|Despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, one facet of healthcare has thrived. Telehealth has played a crucial role in reducing the spread of the virus, and the federal government, in conjunction with insurers, have provided financial coverage to facilitate this endeavor.|
Other than the appeal of having a doctor’s appointment in the comfort of your home, telehealth has made healthcare more accessible and approachable for people who often feel stigmatized by the conventional medical system.
What are some of these groups and areas?
The LGBTQIA+ community
Did you know that one out of five gender-nonconforming people has reported being denied health care due to their gender identity? Sadly, the healthcare experience for most members of the LGBTQIA+ community borders discrimination and a lack of competence.
Specialized women’s healthcare
Women’s healthcare has become increasingly synonymous with reproductive health. However, it is a reductive way to view it. There is a myriad of issues affecting women’s health that do not involve their reproductive organs, such as heart disease and mental health.
Men’s mental health
The typical image of a healthy male depicted in society has led to a great inadequacy in addressing male mental health. A 2015 survey showed that 77% of the 1000 men that took the study suffered from stress, anxiety, and depression. The COVID-19 pandemic has further worsened the situation, with the numbers dangerously increasing.
Rural and low-income communities
Telehealth has impacted groups of people in rural and low-income communities who have no means of access to the healthcare system. With the growth in telehealth, patients can now have access to quality healthcare follow up visits.
Even though telehealth isn’t here to replace traditional health care provision, it has undoubtedly offered increased access and coverage to a diverse group of people. It has created a safe and affordable variation of healthcare.
With the giant technological leaps in the 21st century, telemedicine has changed the delivery of health care. Now, patients do not need to wait for an appointment for diagnosis and treatment. The prevalence of COVID-19 has further encouraged the transition to telemedicine to reduce staff exposure, preserve PPEs and reduce the impact of patient surges on medical facilities.
Even though telehealth technology isn’t new, it’s widespread adoption beyond simple telephone correspondence has been low. The CDC reported a 73% increase in the number of patients receiving telehealth at the beginning of the pandemic. Telemedicine has, in turn, led to the fast growth of the medical marijuana industry. Over the coronavirus pandemic, insurers and the federal government endorsed medical marijuana as a form of therapy. Medical practitioners and doctors first have to acquire online certification to prescribe medical marijuana.
Thanks to Blockchain, the marijuana industry is now transparent and easily trackable. Blockchain has also created a platform where the quality and source of medical marijuana can be analyzed and verified.
On the receiving end, patient feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Patients are positively thrilled they do not have to walk into a doctor’s office anymore to set up appointments. The fact that the appointment involves mostly talking and less prodding is also a huge plus for most patients. For doctors, telemedicine has dramatically increased their flexibility and reach as they can now provide personalized counseling for people looking to acquire a medical marijuana card in the states where it has been legalized.
With the overwhelming strides, the digital sector has enabled medical services; people are advocating for telemedicine’s continued use even after the corona pandemic ends. The benefits have been immeasurably extensive to drop telehealth as a whole. Telehealth has met medical marijuana evaluations and shone a light on the benefits telemedicine has brought in patient interaction and receiving health care services.
Despite constant changes in the medical marijuana industry, it is likely here to stay.
The ravaging coronavirus pandemic a threat to those with preexisting medical conditions such as type 2 diabetes. This is because these people need medical checkups, yet movements are restricted, and medical practitioners try to avoid face-to-face interactions as much as possible. Many doctors have resorted to using telehealth or Telemedicine to offer their services.
What is Telemedicine?
Telemedicine is an arrangement in which a doctor meets a patient virtually aided by video conferencing technology or phone use. When you have type 2 diabetes, your doctor can virtually monitor your vital signs, diet, blood glucose, and general health. He can also ensure you get your medications and use them as prescribed. You can call a doctor via ourdoctor telemedicine services.
When Should Your Telemedicine Visit Be?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you should have a medical checkup at least four times a year if you find difficulties in meeting treatment goals, or at least two times a year if you have no problems. Telemedicine can help you with these meetings.
Apart from phone calls and video conferencing methods mentioned above, you can also use voice mail messaging, texting, emailing, etc.
