Telemedicine: Shaping Healthcare in the Future

Telemedicine in healthcare has become a more prominent feature over the last decade. Its jump in popularity was helped in no small measure by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic that swept across major regions at the close of 2019.

Research reveals some critical details in the usage of telemedicine. You can find the percentage of telemedicine used by most healthcare providers before, during, and post pandemic.

Telemedicine proved resourceful and enabled effective patient care remotely. Many life saving acts were carried out through telemedicine. Most human activities were at a standstill during the lockdown including access to healthcare resources.

Studies reveal the use of telemedicine in remote clinical care. It was further evidenced by another study that revealed older adults were the major beneficiaries of telemedicine.

It is certain that telemedicine will continue to grow in popularity. We have taken a look at some of its advantages in shaping the future of healthcare services globally.

What is Telemedicine to Healthcare Providers?

Telemedicine falls under a broader scope of telehealth services. Telemedicine refers to the provision of remote healthcare services. It deploys the use of telecommunication technology towards providing remote clinical services all of which can be administered to facilitate long-distance clinical care. 

Services rendered may include;

  • General healthcare education
  • Video conferencing for patient consultation
  • Image transmission of medical reports
  • Remotely conducted medical diagnosis and general health evaluation

Who Can Render Telemedicine? – Staying HIPAA Compliant

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Healthcare providers rendering telemedicine services in the United States must adhere to HIPAA regulations and stay HIPPA compliant. Many people assume that since the communication is primarily between a physician and patient, the disclosure of ePHI, electronic protected health information, is permissible.

The HIPAA guidelines affect all medical practitioners and healthcare organizations rendering remote clinical services to patients in homes or distant communities. Therefore, the telecommunication channels for handling ePHI must comply with HIPAA  guidelines on telemedicine.

There are technical as well as administrative substructures required to make sure that every telemedicine care provider stays HIPAA compliant. One of the best ways to meet HIPAA regiments is to outsource the administrative support. You can get a HIPAA-compliant provider for HIPAA compliance services at a fraction of the nominal cost. The service is essential as telemedicine gears on in its quest to shape the future of healthcare services.

How Telemedicine Intends to Shape the Future of Healthcare

Third-party telecommunication apps have aided the reach of telemedicine. Apps such as Facetime, Skype, Google messenger, and Zoom help to deliver remote healthcare services globally, especially during the peak months of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Here’s how telemedicine intends to shape the future of healthcare;

1. Digital Diagnostics and Evaluation

The “digital way” may become the only way going forward in a tech-driven world. Historically healthcare providers have been slow to accept new changes to the system, though. The enforced change brought on by the pandemic emphasized the need to develop effective ways to reach more people remotely.

During the lockdowns, the rise of social media usage, and emphasis on home services facilitated the preconditions for a spike in demand for telemedicine. Soon enough, diagnosis and evaluation of patients might be done fully digitally. As 5G becomes rampant, speed will be increased leading to efficiency in the digital services rendered. This rise will eliminate the need to crowd hospitals except for very critical challenges that require a physical consultation.

2. The Advent of AR/VR 

As the reality of a future metaverse creeps on us, the evolution of telemedicine would be super rapid. It would also offer situations close to real-time settings.

Augmented reality (AR) and Virtual reality (VR) are two concepts that are geared toward evolving our telecommunication technologies. These technologies make telemedicine more inclusive, creating an extension of real-life simulations.

In such a world, it is easy to see how Virtual Reality (VR) can mimic a hospital setting with your personality and that of your physician depicted as avatars with sensors carrying out a complete medical evaluation on you.

3. Improved Funding for AI Research

Image source: Pixabay

AI-powered technologies as an extension of telemedicine research has gotten more funds in the search for innovative solutions. Telemedicine develops on the rise of technological advancements.

AI is on a mission to improve medical services globally, especially services that can be accessed remotely. The course of telemedicine will bring a significant contribution to the evolution of healthcare services in every home.

Artificial Intelligence is a game changer that can help bridge the gap by providing interactions with patients. It could be simple AI-powered chatbots integrated with medical information such as medical conditions, diagnosis, treatment, expert medical advice, etc.

Benefits of Telemedicine to Healthcare

Telemedicine is already making important contributions to the future of healthcare. It is geared to do more as information technology advances. Some of the immediate benefits of telemedicine are;

1. Easy Access to Medical Services

Telemedicine affords easy access to medical services. Healthcare practitioners can be contacted as long as there is an internet connection. It also eliminates the barriers of physical locations and long distances.

2. Designed to Cater for Older Patients

One of the unique features of telemedicine is that it seems suited to the older generation, who might not have the mobility to physically attend a medical evaluation. With a virtual visit, a physician can meet with his patient and administer a medical diagnosis.

3. Lower Healthcare Cost

One of the underrated benefits of telemedicine is that it saves you money. You get to cut down on transport to a hospital for basic consultations that can easily be carried out from the comfort of your home. The technology involved in administering telemedicine services saves you on the cost of a hospital stay and several other miscellaneous expenses.

Conclusion

After its initial rise to widespread popularity during the pandemic, telemedicine as a concept has since been accepted in most American homes. With its impact in the healthcare sector, it continues to be a viable alternative for medical practitioners to safely reach out to patients and offer medical services.

Wellness and Fitness

TDPel Media

This article was published on TDPel Media. Thanks for reading!

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