It is interesting to note that, from a statistical perspective, the benefits of telehealth are most-often utilized by young, technology savvy men. It is true that 20-something men and women can benefit from telemedicine due to its cost and time saving benefits, but the demographic that could undoubtedly benefit the most from VideoMedicine is the elderly/geriatric population.
Many geriatric patients have health issues which prevent them from easily commuting to a doctor’s office, while even more are living off Social Security benefits and/or their retirement savings and need to pinch every penny they can. But telemedicine boasts great news for seniors at risk – according to Tatiana Melnik, a Florida based attorney: “There’s a cost savings associated with not having patients come back again… If you can do remote monitoring of patients to make sure they’re taking their medications, to check their blood counts and things like that without their having to come into the hospital or physician’s office, certainly that’s better for everyone.”
Melnik went on to speak about the increased acceptance of telemedicine governmentally, specifically concerning the Affordable Care Act, “[W]hich has directed the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation to explore new models for coordinating care for the chronically ill who are at high risk of hospitalization, including options like home telehealth technology.” [CNBC.com]
Telemedicine has been proven by multiple studies to keep the elderly out of nursing homes, to help prevent serious injuries caused by “slip & falls”, to reduce healthcare costs, and to provide care for the vision impaired
who may have a difficult time arranging travel to a care facility. But the benefits of VideoMedicine are not only profoundly helpful for the elderly, but also for their family/loved ones/nurses who provide care for them on a day-to-day basis. As SeniorAdvisor.com puts it, “This distance health care model also helps to reduce hospital readmissions, eliminate unnecessary ER trips, and empower patients to better understand and manage their own health. But seniors aren’t the only ones who stand to benefit from “virtual doctor visits.” Telemedicine also helps the people who love and care for them every day.”
In 2009 through 2011, Commonwealth Fund conducted a study in which, “[S]upported researchers assessed the potential of telemedicine, which enables patients to visit with physicians “virtually” by way of two-way video or other telecommunications technologies, to lower rates of hospitalization and achieve savings. Their study compared nursing facilities that used telemedicine for after-hours care to homes that did not.” Their findings were nothing short of astonishing:
If you or a loved one knows of someone who could benefit from the time, cost, and potentially even life-saving benefits that telemedicine has to offer, let them know that a solution is out there. You can register as a patient by entering the “Patient Portal” at www.videomedicine.com.
If you are a geriatric provider or hospice nurse interested in increasing access to care for patients in rural areas (or perhaps even your own patients), please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.