Preparing For a Telemedicine Visit
For your telehealth visit to be successful, you need an internet connection and a tablet, laptop, or smartphone. It would be best if you also had a video conferencing app or software installed on your device.
Call your doctor and agree on a specific date and time the meeting will take place. Before the video call kicks off, make sure you have everything your doctor might ask for. These may include but are not limited to a list of medications you are using, prescriptions that need refilling, your blood pressure and weight, your blood glucose level, among others.
Benefits of Telemedicine for Type 2 Diabetes Care
Many studies have shown that Telemedicine is more effective for blood glucose management than conventional care interventions. Diabetes care through Telemedicine saves both time and money and is very safe. Telemedicine is also convenient because you would have to travel to the doctor’s office.
As you can see, Telemedicine is an excellent option for type 2 diabetes management. However, some aspects of diabetes may require you to visit the doctor physically. Diabetes may affect your nerves, kidneys, and eyesight. Schedule your next doctor’s visit today.
Covid19 has impacted everyone to some degree and primarily affects people with disabilities, caregivers, healthcare professionals, and frontline workers. While anyone is susceptible to getting covid19, individuals with certain health conditions or illnesses are often at a higher risk and develop complications as a result. Some people may develop common symptoms, while up to one-third of those infected are asymptomatic.
The Effects of Lockdown Measures on Physical and Mental Health
With lockdown measures in place in many countries and regions worldwide, many people now work or attend school from home or have lost their jobs entirely. Caregivers and emergency healthcare workers are at greater risk for coming into contact with covid19 at work, even with personal protection equipment, and taking all necessary precautions. School-aged children, people who live alone, and vulnerable individuals have less in-person socializing. They may experience a sense of despair and isolation, even with virtual meetings and social media availability.
The strain of adapting to a worldwide pandemic can have both physical and mental health implications. For individuals affected directly or indirectly by covid19, there is the added risk of complications from the virus that can lead to long-term effects and the impact on mental health.
The Added Risk of Covid19 on Frontline Workers
Healthcare workers are at the highest risk for coming into direct contact with covid19 and often have to make arrangements to live separately from family or remotely to minimize the risk of spreading the virus. Frontline workers in the food industry, retail, and other public areas of work are now at more risk than ever. This is mostly a risk factor for frontline workers in highly populated urban centers where there are more confirmed cases.
As people worldwide adapt to the pandemic’s continual developments, more online resources and support systems are standard, providing helpful advice and healthcare to many. Since lockdown measures during covid19, more people have reported using online and health helplines to manage their situation. Many people also find updates and research on vaccines and treatments helpful, providing a sense of relief and hope.
Chronic disease, an illness that lasts for at least three months (such as cancer), is a significant concern for healthcare workers. The gravity of these diseases is illustrated by a statistic from The World Health Organization, which claims that chronic diseases cause over half of reported deaths in India.
COVID-19 has made it harder to treat chronic conditions. The pandemic has led to an increased use of telemedicine, a unique way to manage chronic disease and still maintain quality care. One aspect of telemedicine is remote patient monitoring, which involves communicating with healthcare workers virtually.
As the world gradually returns to normal, the popularity of telemedicine has continued to increase.
How Telemedicine Helps Treat Chronic Diseases
India’s rural population is reportedly around 85 crore, and healthcare is not readily accessible in these areas. Patients with chronic diseases often need specialized care that cannot be found.
Fortunately, telemedicine helps solve the issue of difficult access. It allows patients to consult specialists from home while reducing travel costs.
Advantages of Telemedicine
Those with chronic diseases often experience new symptoms, which can be concerning. By consulting doctors via video, patients can efficiently get treatment and avoid any repercussions of ignoring new signs.
Telemedicine also decreases the level of hospital readmissions. If doctors can monitor the patient remotely, they can ensure that they maintain an efficient treatment plan.
Ourdoctor telemedicine services makes it easy for patients who do not have health insurance be able to see a physician from the comfort of their own home or anywhere where they have .a laptop, phone, or tablet as well as internet access. Visit Ourdoctor.com for more information about how you can sign up and schedule your online doctor consultation.
Telemedicine, a physically distanced way to receive medical help, allows patients to receive treatment and diagnosis from medical professionals from their own homes to remain physically distanced.
