What is Telemedicine?
“Telemedicine” is derived from the Greek word ‘tele’ and the Latin word ‘mederi’. The word tele means distance and ‘mederi’ is a word for healing. By bridging the gap between patients and doctors in remote areas, they can make medical facilities accessible to patients.
In this method for health-related issues, patients can seek advice via phone calls, video chats, emails, and calls instead of appearing physically in front of a doctor. Time magazine has named it “healing via wire”.
While the development of telemedicine was before the Internet age, this model was expanded just in the Internet age. It opened up possibilities for providing healthcare to patients at home. It has also led to many changes in the method of telemedicine.
Telemedicine was developed in the 1960s by the American NASA space organization. NASA. To learn about the health status of your astronauts as well as spacecraft that went into space in the early 1960s. Then it was test-driven in 26 villages in Alaska through The National Library of Medicine in 1971 to help make it more practical in rural areas.
Then, NASA officially established a remote medical facility in Yerevan city in Armenia in 1989. It was equipped with all the necessary technical equipment, such as computers, internet and.
Telemedicine was deemed to be the most secure method of communication to provide efficient treatment and social distancing throughout the COVID-19 epidemic. The time available is flexible in contrast to spending the whole day commuting around the hospital.
In addition, the hospital also stays out of health news to cut down on the expense of traveling and the unhealthy environment for patients who are mentally ill. If patients are not at ease in hospitals, this program has proved to be a solution. Telemedicine also has proven to be useful in emergencies, and the use of digital monitoring has helped reduce the expense of healthcare for the patient.
Since being confined to homes due to lockdowns the number of cases of depression has been increasing among those. Tele-counseling has been proven highly effective for these sufferers. When the Corona epidemic, in which the majority of hospitals were crowded with patients, a huge number of patients recuperated with the help the telemedicine.
Telemedicine opens up new avenues to treat patients by removing the distance between patients and doctors around the globe. Telemedicine is the utilization of various telecommunication services for medical and other institutions which provide healthcare for their patients using digital or electronic means. Telemedicine, in other words, utilizes technology to make the possible for medical care professionals to treat their patients from their homes or other remote locations.
Telemedicine advocates are concerned about the capacity to gather and transfer medical information, images, and live video and audio transmissions. A few of the most commonly employed are telephone lines as well the Internet as well as satellites, but any method of broadcasting could be employed.
Telemedicine is utilized in a variety of medical fields, including radiology, cardiology, psychotherapy, and oncology. Treatment, the diagnosis that incorporates surgery via telesurgery as well as patient and physician education, as well as medical administration among healthcare professionals is all feasible via videoconferencing in telemedicine.
Telemedicine is generally regarded as beneficial for both patients as well as the economy. Through remote health monitoring the use of telemedicine can allow many patients to avoid hospitals and nursing homes and allow them to stay productive, and stay at home for longer, and ultimately result in lower costs for health care. Also, the economy benefits from a decreased requirement to transport patients’ different facilities if a medical professional is required.
The patient appreciates the benefits of telemedicine. First, it gives the patient the greatest coverage. The internet and technology make access to the internet accessible from anywhere. In addition, it’s not necessary to travel to the location that is specified during the consultation. The patient can enjoy that moment at home, as peace is required.
Telemedicine can be a valuable tool in our modern society, however, it’s not meant to replace the traditional method and to serve as an effective addition to the main aspect that can positively impact personal health.
What is the difference between telemedicine and Telehealth?
Telemedicine is a method that lets patients connect with the health care professional they need without the need to visit the hospital. The service offers sessions for counseling as well as medical diagnoses of numerous illnesses.
However, it is not an actual service. It’s a combination of various methods designed to improve the health of patients and inform patients about this goal. In addition, unlike telemedicine, it also covers aspects of non-clinical health such as administrative meetings educational programs for medical professionals (CME), and the education of healthcare professionals.
