Modern-day healthcare functioning is vastly different from previous years as technological advancements, research findings, and discoveries have transformed many practices. Today, healthcare workers use hi-tech pieces of equipment to scan patients and diagnose their medical issues. Healthcare issues are rising at an alarming rate, and new diseases are constantly emerging. The ever-changing medical sector continues to bring new techniques for diagnosing illnesses and prescribing treatments such as “Telehealth.” Telehealth is the use of digital means to access healthcare services remotely. It is gaining immense momentum as many people now prefer contacting their doctors through technology. Plus, it saves them from the hassle of a commute.
The outbreak of COVID-19 forced many industries to change their practices. Healthcare workers and patients adopted technology to interact with each other as many governments administered lockdown, compelling people to stay home-bound for months. Many healthcare systems were already integrating advanced technology to utilize telehealth and facilitate patients through digital means. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated telehealth growth. Many medical centers embedded technology to continue serving patients without having them in their vicinity. Experts say that even after COVID-19 is over, telehealth will flourish immensely. It benefits both healthcare workers and patients alike. In severe medical cases, medical experts advise not to rely on telehealth and visit a doctor. Nonetheless, telehealth is a breakthrough in healthcare, and it is gaining tremendous momentum.
The following are some reasons which will give you an insight into why telehealth is gaining immense popularity:
- Improved Accessibility
The foremost advantage of telehealth is that it is accessible to more extended populations. People who live in far-flung areas with less access to medical care can utilize telehealth to their advantage. However, implementing and managing telehealth in healthcare organizations is not easy, so hiring experts becomes crucial. It increases the need to hire professionals with a masters degree in health information management to manage healthcare technologies efficiently. A degree in health information management equips students with management tools and insight into the medical field. They can become a valuable asset for the healthcare facilities and help them integrate a telehealth supporting system.
Furthermore, thanks to telehealth, people no longer have to hold their prior engagements only because they have to consult a doctor. They can communicate with their doctors, get their medicines and receive test results on online portals. Senior citizens often have to visit doctors, and doing so frequently is not easy for them. Thus, telehealth proves helpful as it reduces the need to commute to a healthcare facility center, and they only have to visit in grave situations. Telehealth also enables them to access healthcare services through a portal or an application at their ease.
- Digitalized Medical Records
Many healthcare centers are adopting advanced technology to digitalize patients’ medical records and secure them digitally. The healthcare workers take patients’ vitals and save them digitally before the initial appointment. When patients meet the concerned doctors, they are already aware of their medical condition, which helps them prescribe a treatment plan. Moreover, telehealth has enabled organizations to integrate patients’ past and recent records. Healthcare workers can easily take out patients’ histories after entering a simple code and get all the relevant information about them. Digital medical records mean that patients no longer have to save files and papers. All they need is a specific code ascribed to their name.
- Conserves Medical Supplies
The COVID-19 pandemic put healthcare systems under stress, and many organizations struggled hard in coping with the influx of patients. Organizations ran out of medical supplies and had no option but to send patients in critical condition to their homes. Telehealth helps in conserving medical supplies by keeping low-risk patients at home. Doctors can guide patients through video calls and consult them online to keep the place from overcrowding. Many a time, doctors visit patients to monitor their condition and have a word with them. Through telehealth, they can do so without physically visiting medical wards, reducing the chance of spread of viruses and germs.
- Enhanced Communication
It is essential for patients to keep doctors in the loop and have honest interaction to receive better medical care. Sometimes patients find it hard to visit doctors often. They skip their appointments, which may lead to severe medical conditions. Telehealth enhances communication as online appointments are feasible for patients and doctors alike, and they can communicate through telehealth frequently. Apart from doctors, patients often need to interact with other healthcare workers, and telehealth lets them do so manageably.
Furthermore, in some cases, patients need more than one expert on board, and technology does not require all of them to be present in one place. All required medical experts and patients can have online meetings and discuss medical issues from anywhere. Enhanced communication between doctors and patients results in better patient outcomes.
- Monitoring of Chronic Medical Conditions
Many medical conditions require regular monitoring. Doctors have to change the dose of medicines and treatment plans as per the patients’ changing conditions. Telehealth has made it possible for doctors to monitor patients’ chronic conditions from afar and easily suggest treatments considering their vitals. Various advanced devices are available which help in monitoring sleep, blood pressure, sugar and cholesterol level, breath, heart, and pulse rate. Doctors can glean patients’ consent, receive the information regularly, and keep track of patients’ medical conditions. Many patients take longer to recover after surgery, and staying in hospitals makes them feel sick and drained. Doctors can discharge them and use telehealth to monitor their condition and provide them with further treatment through technology.
Telehealth was already creating waves, but the COVID-19 pandemic brought it to the forefront. Many people learned about it during the epidemic. It helps people contact their doctors and communicate with them regarding their health without visiting them. It helps people in accessing healthcare services from anywhere at any time. They can quickly receive their test reports without visiting a laboratory and can consult a doctor immediately. The upcoming era will see more technological disruptions in the medical field. Experts say that telehealth will become the go-to option for patients to access healthcare; considering its benefits, more people will prefer telehealth over traditional modes of healthcare.