How often do you hear people say that the internet has changed their contemporary life? Indeed, the way you keep in contact with your family and friends, buy products and services, and even how you look for information about health issues has probably changed.
There are many telehealth options available that can help you monitor your health care and get the treatment that you need at the comfort of your home. Are you maximizing from them?
Definition of telehealth?
Telehealth involves using emerging technologies to access health facilities online and control your health care, such technologies may include computers and mobile devices. These may be devices that you use from home or that are used by your doctor to enhance health care facilities or to improve them.
Telemedicine vs Telehealth
What is telemedicine?
Telemedicine is a subset of telehealth and is defined exclusively as the use of telecommunications technologies to offer health care services over a distance. Medical professionals can use telehealth technologies such as live video, audio, or instant messaging to provide patients with clinical services virtually.
How is telehealth different from telemedicine?
Telehealth differs from telemedicine since it refers to the use of a wider range of technologies and services to offer both clinical and non-clinical services and transform the whole healthcare system, unlike telemedicine which only offers clinical services without in-person visits.
These telehealth services can include offering medical advice, guiding them through home workouts, or suggesting them to a nearby hospital or facility. The advent of telemedicine applications is even more exciting as they offer patients direct access to treatment from their phones or tablets.
Benefits of telehealth
Telehealth is driven by emerging technologies that have enabled people to re-imagined the visit to the doctor as a phone call or a video call away, telehealth visit. Whereas the concept of telehealth has existed for decades, telemedicine has been used in various service lines ranging from cardiology to orthopedics, primary care to radiology.
As a consequence of the pandemic, an increasing number of health workers are moving towards telehealth, several are enthusiastic about the contribution of telehealth to the value of initiatives of their organization. While the list of Telehealth benefits is wide-ranging, here are some of the key benefits that the Telehealth industry moving forward:
- Enhances access to healthcare and serves more patients.
We are all aware of a growing shortage of medical practitioners. Telehealth can allow networks of health care providers to be expanded in new ways to improve access to treatment in various ways. Patients in rural areas and those who cannot get health service with the normal delivery system can be reached with the adoption of telehealth. The method can be used for both medium-sized treatment and diagnosis, targeting many people in new ways.
Access to treatment can be limited to distance and travel time between patients and caregivers. Fortunately, telemedicine, especially for specialist providers, may resolve geographical barriers to health care. In medically disadvantaged communities and in rural geographical settings where there is clinic shortage, telemedicine can be especially helpful.
- Improving the clinical process and improving the efficacy of the practice
Telehealth can be used as a way to prioritize care delivery and faster delivery, triage each case and strengthen communication by recording, storing, and using patient data to make appropriate medical decisions.
Technologies in telehealth may help enhance results, including growing patient satisfaction levels.
- Reduce health care cost
While the costs of telehealth differ considerably between medical specialties, they are substantially lower than for face-face visits. Teleservices make it easier to avoid scheduling inefficiencies, employee difficulties, and other typical clinical barriers contributing to significant cost savings. In general, lower service provider costs mean reduced patient costs, especially for early consultations. Furthermore, telehealth allows patients to reduce travel costs associated with care facilities such as petrol, car parks, and bus fare, etc.
- Increase revenue for healthcare providers
Ever since telehealth started, its obvious advantages are that health care providers and doctors have been able to extend their reach from their locality to various parts of the globe. This helps providers particularly in a less dense area to increase their coverage. This also improves the quality of health care, as one specialization can be deployed, no matter how far it is in high demand.
What are the challenges of telehealth?
- Privacy assurance
Digital privacy concerns have risen dramatically and for good reason in recent years. In an age defined by cyber-attacks and leakage in information, it can seem incredibly risky to transfer sensitive medical information over the internet. Fortunately, telehealth platforms that adhere to regulations such as HIPAA which include strict cybersecurity protocols have emerged. These safeguards ensure that telehealth systems are no more vulnerable to privacy problems than face-face visits.
- Practitioner-patient connection
Many providers of medical care depend on a strong confidence and cooperation basis for quality. When talking about the advantages and drawbacks of telehealth, clinicians, behavioral care practitioners, and other medical professionals may consider that their speciality needs a personal touch which is difficult to obtain via a computer or telephone.
- Technological Issues
The use of emerging technologies can be challenging for patients and healthcare professionals alike. For patients with poor internet access or defective devices, this issue is particularly relevant. However, technical challenges are still mostly preventable, although they can be challenging.
For individuals who choose to stay at home and those who are not able to visit the doctor’s office, telehealth is a convenient choice. However, it is critical for patients to review the qualifications of the health care provider.