also provide new services by providing these options for their clients.
Maintaining independence is a high priority, but older patients can also benefit from this modern healthcare system. This healthcare system plays an essential role in helping people avoid reliance on others and institutionalization.
This technology provides elderly patients with a sense of independence and how they can live out their golden years in their own homes. Healthcare technology is ideal for making the dreams of what most elderly patients wish to have through this home-based technology.
Even though this healthcare technology has current reimbursement challenges, this technology’s benefits to patients and doctors continue to increase to meet the demand for the best healthcare system. Telehealth was able to provide convenience, increased access, and also medical consultations via technology. During a pandemic where social distancing is also needed, you must find clinics such as RAW Rejuvination and Wellness that offer Telehealth services. It could be very convenient for you.
The outcomes provided by this healthcare system are as good or better than the traditional on-site care outcomes. It also includes immediacy, accessibility, and monitoring consistency which helps prevent risky behavior while improving the patient’s perception of provider support and trust.