What is Telemedicine?
The exact definition of telemedicine is rapidly evolving as technology advances. Currently, telemedicine is thought of as an electronic exchange of medical information between a doctor and a patient from one location to another. This is usually achieved by communicating through applications such as e-mail, phone calls, computers or mobile devices with two-way video chat. In this regard, barriers such as time and distance are broken down in exchange for faster, more convenient, more accessible, and more cost effective treatment from a physician.
Telemedicine has been used in the medical field for the past 40 years. It was first achieved in hospitals to reach patients in remote areas that did not have readily available access to healthcare. It has since been implemented and integrated into hospitals, workplaces, physician offices, and even into patient’s homes.
The United States is estimated to have around 200 telemedicine networks. These networks can communicate to over 3000 different sites, delivering specialty services such as radiology and stroke assessments to health centers in rural areas. With the advent of more highly-developed technological advancements such as handheld devices that allow face-to-face video interactions, telemedicine services have become even more convenient for patients and doctors alike.
How do you benefit?
- Reduced Cost – Avoid the cost and time of traveling to see a doctor, especially if long distance.
- Increased Access To Care – With the potential to reach millions of new patients, telemedicine offers a much broader spectrum for healthcare to reach people in remote locations, increasing not only their quality of life but even their chance of survival.
- Convenient Quality Care – Patients prefer the ease of access telemedicine offers. Illness itself is stressful enough without having to commute and spend significant time waiting in a doctor’s office. Telemedicine offers the luxury and convenience of communicating with a doctor in the comfort of your own home with no transportation concerns.
- We Need Telemedicine – There is a high demand for telemedicine, and today’s technologies can meet them with ease. Studies have shown that patients using telemedicine services are satisfied with their experience, and its appeal is on the rise. With millions of patients desiring better healthcare reform, telemedicine seems to be part of the answer they’re looking for.