- 22 Dec 2020
History of telemedicine:
The idea of telemedicine began with the birth of telecommunications technology, the means by which electromagnetic signals transmit information over a distance. The telegraph, radio, and telephone were early examples of telecommunications technology.
Ever since its inception, the world of telemedicine has dramatically changed. It was only about fifty years ago that a few hospitals began experimenting with telemedicine in remote areas to reach patients. Over the past few decades, however with the rapid advances in technology, telemedicine has become a dynamic, automated service used in hospitals, households, private doctors' offices and other health care facilities.
The world of telemedicine has currently evolved faster than ever before. As technology has progressed at exponential speeds, so has the universal affordability of simple telemedicine resources and accessibility.
Telemedicine increases patient access to treatment, patient engagement and patient performance. Telemedicine provides ease, cost savings, and enhanced connectivity for healthcare professionals. Because of this, as part of their treatment continuum, more and more healthcare facilities around the globe today are implementing telemedicine.
Here’s an in-depth look at the ways telemedicine has dramatically changed the face of healthcare.
For the patients: By - accessibility and productivity, telemedicine has promoted efforts to dramatically enhance the quality of healthcare. It has eliminated the need to travel, made it easier to provide clinical care by overcoming geographical challenges, and has helped in enhancing patient outcomes. Patients and doctors are now able to work more closely together to achieve clinical targets with more stable, ongoing communication.
For healthcare providers also, telemedicine is no less than a blessing, since it has decreased burnout while allowing them to see more patients. Therefore, given the current emphasis on cost control initiatives, expanding care access to all segments of the population, and satisfying patient demand, telemedicine has to a great extent revolutionised the healthcare delivery.
1) Improved productivity and accessibility
With telemedicine, today doctors are able to provide clients with healthcare data, appointments, and facilities at various locations. In remote places where people used to travel miles to see a provider, overcoming geographic obstacles was particularly important, even if the patient felt too sick. It has also become very much useful for tracking chronic conditions such as diabetes or hypertension on an ongoing basis or for those who need follow-up after discharge.
2) Reduced expenses:
Telemedicine already plays a major role in cost control. Given today's ageing population, one example is its use in home and inpatient care settings. Without a collective increase in healthcare services funds, the 65-year-old age group is exploding. That's why one in five patients now prefers to switch to video visits by doctors. They prefer the immediacy, low cost, and capability of telemedicine to provide more private, one-on-one consultations.
3) Improved patient outcomes
Study after study have shown that now the patients prefer to consult their health care provider through video calls. Two thirds of the patients said that they preferred to avoid finding treatment for a health concern. People did this because it costed too much, it took too long to see the doctor, and they assumed that the problem was going to go away on its own, or they were just too busy to see a doctor.
4) Enhanced lifestyle and new sources of income for physicians
The long and unpredictable hours often take a toll on their mental and physical wellbeing. In order to reverse the symptoms of burnout, they prefer joining the rising number of doctors who have turned to telemedicine. Now they have enough time for their families as well and it helps them in maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
Additional benefits for physicians are available. Clinicians are able to treat more patients via telemedicine than conventional care models would usually allow. With that in mind, considering the fact that a traditional video tour is usually much less costly than an office appointment, many are growing their revenue streams. For both doctors and their patients, it is a win-win. Telemedicine is gaining ground and is inevitably the way of the future, for all these reasons and more.