The Coronavirus and Telemedicine: A Viable Option

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread each day. As of today, the WHO (World Health Organization) estimates as many as 101,927 people are infected, and there have been numerous deaths. Telemedicine can be a valuable tool to utilize and help ease the possibility of catching the disease.

What is Telemedicine
You still see your regular doctor or an emergency physician. Instead of personal contact, the doctor sees patients via a computer using a program such as Skype, Zoom, or even FaceTime. According to Dr. Alexander Vo of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), University in Austin, Texas, describes it as direct-consumer technology in the medical field.

Telemedicine and CVID-19
The growing telemedicine services provide care to those who either can’t see a physician. It can also treat other illnesses by diagnosing them via a computer. It is ideal for patients only needing medication or those with mild symptoms of a cold or the flu. It can aid patients by avoiding contact with other people in clinical or hospital settings where contamination can occur.

Dr. Vo serves as the Vice President of Telemedicine and Health Innovations at UTMB. He stated that this method could help by slowing down the infection and could help stop the growth of this contagion. It will reduce the transmission of other diseases by lessening direct contact with others in a waiting room or hospital emergency room.

It is also useful for those exhibiting CVID-19 symptoms. Doctors and healthcare professionals can prescreen for Coronavirus using this growing technology. When a case is suspected, the clinician can arrange for those individuals to get tested in a safe and isolated situation.

Telemedicine helps reduce infections by limiting exposure to others. People need to take extra precautions when it comes to this virus. It can spread rapidly, infecting hundreds each day. One of the best ways to try to manage and cut down exposure is through this new technology.

Studies conducted at the CDC (Center for Disease Control) show that 85 percent of seniors aged 65 years or more have one of the everyday lifestyle or old age conditions, including diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and arthritis – and this can mean high healthcare costs.


The struggle to deliver affordable and accessible health care to seniors may worsen instead of improving. A report released by the Population Reference Bureaus predicts a 75 percent jump in the number of American seniors in need of home-based nursing care by 2030. The same report indicates that the number of individuals aged 65 years and above will increase to 98 million people by 2060 from today’s 46 million – this is expected to strain the delivery of care to the elders.


Health practitioners are considering introducing telemedicine to bring healthcare to seniors and cut the cost.
Telemedicine is expected to address these challenges:

Older people struggle to show up for an appointment: Such conditions as Parkinson’s disease, mobility problems, and arthritis prevent seniors from traveling to seek medical care. Those without children or spouses can be isolated.

Care providers lack visibility: primary care providers are often uninformed of the seniors’ recent health history or need for new medications. The lack of clarity makes it challenging to deliver effective care.
Communities often don’t have on-site expertise: medically fragile seniors often find themselves living in communities without sufficient physicians who can avail care as quickly as possible.

The benefits of telemedicine to the healthcare of seniors can be put into four categories:
Disease management: Seniors with chronic conditions often worry that their days are numbered. With telemedicine, however, the management of these diseases becomes easier and adds more years to the seniors’ lives.

Convenience: Telemedicine removes the need to travel to health care centers or wait for physicians.

Fewer hospitalizations: Since telemedicine provides on-site care where the seniors are, there is no need to be hospitalized at a health care center.

Better visibility and coordination: With telemedicine, doctors will stay abreast of the senior’s changing medical conditions and respond to them in real-time.
Staying healthy at old age

Staying healthy at old age, as more American seniors get old, there is a need to cut improve access to care and cut the cost of care by rolling out large scale telemedicine. Telemedicine lets seniors live vibrant lives for longer.

As telemedicine develops and gains traction in healthcare, the specialty of cardiovascular care, in particular, is benefiting tremendously. Telecardiology aims to streamline the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease through real-time and remote technology. Innovations in cardiac rehab, cancer care, and pediatric cardiology not only benefit patients but help physicians to work more efficiently.


Cardiac rehab is a medically supervised program created to help patients recover and improve the quality of life following a heart attack, heart failure, or other heart problems. Compliance with cardiac rehab dramatically impacts the recovery and outcomes, but often patients struggle with attending appointments due to living in a rural area or requiring physical assistance. Telemedicine is gaining recognition in the ability to raise the compliance rates of patients undergoing cardiac rehab significantly. By removing the barriers patients face in transportation to and from appointments, telemedicine gives patients the ability to attend and complete their rehab from any location.


Cancer treatment can cause the development of various cardiac complications. For cancer patients who are fighting the disease, having to see a cardiologist can be very difficult. Patient evaluations often don’t require the full resources of a hospital and can be done in local clinics. Telemedicine gives cardiologists the ability to conduct thorough exams remotely, while nurses and medical assistants perform screening and diagnostic tasks. Patients only have to go to their local clinic or regional hospital.


In the scope of pediatric cardiology, videoconferencing technology helps reduce disturbances in the busy schedules of families, who don’t need to miss much work or school to attend virtual appointments. Students can conference with their physicians at school on break, while parents can participate in the meetings from work. An added benefit of videoconferencing over a simple phone call is the ability of the physician to pick up on facial expressions that can help them understand where the patient or the parent is confused, and direct discussion as such.

