When it comes to mHealth apps, a quick search on the Play and Apple Store will show how Telemedicine Services have become the topmost choice when it comes to mobile app development for Healthcare.
What is telemedicine?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Telemedicine uses Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to overcome geographical barriers and increase access to health care services. In light of this potential, WHO established the Global Observatory for eHealth (GOe) to review the benefits that ICTs can bring to health care and patients’ well-being. As various parties seek more efficient ways to provide care at less cost to the patient, telemedicine begins to grow more rapidly. Telemedicine helps healthcare professionals in evaluating, diagnosing and treating patients that aren’t present physically near them.
How is telemedicine transforming the healthcare Industry?
Telemedicine has started to transform the very fundamentals of how healthcare is delivered throughout the US. There are 3 distinct ways in which it has been able to achieve this.
- Telemedicine has enabled easier and faster access to doctors: In recent times there has been a rapid increase in the waiting period to see a doctor. A recent survey concluded that the average time required to schedule an appointment with a new family care doctor in large cities, has increased by 50% in the past three years, and it now averages to 29 days. In mid-size cities, this same wait time comes up to an average of 56 days.
- Although, telemedicine cannot eradicate the problem, it certainly can make an impact. When someone suffers from any illnesses that do not require immediate attention, there are telemedicine services that help patients receive high-quality care 24 hours a day, seven days a week in just a few minutes.
Through virtual consultations, patients can receive convenient care at home and need to wait for only a few minutes for a consultation rather than days or weeks. Telemedicine provides patients with a wider range of care with ease of use.
- Telemedicine and Healthcare Costs: Healthcare costs are rapidly increasing. This is caused by many factors, but there are two notable ones:
- Hospitals usually charge patients unreasonably. A study by Vox found that a day in the US hospital costs $5,220 which would cost $424 in Spain. These expenses are often out of reach for the patients.
- There are small hospitals which can’t afford on-staff specialists. They end up having to transport patients to larger facilities, which creates health risks and high costs when it comes to moving gravely ill individuals.
Telemedicine can lead to an improved allocation of healthcare resources and help create new, lower cost ways to provide sophisticated care.
- Telemedicine and Patient Monitoring: Emerging technologies have now enabled us to remotely monitor the health conditions of patients who are suffering or are recovering from an illness. If there is any change in the patient’s vitals, an alert is sent to a nearby hospital or clinic.
These alerts or warnings are only useful if they can help prompt actions. Through telemedicine, healthcare providers can remotely monitor patient data, identify a potential problem, and quickly contact the patient for further steps.
This approach helps prevent patients from experiencing high levels of illness or a catastrophic event. These early interventions help improve patient health and eradicate the expensive treatments that otherwise would have risen without early warnings.
In this fast-paced digital era, we tend to be bombarded by discussions of fundamental transformations. Nevertheless, telemedicine helps lead to more efficient and better care at lower cost.
Telemedicine is still at a nascent stage. There were just over one million telehealth consults in 2016, with an addressable market estimated of more than 400 million potential telehealth consults. With our current healthcare delivery systems’ ever-rising cost burden, this kind of approach certainly seems like a step in the right direction. This could help usher a new era for healthcare and the way we have come to perceive our current healthcare delivery systems. There are various healthcare apps that can provide the full suite of services which can involve virtual consultations, Patient Engagement Solutions, Health tracking features, A.I based recommendations etc. NHCT is one such app that can offer some of these services thus enabling users to have access to healthcare at ease and lower cost.
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