Telehealth refers to the delivery of health care, health information services, health education, and self-care through remote technologies like video conferencing and remote patient monitoring (RPM). Andrew Doe, MD, is a qualified physician keen to deliver world-class care no matter the geographical distance.
Telehealth vs. Telemedicine
The terms telehealth and telemedicine are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same. Telehealth is a catch-all term for healthcare activities and services issued through technology as per the above description. It refers to the telecommunication and electronic technologies for delivering from afar. On the other hand, telemedicine refers to the practice of medicine by way of technology to provide care from afar. This practice is the remote analysis and treatment of patients through telecommunications technology.
Benefits of Telehealth
Technological advancements have made it possible to bring solutions to patients and even more so during the unfolding Covid-19 pandemic. Telehealth has many benefits as follows:
Many technology options
There are many developments to help deliver health care to patients across the country and the world at large. Some of these technologies are easily accessed through hand-held devices like smartphones, tablets, and laptops. For instance, an app for monitoring insulin resistance is a lifesaver. Sending reminders to patients through emails and WhatsApp messages can remind patients about upcoming appointments or to take their medicine.
Serving patients in rural settings
Huge populations spread across vast rural areas where medical facilities are few and far between. Furthermore, many remote communities lack specialists, which means patients must travel to urban areas to have their medical checkups. Technology makes proper and specialized care more accessible to such people, benefiting from patient-centered care.
Less strain on health facilities
Arranging an appointment with a specialist or primary health care provider is not always easy, and when they succeed, patients have to carve out time for travel and consultation. Telehealth helps cut back time wasted sitting in traffic and reception rooms waiting to see a doctor. Aging patients can get care from the comfort of their homes without requiring someone to drive them to the hospital.
Historically, the US is known to have expensive health care compared to other industrialized countries like France, Sweden, Germany, and the UK. Rising medical costs have pushed taxpayers to dig deeper into their pockets to afford insurance and co-pays. Telehealth is much cheaper than in-person consultation, and early detection of medical issues reduces the chance of emergency interventions.
Seniors who live alone appreciate the immense value of telehealth as it accords them independence from having to move to nursing homes or having round-the-clock care in their homes. The overwhelming preference of seniors above 75 years to age in place necessitates the use of technology. Their families can honor this wish by providing technology to ensure they get care whenever needed.
Telehealth has yielded many benefits over the years, and, more importantly, during the pandemic, people sequester themselves in their homes. Nobody has to forego treatment because of lockdown mandates or due to the fear of interacting with potential carriers of Covid 19. Book an online consultation with your trusted physician today if you need to see a specialist without going to a hospital.