Every healthcare provider strives hard to give quality care and treatment to the patients. But in reality, most of the healthcare professionals and support staff find themselves occupied with administrative and formality tasks almost 60 percent of the time. Also, due to the increased management and support activities required by a hospital or clinic in these desperate times of COVID-19. The doctors, nurses, and paramedical staff are overwhelmed and finding it difficult to deal with a large number of patients at the hospitals.
Telemedicine is not a new concept in the healthcare industry. This technology is used ideally to serve patients in rural areas or places in urban cities that are underserved by hospitals and medical communities. However, in these challenging times, it has proved its real worth to the healthcare sector across the globe. It has made patient treatment a little easier for doctors and medical professionals. Telemedicine encompasses a range of electronic communication tools, video conferencing platforms for clinical check-ups, and remote monitoring tools for patients.
This technology has helped hospitals to improve their workflow efficiency. By effectively treating and providing quality care to the patients remotely, medical units can cut down on their operational and administrative costs. Helping them focus entirely on the patient’s treatment.
Let’s take a deep dive into six ways how telemedicine is enhancing the healthcare IT landscape:
1 – Tele-stroke diagnosis and treatment
The survival of a stroke patient depends on the time it requires for physicians to accurately diagnose it and start its treatment upfront. An accurate diagnosis of stroke depends on the ability of physicians to identify symptoms and administer the required medicine within a few hours of the attack. Chances are that physicians at emergency centers and clinics may lack these diagnostic skills in rural or underserved city areas. Or sometimes there might not be any neurologist on duty.
Here, the tele-stroke services have proved beneficial in treating stroke cases remotely with accuracy. The tele-stroke remote platform helps neurologists and radiologists treat stroke patients 20 minutes faster than in-person hospital diagnosis. With this technology doctors use smartphone image/report sharing apps proved to be as accurate as personal computer-based images. Based on quick communication between patient and neurologist, diagnosis, and treatment phase accelerates than usual hospital confined circumstances.
2 – Tele-ICU “second pair of eyes for doctors”
The telemedicine technology is making significant improvements to the intensive care units. To treat the alarming cases of Covid-19, tele-ICUs have helped doctors and nurses by providing them “another pair of eyes” in keeping a track of all the critical patients at once. So that they don’t miss any medication. The tele-ICU helps doctors to monitor patients through cameras remotely. This helps them assess patiently carefully and accurately, something that is difficult to do in hospital chaos with distractions.
The remote physicians are constantly updated with the patient’s condition by tele-ICU staff who have access to the patient’s data, lab results, and history. Based on the regular updates on patients’ condition closely monitored virtually, physicians are able to suggest new medication if required in any case.
3 – Tele-rehab at home
After getting discharged from the emergency room or ICU, it is difficult for patients who survive life-threatening diseases to visit the hospital for regular follow-ups. Considering the current situation due to coronavirus, it’s not even an option to visit hospitals for check-ups. The telemedicine technology has made rehabilitation easier for patients at their homes.
The Tele-rehab sessions help doctors and medical staff assess a patient’s condition through therapy session tools online. It allows physicians to monitor their patients’ health and condition after their survival from any serious illness remotely. With this technology, patients can attend supervised rehabilitation sessions conducted at accessible satellite locations.
4 – Online cardiovascular management
One of the leading causes of death among old people and even young adults these days is heart-attack. Cardiovascular problems require doctors to closely monitor patients’ heart conditions. Conduct required treatment and suggest medications and lifestyle changes. However, in these circumstances, frequent visits to the hospitals hinder regular follow-ups between cardiologists and heart patients.
But with telemedicine patients can actively take part in online cardiovascular disease management sessions. It allows patients and doctors to actively communicate with one another and share information regularly without having the need to make hospital visits. These online cardiovascular sessions have made cardiac diagnosis and treatment easy and efficient for doctors.
5 – Mobile apps for health and wellness
The progression in technology has affected every industry, healthcare and wellness are among the top markets to be affected. Today, telemedicine has made it easier for every person to keep a regular check and balance on their health, fitness, and wellness. With the introduction of wellness and health care mobile apps, you can keep a track of your daily calorie count, a number of steps you should take in a day, and monitor your medication dose. Virtual check-up apps connect you to the physician, dieticians, and nurses who diagnose your problems, suggest treatments accordingly, and monitor your progress.
6 – Telemedicine for patient-self management
Telemedicine has uplifted healthcare IT in many ways. With this technology, life long chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension, digestive syndromes can be effectively treated and managed at home. The medical web and mobile applications help you get appointments with appropriate physicians according to your chronic disease. The remote doctor coordinates with you in disease treatment and regularly follows up with you.
The mobile technology has made chronic disease management easier for doctors and patients both. This allows you to conduct self-analysis and test your condition based on your physician’s guidelines. Also, it lets you enter virtual health education programs related to your specific disease. These virtual health sessions help you understand your disease accurately and teaches you a step by step procedure to treat the disease effectively. It saves you from routine hospital and emergency room visits.
For years telemedicine technology has been used to serve underdeveloped parts of the world. It has connected millions of patients in backward areas to remote healthcare providers across the globe. However, today telemedicine is the need of the hour since this global pandemic has upended every industry around the world. Frequent hospital visits are not even an option for patients anymore.
Moreover, it has been an ally for doctors, physicians, and medical staff in treating Covid-19 patients effectively and helped them reduce one to one interaction. So that the spread of the virus can be controlled by the healthcare facilities. Also, the remote treatment of patients can never be a substitute for in-person treatment. But this technology has certainly introduced a new wave of healthcare IT that can help us get access to medical facilities at our doorstep.
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