Telehealth is “the use of electronic data and telecommunications to facilitate and encourage long-distance health services as well as professional and patient education in health, public health, and the health system.” Telehealth is considered to be a broad term. Telemedicine is a part of the field of telehealth.
What are the advantages that Telemedicine can bring to Healthcare?
Telemedicine, in the form of different telemedicine programs, provides immense advantages to the health system. Telemedicine technology provides numerous advantages to patients and healthcare professionals. A few of the advantages of telemedicine for healthcare are listed below:
Helps in a better evaluation
Telemedicine can help healthcare professionals improve their assessment of your health condition as they can view your environment from a different perspective. This provides them with a greater understanding of your health issues. For instance, allergists can identify the root of your allergies by searching for clues about the substances that trigger allergies in your environment. Similar to mental health assessments and counseling can be done by Telemedicine.
Reduces the financial burden for patients
Telemedicine to the doctor assists in reducing the need for the hospital visit. The use of technology for telemedicine will reduce the cost of health care services.
Offers better primary care to ensure sustainable health
Regular appointments with a doctor could save your health from a variety of serious ailments. Your lifestyle is an important aspect of determining your health. If you regularly discuss changes to your life with your physician to adopt healthier routines to maintain your good health.
Allows checking for the adherence to drugs
The prescription determines if patients are taking prescribed medication as directed by the doctor. It is an essential aspect of fighting illnesses. The majority of patients are not able to schedule appointments with their partners due to their hectic schedules or other factors. This is why healthcare professionals are not aware of the condition of patient adherence to medication.
Patients can easily communicate with doctors via Telemedicine, which makes it easier for doctors to evaluate the efficacy and potential side effects of the medication. This is particularly beneficial for patients with a chronic illness who frequently neglect to take their medication exactly as they are prescribed.
It is useful in the management of chronic illnesses
Chronic illnesses (heart disease and stroke, diabetes, etc.) are among the major causes of death within the United States. Telemedicine could reduce financial costs for health care providers as well as patients from the consequences of these illnesses.
If the disease is closely monitored and accompanied by an active lifestyle, it may be avoided. If someone is diagnosed with the disease monitors it regularly and sees a doctor, the possibilities of recovery are extremely high. The longer a person is suffering from the chronic disease the more difficult it becomes to manage.
It saves time for subsequent visits
Regular follow-up visits are crucial even if you’re in good health. The main factor that leads people to not attend them is the time. They aren’t able to wait to get routine checks.
Telemedicine offers convenience and comfort for patients to get in touch with medical professionals without having to go to their clinics. As the number of follow-up visits increases the chance of a positive outcome benefits both the patient as well as health care system.
Challenges in Telemedicine Expansion
It is thought to be the most effective treatment for those living in remote regions where the system is having trouble connecting to virtual communications due to slow-speed internet or server issues. Additionally, patients are also concerned about their privacy because of an increase in cyber-crime. Many people are becoming dependent on telemedicine, it could be fatal if someone requires emergency treatment, and turns to telemedicine before going to the hospital.
When using telemedicine, doctors are required to exert a significant effort to gather information about the patient’s medical history. The doctor makes sure that the medical tests and treatments are exclusively on the symptoms that the patient has mentioned.
If the patient isn’t in a position to articulate his symptoms clearly when in the presence of a doctor, the doctor attempts to determine the condition by conducting a physical exam. However in telemedicine, should patients miss any significant symptom and do not provide a detailed description, the risk is damaging the treatment in general.
In the virtual world, doctors can’t make use of a stethoscope for listening to your heartbeat, or your breathing. It is not possible to check for your BP and sugar. To do this, they must depend on their visual perception. If, for instance, you are having trouble in your eyes, the patient is unable to read with the help of a flashlight. The treatment should be initiated only based on the symptoms described by you.
The second issue is that of technology and language. Even today, the less educated population in India is unable to describe their problems in the correct terms and a precise manner. To make use of this service, an understanding of computer networks, networks or mobile is essential in the rural regions of India. That is an area that is severely lacking.