As the healthcare industry gets its share of technological trends and transformation, all doctors, providers, and patients get to access new benefits. One of the areas with a promising future is telemedicine. Telemedicine will play a vital role in improving healthcare via remote delivery of medical services in the coming years.
Telemedicine will also help solve other challenges such as managing massive data, address the aging of the population, and explore the rising demand for healthcare services.
The role of telemedicine as the primary way of accessing healthcare services has been made a reality by the current SARS-Cov-2 pandemic ravaging the whole world. In order to allow providers to better treat their patients via telehealth, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) even relaxed its enforcement actions with regard to compliance with certain aspects of the HIPAA Rules.
Definition of Telemedicine
Telemedicine connects healthcare providers to patients through the internet. Other terms used include e-health, m-health, or telehealth. They all mean the same thing and have the same goal, connecting and enabling interaction between caregivers and patients through the web.
Telemedicine’s history clocks back to the 1980s when radiologists and patients digital and video images. The widespread access to the internet has facilitated online video consultations between healthcare providers and their patients.
According to research by the Advisory Board, the demand for telehealth services rose by a whopping 624% from 2014 to 2018. Experts anticipate E-health to be a $13 billion industry by 2023.
Why Telemedicine is Growing
Basically, telemedicine helps to handle different challenges in the healthcare sector, specifically on internal and external delivery. Some of these challenges include:
- Rising costs in care delivery
- Decreasing health outcomes
- An influx of chronic diseases patients living longer
- Increase in competition
Healthcare providers can use telemedicine solutions to increase access to care and also to deliver video consultations to patients who need daily monitoring such as chronically sick patients, and patients who find it hard to travel.
Telemedicine can also help solve no-shows. Patients who don’t need to travel for care are less likely to skip the preventive treatment routine. It will also cut down the number of re-admissions, visits by ER, patient transfers, and ultimately lower the healthcare costs.
So, does telemedicine has a future? How will it impact healthcare? Will more patients interact with their doctors via telemedicine applications, or they’ll depend on traditional clinical visits?
- Healthcare applications made easier with more advanced technologies
- Telemedicine solutions to decentralize the healthcare systems
- Smaller practices and telemedicine giants working together
- More cybersecurity investment
- Out-of-the-box health software becoming more popular
- More excellent remote health insurance coverage
- More Artificial Intelligence-based software
- Remote patient monitoring (RPM)
- Para telemedicine solutions
More advanced technologies to facilitate healthcare applications
Telemedicine helps patients and doctors interact remotely. However, the parties involved should find new opportunities to increase patient engagement. Many consumers are using mobile apps for their day to day activities. Soon, telemedicine will turn to the platform as well.
Healthcare providers and stakeholders will invest in innovative mobile applications that will boost communication between caregivers and patients. Such apps will collect all the patient’s vital information to allow personalized services and display it on their comprehensive healthcare dashboards.
Telemedicine solutions to decentralize the healthcare systems
Doctors tend to move from large hospitals and open smaller community-based clinics. This trend is notable in large hospitals that offer specialized services within their facilities.
We can hope that younger doctors will take advantage of telemedicine’s flexibility and change from centralized to decentralized services. They might usher in their own telemedicine practices and encourage their employers to invest in their facilities. This will then give decentralized healthcare the push it needs with telemedicine as the fundamental element.
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