Telemedicine may just be the future of healthcare. Not everybody has the time to commit to hours of long office visits, yet everybody needs access to quality care. Despite time or location restraints, everyone needs access to healthcare – and telemedicine is making that possible.
What is Telemedicine?
Telemedicine is the practice of clinicians using smart technology to deliver care from anywhere. Telemedicine is an alternative to traditional office visits. Healthcare professionals are able to evaluate, diagnose, and treat patients via telecommunications such as Skype, audio, or text-messaging through computers or smartphones.
What are the benefits of telemedicine?
There are many benefits of telemedicine that the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) has listed. These include:
Telemedicine has been able to bring healthcare services to patients across all locations. This means someone who lives in a rural area – far from the nearest hospital – would be able to receive care from the comfort of their home. “Given the provider shortages throughout the world — in both rural and urban areas — telemedicine has a unique capacity to increase service to millions of new patients,” states the ATA.
Telemedicine has been able to reduce the cost of healthcare significantly. Some health concerns could easily be resolved in a single consultation. By giving patients the option to have a consultation done via telecommunications, patients are spending less than they would for an in-person visit for that same consultation.
With the use of telemedicine, healthcare providers are able to follow-up with patients as well as monitor patients remotely in a more efficient way than ever before. It can be as simple as a 5-minute video call to check up on a patient or answer any pondering questions.
“The greatest impact of telemedicine is on the patient, their family, and their community,” writes the ATA. Telemedicine is something consumers have such a high demand for because it reduces travel time, money, and related stress for the patient.
Telemedicine has been around for a while, but as technology evolves, telemedicine is becoming increasingly available to patients at a lower cost and with improved quality of care. The benefits of telemedicine are expanding every day, and we will start to see it as a way for medical practices to gain a competitive advantage in the healthcare field.
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