With the continuous evolution of the world, the healthcare industry has also evolved. There are various developments in the healthcare sector, and one of the most significant developments is the introduction of telehealth. Telehealth refers to the use of technology for delivering different healthcare services remotely.
In the past few years, the use of telehealth has grown exponentially and has also revolutionized the healthcare sector. In this write-up, you will glance at different facets of telehealth. You will discover telehealth technology, its benefits, types, applications, and a few other aspects. So, let’s move ahead and start exploring it.
What Is Telehealth?
Telehealth is an advanced technology in the healthcare sector. It is a healthcare service that gives patients the facility to get medical care and assistance remotely. Telehealth services use software like Updox video conferencing,mobile applications, and remote monitoring devices to connect patients with healthcare providers.
The patients can seek medical care from any location, even from the comfort of their houses. Patients do not need to visit any hospital or doctor’s clinic and wait for their turn to get a check-up by a medical expert.
Benefits Of Telehealth Services
There are various benefits that telehealth services provide to patients and healthcare providers. Several aids that it provides include:-
Improved Access To Healthcare
Telehealth video calls provide improved access to healthcare facilities for individuals residing in remote or rural areas. Patients who live far away from hospitals or other medical facilities can get the necessary medical care through telehealth services. It benefits people suffering from some disabilities, chronic illnesses, or mobility issues, as they can get medical assistance through video calls.
Another benefit that telehealth service provides is convenience. Compared to traditional healthcare services, telehealth services are more convenient. With it, patients can schedule their appointments depending on their convenience. Also, they can skip spending time and travel long to seek medical facilities. Telehealth services are available 24/7, making it easier for patients to get medical care anytime when needed.
Contrary to traditional healthcare services, telehealth services are cost-effective. Patients save a lot of money on transportation and other expenses associated with visiting a hospital or doctor’s clinic. Additionally, for healthcare providers also, telehealth services are cost-effective. It is so as it reduces the overhead costs and increases their revenue.
Improved Patients Outcomes
Telehealth services provide timely medical care to patients, improving patient outcomes. Patients who get timely medical care and assistance through telehealth services have better access to medical professionals. This leads to early diagnosis and treatment of the medical conditions or illness.
Types Of Telehealth Services
Today, telehealth services are not only bound to video calls but are more than that. There are several other types of telehealth services also. A few more types of telehealth services include:-
Remote Patient Monitoring
In remote patient monitoring, the technology is used for monitoring the patient’s health remotely. The patients use different medical devices for collecting health data like glucose levels, blood pressure, heart rate, etc. Then the collected data is transmitted to the healthcare providers, who can monitor the patient’s health through that data. And can also provide medical care timely.
In store-and-forward telehealth service, medical information is transmitted electronically between healthcare providers. The medical transmission may include lab results, patient history, medical images, etc. Depending on that, the healthcare providers can review the information and provide a treatment or diagnosis plan.
Mobile health telehealth service includes using devices like tablets or mobile phones to deliver different healthcare services. Through mobile applications, patients can access the necessary medical information. From the applications, patients can also book their appointments with healthcare experts. Also, they can communicate with them through online healthcare platforms such as telemedicine Ohio.
How do Telehealth Services Work?
Telehealth is a healthcare service where patients get necessary medical care and assistance through video calls. Patients can connect with healthcare experts through different platforms that support video meetings.
Today, various platforms are available for video meetings, like Skype, Google Meet, Zoom, Zoho, and others. Patients can use any of the mediums and can connect. During the video call, the patients can discuss their problems with the healthcare expert. The healthcare providers can diagnose the patient’s medical condition, provide medical advice, and prescribe medications.
For telehealth services, an individual needs a device with a camera, microphone, and a stable internet connection. Patients can use a tablet, computer, or smartphone to connect with healthcare experts. Healthcare providers may also use medical devices like otoscopes or stethoscopes for examining patients remotely.
Applications Of Telehealth In Healthcare
In the healthcare sector, telehealth has numerous applications. A few applications of telehealth include:-
Telehealth services have improved emergency medicine by giving out timely medical assistance to patients in remote or rural areas. Patients can get medical care via video meetings; healthcare experts can prescribe medication and provide medical advice.
Another application of telehealth is in the field of mental health. For patients, telehealth services have improved access to mental health services. Patients can get mental health assistance through video meetings, mobile applications, or other remote monitoring devices.
Chronic Disease Management
Telehealth services have also improved chronic disease management by providing timely medical care and remote monitoring. Patients suffering from chronic diseases like hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, etc., can use remote monitoring devices for collecting data. Health experts can monitor that data and can timely give necessary medical care.
Limitations And Challenges Of Telehealth Services
With the numerous benefits of telehealth services, there are also a few challenges and limitations associated with telehealth services. Some limitations and challenges include:-
To access telehealth services, you need a stable internet connection. And people residing in a rural or remote area may need access to stable connectivity. This might limit their ability to get medical assistance through telehealth services.
Access to Technology
Telehealth services require technologies like tablets, smartphones, or computers. Patients who do not have an outbreak of the above technologies will be deprived of using telehealth services.
Privacy and Security
In telehealth services, medical information is transmitted over the internet. This transmission of information over the internet also raises concerns about one’s privacy and security.
Telehealth Services vs. Traditional Healthcare Services
Both services have their pros and cons in their places. But there are a few points of differentiation between the two services. In traditional services, healthcare experts will examine you personally and use medical devices to diagnose your medical conditions. On the other hand, telehealth services allow you to get medical care from any location, eliminating the need to travel long distances.
Telehealth services are convenient and cost-effective as compared to traditional services. Patients can directly book their appointments at their convenience, and health experts can give medical care from anywhere. However, telehealth services may not be suitable in case of severe medical conditions that need in-person medical assistance.
Statistics And Growth Of Telehealth Services
In recent years, telehealth services have encountered significant growth. According to the latest data from the American Hospital Association, nearly 76% of US hospitals use telehealth services. And by the year 2026, the market of telehealth is expected to reach $185.6 billion.
There was more adoption and acceleration of telehealth services after the covid-19 pandemic.
Additionally, there are various success stories of telehealth services. One of the success stories is the use of telehealth services for providing medical care to people in rural or remote areas. The services have improved access to medical care for patients in rural areas and have led to better patient outcomes.
Another success story is the utilization of the services to provide mental health services. The patients who have got mental health services through telehealth services have reported an enormous improvement in their mental health outcomes.
Platforms And SoftwaresFor Accessing The Telehealth Services
You can access telehealth services with any software and platform supporting video meetings. There are a variety of softwares that supports video meetings. Some common and popular software includes Zoom, Skype, Google Meet, etc.
All these platforms are freely available on multiple devices and are easy to use. With the above software, you can remotely connect with healthcare experts and get necessary medical care.
Telehealth services have brought a storm in the healthcare sector. It has transformed the healthcare sector by reducing healthcare costs, improving access to healthcare, and improving patient outcomes. Although there are some limitations and challenges of telehealth services, the future of this service is very reassuring.
With the advancement in technologies and changes in healthcare delivery systems, telehealth services are expected to grow and become popular continuously. Telehealth services are also expected to become more sophisticated with virtual reality and AI. If someone is looking for convenient, cost-effective, and timely medical care, then there is no other excellent option than telehealth services to opt for.