The American College of Rheumatology presented new statistics at the ACR’s annual conference, showing that telemedicine’s increased use has led to a decreased amount of appointment cancellations. Using webcams, smartphones, and other HIPPA compliant video messaging platforms, medical professionals, doctors, and nurses can safely provide care from a different location than their patients.
When COVID-19 began, rheumatology clinics and medical practices had to cut down on the number of patients they could see due to infection risk, especially with their higher-risk patients. With less accessible appointments comes an increased risk of disease flares and even the need for hospitalization.
Telemedicine allows these patients to receive care while following the proper precautions to ensure they stay as healthy as possible and are not at risk of contracting the virus.
In an attempt to see how the recent use of telemedicine could affect the number of cancellations and no shows at rheumatology clinics, researchers from Cleveland, Ohio’s MetroHealth Medical Center compared retrospective data spanning 20 weeks. During the ten-week pre-COVID phase, from January 3rd to March 10th, clinics only offered appointments in the rheumatology clinics. Data from these weeks showed that about 31% of appointments were canceled.
Over the next ten weeks, from March 16th to May 31st, there were almost zero cancellations with the addition of telemedicine. The second phase of data also revealed an increase in completed appointments compared to when telemedicine was not an option.
More diagnostic appointments, such as joint injections, will still require in-person care. More technical appointments can be administered with telemedicine. The convenience of digital visits with telemedicine lowers cancellations by making appointments more accessible.
Moving forward, MetroHealth’s Division of Rheumatology hopes to have up to 40% of follow-up visits conducted via telemedicine.
Just about anyone who has been to an emergency room knows that care in the ER is anything but urgent. Unless you come in with a life-threatening injury on a stretcher, chances are, you will wait for hours before being seen. This inconvenience is incredibly frustrating for someone dealing with an acute health crisis who require immediate attention. Patient care is often compromised as doctors hurry through patients, and most patients leave unsatisfied with their experience.
A University of Texas researcher decided to take a closer look at the issue by investigating whether or not the use of telemedicine could help solve ER overcrowding. Researcher Dr. Shujing Sun explained that the enormous problem is large patient flow and small ER room capacity. In other words, there is no room in the ER to service the number of people who need to be seen after hours when no other health provider is available.
She explained that the ER’s overcrowding issue is straining the safety net the ER was created to provide, and urgent action needs to be taken to address the issue. To decrease financial costs, increase patient satisfaction, and reduce mortality rates, a better way to handle ER patients needs to be devised.
Along with her colleagues, Dr. Sun looked at how telemedicine could help remedy the overcrowding. While telemedicine has seen a massive surge in adaptation since the pandemic, it has not yet fully been utilized within the field of emergency medicine.
Sun described two significant changes to the way ER telemedicine is presented versus traditional home-based telemedicine. First, patients have to offer when they need the ER. Second, telemedicine allows on-site assistance from various physicians instead of just limited staff within the ER service.
ER visits increased 27% from 2000 to 2015, and the COVID-19 pandemic is expecting to continue to spur further increases. ER telemedicine aims to help increase physician efficiency and facilitate workflow. The study found that ER telemedicine could help rescue wait times and reduce the length of stay by merely reducing ER waiting time.
There has been a surge in the adoption and implementation of telemedicine, especially with the coronavirus pandemic crisis. For this reason, the US Healthcare officials recently converged at the Becker’s Healthcare Telehealth Virtual Forum to address the challenges and opportunities in telehealth and virtual care. The following eight observations were reported.
- Organizations that had invested in telehealth confirmed that they were well equipped for more virtual services even though some of the systems still faced significant setbacks following the increasing demand
- Telemedicine has offered significant support to numerous US health systems, particularly during the pandemic. However, some of the significant challenges affecting them include lack of broadband internet access or video recording devices by patients.
- Telemedicine in the post-pandemic era will depend on factors such as government regulations and demand for such services. It is, however, unclear how it will incorporate into specialty care.
- Hospitals should invest in efficient and straightforward digital workflows for easy virtual operations. Besides, patient information should be readily available in the EHR once they are logged in for a virtual session.
- Artificial Intelligence has not been fully exploited in telemedicine, and there are innumerable possibilities of integrating it into healthcare.
