About Telemedicine, Telehealth & Electronic OPD
Telemedicine is a practice where the provider and patient are not present for face to face interaction but still, the patients can care. It has become possible due to modern technology as doctors can consult patients by using video chats applications.
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Definition of Telemedicine
Tele-medicine is a perfect tool for healthcare. It makes healthcare more reachable, less expensive and boosts up patient engagement and is also known as doctor online. It has advantaged the people living in rural and remote areas as these people can reach the doctor virtually instead of visiting them physically.
Due to the introduction of the telemedicine, patients and doctor can speak in real time from one screen to another screen. Patients do not have to wait for appointments from doctors and also do not require to stand in the long queue of hospitals for their turns. They can consult a doctor from their home and offices in their comfort zone.
The idea of telemedicine and telehealth was slowly adopted by physicians. But, due to the increase in demand from the tech-savvy population, it is continuously expanding and adopted as E-OPD has features such as cost-efficient, more accessible, and time-saving.
What is Telemedicine?
It is basically described as “ the remote delivery of healthcare services”. There are various kinds of tele-medicine, but the three common types of tele medicine are:
- Interactive medicine – It permits patients and doctors to interact in real-time while sustaining HIPAA compliance
- Store and Forward – It allows providers to share patient details with a physician in another place.
- Remote Patient Monitoring – It permits faraway caregivers to observe patients that stay at home by using mobile medical devices to gather data (e.g. blood sugar or blood pressure)
How is telemedicine conducted?
There are numerous ways to conduct tele medicine. The most used and simple way is a video call. It is similar to a video call to family and friends.
Tele medicine can be conducted with portable tele-medicine kits which involve mobile and computer medical equipment such as ECG machines or important sign machines. Digital cameras with high resolutions are also available for comprehensive medical images to doctors and specialists.
At last, there are various telemedicine software that permits everything from storing data to live video conference. In general, there are numerous advanced tele medicine devices to meet the different needs of patients today.
Differences between Tele-medicine and Telehealth
Recently, rapid innovation in the health sector and technology has brought the new terms in utilization. The terms such as policymakers, advocacy groups, healthcare systems, etc. are used incorrectly while the discussion in medicine and technology. Mostly, the terms “ telemedicine ” and “ telehealth ”are used in place of each other, but there are differences for sure.
What is Telemedicine?
As per the World Health Organization (WHO), tele medicine can be defined as “healing from a distance”. Telecommunications technology and information technologies are utilized to deliver medical services to patients residing in remote areas. Telemedicine is used by the practitioner for digital imaging transmission, video conferences, and medical analysis.
Nowadays, a person does not require to visit the clinic or doctor to have a treatment. Instead of visiting personally, individuals can make video and audio call to physicians and receive the treatment and advice from the comfort of their locations (home and offices). This Feature is also growing in third world countries so we also find telemedicine in India like countries.
What is Telehealth?
HealthIT.gov describes telehealth as “the use of electronic data and broadcast communications advancements to help and support long-distance clinical medical care, patient and expert well being training, public health and health organization.”
The definition of Telemedicine and Telehealth sound similar but there is a difference. Tele health also includes non-clinical services such as meetings, CME, training for, etc. as compared to telemedicine. It is not a particular service, but a combination of multiple ways to improve patient health.
Overall, telecare and telemedicine fall under the umbrella of telehealth i.e. telehealth is a superset of telecare and telemedicine.
What are the advantages of telemedicine
With the rapid advancements in technology, tele medicine is going to stay in the healthcare sector. At the present time, everyone from patients to provider wants to avail the benefits of tele-medicine.
Benefits of Telemedicine or e OPD to Providers
Tele-medicine is used in healthcare systems, physician practices, and trained nursing facilities to take care in a more efficient way. There is various tele medicine software which is integrated with features like AI diagnosis, medical records, and medical streaming devices which helps providers in better diagnose and treatment. It also permits providers to observe the patient in real time.
Revenue can also be increased for providers by utilizing tele-medicine. It is because doctors do not require to hire more staff or to have large office space.
Benefits of Tele-medicine to Patients
Tele-medicine has numerous benefits for patients. Earlier, patients who face difficulties in reaching to the physician can access the facilities from their comfort of homes. Seniors who are in trouble due to their age can avail services by using medical streaming equipment.
Also, the risk of spreading contagious diseases reduces as patients with such diseases do not require visiting clinics and exposing in crowded waiting rooms.
Tele medicine also benefits patients in the given below methods:
- Transportation: Patients can dodge spending money or killing time in traffic with video calling.
- No missing work: In the present day, individuals can plan a session during a work break in the office.
Telemedicine Benefits to Players like Online OPD Registration
It is difficult to prove this point but big players like Health systems such as Hospitals are gaining from the tele-medicine. With the improvement in technology, the treatment offers cost saving and will become more evident.
What are the disadvantages of tele medicine?
With the advantages of tele medicine, here come the disadvantages of tele-medicine as well. As the field is developing exponentially, various challenges will also occur.
Uncertainty in Policies related to E OPD
As the industry is growing, there is uncertainty faced by the policymakers in regard to reimbursement policies, privacy protection, healthcare laws, etc. Besides this, every state has their own telemedicine laws.
Reduction in Face to Face Consultations
A few doctors and patients are facing difficulties to adjust with tele medicine, particularly senior people. Doctors are worried about the mismanagement and misconduct of the patient. Along with this, there is a chance of occurrence of an error in technology.
Telemedicine Expensive Technology
Training is required for the adoption and implementation of new systems as staff members may face challenges to adjust to the changes. It involves a lot of time and money. This has also given rise to Health IoT or Internet of Things. Though it is expensive in the beginning, in the future there are positive returns on the investment.
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NB The write-up is based on the most prevalent media information and is not a medical advice. Consult your Authorized Cardiologist for any Medical Treatment