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Telemedicine in Healthcare IT: Services, Types & Advantages

Telemedicine is the service provided by various health care provider to treat those patients who were located in remote areas, not able to visit hospitals or clinics. It allows two-way communication between patient and healthcare provider supported by various integrated medical devices. It proved to be an asset for those people who lives in a distant place.

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To improve the healthcare quality, technology really spreads their wings in this industry. In our previous article, we explain the Doctor-patient relationship, PACS in healthcare, Impact of cloud computing, Hl7, sensors in healthcare, Hospital information system-HIStree, Primary healthcare in detail. In this article, we are going to explain how Telemedicine changes the healthcare industry in detail.

Role of Telemedicine in Healthcare IT industry:

In medical fields, such as cardiology, dermatology etc, telemedicine is used to provide excellent care to all communities underserved by hospitals, physicians, doctors etc. Let’s have a look at its types, benefits etc.

Telemedicine Services:

Telemedicine services can range widely by specialty. Physicians use telemedicine services in a different field for eg  gynecologist provide birth control counseling, surgeons do post operation check-ins with patients, endocrinologist does live video chats with patients to discuss recent lab results etc. Doctors may treat following conditions via telemedicine are:

  • Cold  & Flu
  • Infections
  • Rashes
  • Arthritic pain
  • Asthma
  • Sore throats
  • Skin Inflammation
  • Sinusitis
  • Diarrhea
  • Bronchitis
  • Respiratory Infections

Types Of Telemedicine:

With the increasing demand, telemedicine technology is coming into existence at great extent. With the help of this patients live at a place where no medical facility available can be easily treatable via telecommunications technology. Following telemedicine types are:

(i) Remote patient monitoring:

This type of patient monitoring is also known as home telehealth or telemonitoring which allows the physician to track the patient health data remotely and prescribe medicine as per need. It prove to be an asset for those patients who are at health risk & helps healthcare providers in watching warning signs.

To maintain regular communication various telemedicine tools play a vital role in the lives of both patient & healthcare professionals. For instance, glucose tracker helps the diabetic patient in measuring their glucose level at regular intervals & transmit a report to their doctor. If all reports are good then it is saved in records for further assistance otherwise, the physician may flag it and call the patient for personal assistance. The main key to successful remote patient monitoring telemedicine is the presence of health tracking tools in the patient’s home. For eg wearables, Fitbit got sync with mobile, mobile medical devices etc helps in tracking their health signs & reporting medical data.

(ii) Store & forward telemedicine services:

After data get collected it is a necessity to share that data with professionals. This telemedicine service helps in transmitting data to a medical specialist at a convenient time at different locations. It also provides a secure, sophisticated, email platform for sharing patient private health data in a secure way.

It is also known as asynchronous telemedicine because it doesn’t require patient, specialist & primary doctor communications at the same time. Pathology, Dermatology & Radiology are the common specialties that are conducive to asynchronous telemedicine. This service increases the healthcare efficiency & facilitates faster diagnosis, lower patient wait times etc.

(iii) Real Time Telehealth:

As the name suggests this telemedicine service requires the live interaction of patient & physicians through audio or video communication media. Companies like DoctoronDemand & Teladoc brought a new boom in this industry by providing an easy way for a patient to connect with a doctor from anywhere. Nowadays with enhanced technology, patient get medical treatment with simply a compatible device, microphone, internet connection & a webcam. That’s the beauty of real-time telemedicine.

Advantages of Telemedicine:

In the medical scenario, telemedicine becomes an asset in treating a patient who lives in remote areas, not able to visit clinics or hospitals. Let’s have a look at its benefits in the healthcare industry. Following of telemedicine advantages are:

  • It is cost effective
  • It really increases patient engagement
  • Enables effective monitoring of patients with chronic illness
  • It provides better quality patient care
  • Follow-up patients after treatment and reduces the burden of regular visit to clinic or hospital
  • Provide medical care for homebound patients i.e. living in remote & rural areas.

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