Telemedicine refers to an electronic way of communication in the field of medicine. Patients, general practitioners, specialists, and medical caregivers may exchange important medical information via electronic means such as video conferencing, email, private messaging in smartphones, and other wireless electronic devices. The basic goal of electronic communication in the medical field is to provide the best possible care for patients and hopefully give them greater chances for a speedy recovery or health improvement. Any form of exchanging information in the medical field vie electronic means is considered part of telemedicine. Some people also refer to this practice as telehealth. The following are some of the benefits of telemedicine:
Medical access for patients in remote areas
Patients in rural areas and other remote places for example may benefit from telemedicine by way of getting the medical services they need as if they are physically present in a clinic or medical facility. Through video conferencing for example, patients may report their concerns with their doctors even if they are in remote areas. The patient’s location is basically not a hindrance to avail of medical services when telemedicine is available or implemented.
Better and faster care for patients
Telemedicine also enables medical practitioners to easily and quickly communicate with other specialists and caregivers regarding a patient’s condition. With the availability of electronic devices, exchanging medical information is made faster and easier. With telemedicine, doctors will be able to respond quickly to patients needs and more options will be available for them to give the best possible care.
Improved health for many patients
The instant or easy access to medical information provided by telemedicine makes it easier for any medical team to provide the appropriate treatment and management plan for patients. With telemedicine, patient treatments may be commenced immediately with the possible result of improving patient’s overall health and/or recovery from disease.
Reduction of healthcare costs
The practice of telemedicine also helps lower medical costs for patients and healthcare providers. On the patient side, unnecessary trips to the doctor’s clinic or healthcare facilities may be avoided or efficiently scheduled with telemedicine services like video conferencing or basic email-sending for example For healthcare providers, the costs of unnecessary transfers to other facilities may also be avoided if there is proper exchange of medical information via telemedicine platforms.
Improved healthcare services in remote areas
Aside from patients in remote areas, medical practitioners and caregivers also benefit from telemedicine especially if they work in distant and rural places. With regular communication with other medical practitioners for example, their knowledge and information regarding medical cases will also improve and therefore translate to enhanced skills and improved services to patients.
Telemedicine is not an entirely new way of exchanging medical information among members of a medical team, patients included. From the basic telephone services of the past, telemedicine has evolved to include various electronic ways of communication like email and video conferencing among many others. With various advancements in technology, more and more platforms have become available for any medical team to communicate with each other like online messaging and communications services.