Benefits of Telemedicine: Pros and Cons
By offering remote healthcare service, telemedicine has changed the lives of many patients over the years. This form of telecommunication provides nearly limitless access to new medical advances and educational exchanges. Dependent on the patient’s specific needs, however, traditional healthcare options may still be more effective. Understand the advantages and disadvantages of telemedicine before considering making a purchase.
Cost-effective – Both the doctor and the patient can interact through video conferencing without incurring traveling costs.
Convenience – With telemedicine, expert advice can be administered in the comfort of your very own home. Never leave the care of loved ones and recover in your own bedroom.
Eliminates pointless visits – Doctors can follow up on your diagnosis from a distance, which saves you from having to drive to your appointments and sit in waiting rooms.
Telemetry – Utilizing advanced systems, your vital signs and blood-sugar levels can be monitored remotely and without interruption.
No contact – Telemedicine technology is limited to what is possible through the internet. Lack of physical contact between doctor and patient is a drawback. This is somewhat offset by the fact that the doctor can get real-time data from your monitoring system.
Misdiagnosis – Doctors may miss something that they would otherwise have detected in a direct examination, increasing the odds of misdiagnosis.
Faulty systems – As with all technology, a crash or a power outage on the patient’s end could interrupt service.
History of Telemedicine
Telehealth and telemedicine have evolved over the years and have appeared in traditional medicine in many forms. From midwife visits to doctor house calls, telemedicine describes the idea of bringing healthcare services into the home. Telemedical concepts were even employed by NASA during the development of the space program, and advanced telecommunication systems have been used to monitor the physiological parameters of space-traveling astronauts since 1960. Other practical uses of telemedicine now include cross-continental education and live video conferencing. The evolution of telemedicine has accelerated dramatically over the past few years and several types of services have been developed.
Types of Telemedicine
Telemedicine is used all over the world to share the latest in medical advances and breakthroughs. The American Telemedicine Association categorizes any form of remote informational transfer under the term “telemedicine,” and the concept includes transmission via two-way videos, smartphones, other wireless tools, emails, and several other modes of communication. As the need for more comprehensive medical strategies arise, telemedicine has changed over the years. Some of the more common modes of telemedicine
- Live video-conferencing – A live, two-way interaction between the patient and healthcare provider
- Store-and-forward – Transmission of recorded health history
- mHealth – Also known as “mobile health,” this method uses smartphones and other software applications to record and transmit data
- Remote patient monitoring – Provides a doctor in a distant location with the vital health statistics of patients
Telemedicine Trends: The Future of Telemedicine
As telemedicine and telehealth become more popular, many states are requiring that insurance companies support the service. With the cost-effective advantages telemedicine presents, it’s apparent why many larger corporations include telemedicine as a standard feature in their regular healthcare plans. The future of telemedicine is becoming increasingly bright as technological advancements continue to develop at a phenomenal rate.
|Telehealth will become a standard of care||Teleradiology allows doctors to exchange information such as x-rays, MRI results, and CT scans|
|Less “overhead” medical expenses||As telemedicine becomes more popular, doctors are looking for ways to cut costs other than the standard “reimbursement” methods.|
|Cross-sea collaboration||New nonprofit organizations are capitalizing on international communications and healthcare education.|
|Peer Sharing||Peer-to-peer networks not only exchange information, but have gravitated towards the sharing of specialty equipment and other valuable resources.|
|Mobile Health||mHealth challenges technology with the possibility of distributing medical information through mobile devices, such as smartphones or tablets.|
|Virtual Medical Centers||Telemedicine storefronts are specialty care facilities that can deliver services to surrounding states.|
|Remote Clinical Services||With telemedicine improvements to radiology, experts are considering branching out into other patient services.|
Md&Np2Me provides medical services for those away from their normal doctors
Telemedicine is the practical idea of delivering efficient healthcare services while maximizing the level of patient attention and care. Happiness can be the best medicine, so in a patient’s difficult time, the soothing touch of a loved one can ease the pain. Md&Np2Me wants you to heal where you feel the most comfortable: in your home.