The global COVID-19 pandemic has caused businesses to crash and burn all over the world. One area where this is not true is that of telehealth.
According to the “State of the Connected Patient” report a few years ago, 60% of millennials prefer to use types of telehealth to traditional health care services. Read on to see what these possibilities mean for you.
What Is Telehealth?
NASA started using Telehealth in the 1960s to monitor their astronauts when they were in space. With the rapid grown of new medical technologies, along with faster internet connections, we now have a whole new world of healthcare technology available.
As a result of telehealth, patients are now able to:
- Talk to their doctors without paying them a visit
- Ask questions and receive results to or from their medical personnel
- Monitor various vital signs remotely
Types of Telehealth Services
There are many types of telehealth solutions, based on various needs and appliances available. Here are a few:
These can take the form of a consultation which allows for questions as well as monitoring patients’ symptoms.
These collect, record, and send health data to specialists. This allows for remote access to medical practitioners. You may even wonder, “What is teleradiology?” This is where the teleradiologist can read an X-ray from many miles away.
This is ideal for patients with chronic conditions. They can make use of special devices or sensors connected with a medical hub over the internet.
Patients wear mobile-enabled medical devices. Information is recorded and gathers for later analysis by their medical practitioners.
Benefits of Telehealth
Where telehealth has been developing over recent years, it really came into its own during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some of the ways it helps, even in normal circumstances:
- It cuts down on physical contact both for the patient and the doctor
- Patients are still able to see doctors and specialists without attending their offices
- Doctors can make contact with specialists and discuss cases with them
- Patients have access to specialists too far away for them to visit
- It takes away the need for hours spent in waiting rooms
Limitations of Telehealth
As with all wonderful innovations, there are problems. There are some conditions where telehealth will not work. There are other situations where things can go wrong.
Conditions Where Telemedicine Will Not Work
The patient may be too ill to communicate. A child may need to be examined by a pediatrician. Little children, especially babies, need to have hands-on examinations.
Some tests require physical attention, such as a throat swab, or a test for COVID-19. Blood examinations need physical contact with a phlebotomist.
Medical emergencies of all sorts, including chest pain or loss of consciousness, mean a 9-1-1 call. Car accidents or motorcycle crashes need urgent medical attention. Animal bites, burn wounds, stab wounds, all need physical attention.
Electronic failures happen all the time. The internet goes down. The computer crashes. The network loses its signal.
Telehealth Is Here to Stay
Like any system, there are pros and cons. But there is no question that telehealth is here to stay. And what an amazing difference it has made to the health system.
We hope we have covered the basics for you in this article, although there is obviously so much more about the many types of telehealth. Please take a look around our site and feel free to ask questions. We’ll get back to you soon.