Telemedicine, or commonly referred to as Telehealth, may just be a 21st century future game-changer for patients and doctors in terms of health care. Medical consultations and procedures are now being performed remotely over an Internet-connected mobile device or a desktop computer, similar to what we see in science fiction movies. That’s right, think Back to The Future, A.I, or Star Trek.
This form of patient care is slowly becoming widely popular as an alternative for emergency care. Telemedicine can currently help provide diagnosis for minor cases such as the common cold, flu, ear infections, pharmaceutical prescriptions, managing chronic conditions, and much more. This type of care is catching on, and i’m not surprised. Already, some hospitals, pharmaceutical, and medical insurance companies are adopting this form of digital health care, including Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Have doubts? Well, Don’t. It is upon us, patients can now look to their technology devices, have their vital signs checked, and let doctors treat them based on their lab results. What makes Telehealth an interesting concept is that these medical procedures can all be done virtually, in the comforts of patients’ own home or office. Imagine that! No more cold rooms, long waits, or uncomfortable meetings.
Picture yourself in a Sci-Fi movie where in the convenience of your own home, office, or pod you can ask a doctor questions, monitor existing conditions, and get prescriptions….Sounds so far fetched but, What if I told you that they have done studies to prove the science behind this technology.
“Key findings from the 2015 Graham Center report showed that 15 percent of family physicians have adopted Telehealth within the last year. Surprisingly, 29 percent of these physicians used Telehealth in the rural setting where diagnoses and treatments were conducted, along with chronic disease management and follow-up with patients.
When its effect on the patient’s health was monitored, 89 percent of the users agreed that it improved their health, along with 77 percent of non-users who perceived that the effect was true.”- ( Hernandez, Vittorio. “Telehealth popularity lifts further with tech advancements.”International Business Times. IBT Media Inc, 17 March 2016.)
Physicians are ready to embrace the technology in helping improve primary care services, provided certain technological issues and regulatory hurdles are resolved. Now it’s time for patients to open their eyes, mind, and ears to learn all they can about Telemedicine and how it can benefit you.