Computer and communication technologies have made it possible for health professionals to meet increasing clinical demands while still finding the time to participate in research and education.
The term “Telehealth” encompasses a wide variety of activities and resources, and it also holds the key to increased physician productivity. It ensures the availability of long distance healthcare, health-related education and training as well as health administration. It has given rise to educational opportunities that were previously off limits due to geographical, time or even financial restrictions. Integrated clinical management solutions, based on telehealth, can now offer better facilitation of anyone suffering from chronic diseases, providing them with necessary monitoring, support and follow-up right in their homes.
Telehealth, at all levels, is giving physicians and other health care professionals, the tools to expand their capacities and capabilities.
The Digital Delivery of Clinical Services
Some 40 years ago, as telehealth came to be, its emphasis was on providing an effective link between primary care physicians in hospitals and healthcare providers located in far flung areas. Medical specialities such as oncology, dermatology, cardiology, surgery, psychiatry, etc. have benefitted amazingly well over the last 4 decades. Not only do these remote locations now get better, faster diagnosis and treatment, but they have also experienced significant improvement in the quality of care available. Telehealth has also helped reduce costs as it inspires a centralization of resources, with reduced needs for travel or duplication of services available.
Home Healthcare Is Now The Fastest Growing Segment
Telemedicine is used to supplement in-person care. Videoconference technologies can ensure faster long-distance consultations no matter how far the physician may be from their patient. These also now carry the ability to monitor vital signs, and relay these to the consultant physician or the relevant healthcare facility in real time.
Healthcare Management and Administration
Telehealth has made it easier and more convenient than ever to monitor patient progress, with its state-of-the-art profiling and data tracking capabilities. Follow up with nurses, nutritionists, social workers etc. is faster, more efficient and completely integrated with patient education requirements.
Allowing long-distance consultations isn’t a new concept at all! What is new is the huge number of possibilities it brings to the healthcare arena as technology progresses. The prefix “tele” is now becoming a huge part of many traditional medical services; take for example Telemammography and tele-ophthalmology. These and many other similar services are improving delivery of primary care in distant clinical settings.
As one of the leading online medical journals, Telehealth and Medicine Today™ offer extensive resources for ensuring the effectiveness of your telemedicine program implementation. Check out our past issues right here.