- Consumer and payer demand will define the ultimate business model of telehealth after the pandemic. Patients will be provided with a range of payment options, while payers will have to integrate telehealth into their value-based care models. However, this changeover will pose a significant risk to the many providers still based on a fee-for-service environment.
- Challenges such as government regulations and healthcare systems are bound to affect the future of new virtual care and telehealth services. As such, providers will have to partner with vendors to ensure that the new implementations serve the patient population equally.
- Coronavirus has disrupted the training system for clinicians and patients on telehealth. However, healthcare systems need to advance their approaches and counter the massive demand for telehealth services in a limited time frame. Leaders proposed developing training materials in chapters that can be easily uploaded as platforms are subject to change.
With all these factors in mind, telemedicine will evolve because of virtual healthcare demand to continue to keep people safe.
|The year 2020 has seen a tremendous increase in the number of people utilizing telehealth services. With Covid-19 still ravaging our social setup and the way we work, telemedicine may be the new way of accessing health care services without risking infection. It is safe because patients do not have to meet with their healthcare providers physically Telemedicine has been here for years now.|
There is no doubt it’s the next best alternative in situations where the patient cannot meet with their healthcare provider. But, can this approach still be practical on patients with lung cancer? Let’s dive in and find out how it’s affecting these categories of patients.
A study from Therapeutic Advances in Chronic Disease that was conducted using the World Health Organization Quality of Life (WHOQOL), among other scales, revealed that patients who received medicine via telemedicine generally had a higher quality of life compared to those on usual care. The study was conducted on 635 patients with lung cancer. Among the telemedicine options deployed was communication through phone and website.
Longer Follow-Up Time Equaled a Better Quality of Life
The researchers embarked on finding out if the follow-up time on telemedicine patients impacted their quality of life. The maximum follow-up duration was set at eight months. It was noted that patients on telemedicine with a longer follow-up time had a better quality of life. Even in the shortest follow-up times (less than three months), patients on telemedicine still had a better quality of life than their usual care counterparts.
The Type of Telemedicine Used Had an Impact
The patients were divided into smaller subgroups to find out which type of telemedicine bore the most benefits. Patients engaging in telephone communications were found to live a better life quality than those using web-based communication. The difference in the quality of life between patients on web-based communication and usual care was not significant.
Lower Depression and Anxiety Levels with Telemedicine
Four studies were carried out on patients regarding their level of anxiety. Patients on telemedicine showed better results compared to their counterparts on usual care. Depression levels were also lower in patients on telemedicine, according to 3 studies on 287 patients.
Telemedicine is an effective method of improving the quality of life in lung cancer patients. Even though the studies were carried out on a small number of patients with varying heterogeneity levels, it still proved to provide specific and unique benefits for an improved quality of life.
Of all the perks healthcare providers can get from medicine, saving time and money by serving patients on time is vital. Thanks to this platform, patients do not need to drive long distances to see their doctors. All they need is an internet-supported platform to enjoy healthcare services from the comfort of their homes.
Due to the increase in infections resulting from COVID-19, telemedicine could be the only thing that can amelioratedoctor-patient interactions. The need to reduce infections as a result of physical interactions in healthcare institutions is essential. As more people embrace the idea of virtually consulting with their doctors, containing the virus and other infections will be easy. With time, both the patients and providers can take advantage of all the resources needed to save time and money.
Until recently, doctors had no way of billing patients for the services they provided using telemedicine. But since more patients are coming out to seek telehealth services, the medical sector is looking to find ways of ensuring they get the patient-focused care they need.
In the past, healthcare providers only relied on telemedicine to diagnose patients with spine conditions. Patients were required to provide their details through the web forms of calling their doctors directly to request a review of their spine MRI. They could receive their results via phone or email. Once their spine diagnosis was confirmed, they were required to make physical visits to the nearest spine care institution for treatment.
The success of telemedicine can only depend on two factors, as summarized below:
- Virtual healthcare platform for doctors to connect with patients, Ourdoctor telemedicine service.
- Healthcare services need to comply with HIPAA regulations that allow them to know the patient’s medical history. This is in order to make an accurate diagnosis and develop the best intervention to resolve their medical issues.
With these two factors working in tandem, telemecidine can be successful in taking care of virtual diagnosing of patients virtually.