Due to the ongoing flu season, Ourdoctor recommends patients to stay at home.
Ourdoctor telemedicine system can be used by people with flu symptoms instead of one having to visit an emergency room or a doctor. Kyle Rao Ourdoctor CEO asserts that flu is a significant health problem since it spreads very fast. It is thus crucial to help prevent its spread, which is why they are advocating for minimal movement among patients.
According to Rao, the disease makes one quite uncomfortable, which is why it is vital to make patients feel comfortable besides helping curb its spread.


Ourdoctor conducts virtual visits for patients with life-threatening conditions. Ourdoctor services are available to any citizen above three years within the state. Further, one is not required to have been a regular patient to receive services.
According to Rao, flu is among the leading life-threatening conditions around this season.


During this season,
According to the Center for Disease Control, the flu season runs from October to May. Hospitals in Michigan have put in place measures to restrict visitors to help prevent the disease’s spread. There has been an increase in the use of virtual visits in the recent past as the technology becomes popular among the population.


Ourdoctor has gradually recorded an increase in usage, according to Rao. At present, the application receives patients every day with the last year.
Rao, asserts that during this flu season, close to 65 percent of virtual visits were related to flu. To learn more about Ourdoctor visit Ourdoctor.com

There has been a significant shift on what consumers expect from health care services in recent times. These days, consumers expect health care providers to meet not just the requirements but also go beyond to meet their emotional needs. Telemedicine has been a new concept, but in the world of the internet, it is developing with lightning speed.

So what is telemedicine? This phenomenon is the remote delivery of healthcare services — for example, health consultations and assessments, diagnosis, and patient treatment using standard technology such as smartphones. As the health industry seeks to provide efficient ways to deliver healthcare—at a lesser cost, telemedicine has been at the forefront in realizing this dream.

Leaders in health say that this consumerization of the treatment process has been most beneficial. However, putting healthcare tools in the hands of consumers requires more exceptional care and oversight for the best results.

Wellness Devices vs. Traditional Medical Devices

Traditional medical devices monitor, mitigate, and treat certain illnesses and conditions. On the other hand, a wellness device, for example, a smartwatch, can monitor health-related information and promote a general state of health. However, wellness devices do not treat or diagnose a condition.

Despite the notable differences, these two categories are coming closer to developments in technology. For example, an Apple watch can be used to track your heart rate while some models even support electrocardiography and also work together with a blood glucose monitor.

The production of medical devices has also shifted to making them consumer-friendly and easy to use at home. This feature enables non-practitioners to view the data while the practitioners interpret it, making diagnosis and treatment more comfortable.

The Future of Telemedicine

According to Grand View Research, the linked health and wellness devices market is anticipated to hit $612 billion by 2024. Meanwhile, according to MarketsAndMarkts, the wearable medical device market is also likely to see a surge with $14.4 billion by the year 2022. These figures are just a slight indication of the push towards in-home patient care, where with time, we might experience patients themselves using the formerly traditional medical devices.

Dr. Samir Qamar of MedWand believes that significant advancements are to be expected in the medical industry in general thanks to telemedicine. He goes on to say that the big problem over the years has been people interpreting the data they see. However, when you pair the consumerization of medical devices with medical interpretation, then there will be a success.

Wrapping Up

There are dangers associated with telemedicine, like the wrong interpretation of data and possible attacks by hackers. Despite this, the consumerization of healthcare is giving a more significant focus on patient experience. It is an excellent shift from the disease-oriented model we have today, to that which is patient-oriented. Any practitioner who approaches treatment from the patient’s perspective will have changed the game.

Students living in rural areas in Bledsoe and surrounding counties are getting free medical care services thanks to telehealth, through the Chattanooga-based Erlanger Health System.


Telehealth (also known as telemedicine) uses electronic information and telecommunication technologies to offer long-distance clinical health care. Telemedicine centers on populations that have barriers to health care, including rural communities, poverty-stricken regions, or homebound people. Telemedicine is sustained by grants, funds, and other donations from organizations, such as the Lyndhurst Foundation and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Chattanooga.


According to the National Association of School Nurses website, telehealth can significantly reduce the outbreak of infectious diseases, help manage chronic health conditions, and improve school attendance among students. Besides, it can enhance the work productivity of teachers, support staff, and parents.


Erlanger finances this effort at no cost to the schools in the region schools. It uses students’ health insurance to cover the cost of virtual visits—if a student has a health cover. Hence, the grant funds only include virtual appointments of students who are not covered. Erlanger also helps such students and their families to enroll in TennCare.


In August 2019, the program was implemented in five schools after the Bledsoe County School Board’s vote. From August 2019, 75 children, as well as faculty and staff members, have accessed medical care through telehealth.


Symptoms that warrant telemedicine includes sore throat, fever, and congestion. When a student has these symptoms, the school calls their parents or guardians to ask if they should use the service or take the student to their regular provider. Notably, some conditions, such as head and physical injuries, cuts that need stitching, complicated infections, serious illness, and traumatic injuries, cannot be treated through the program.


Trained nurses in communication with Erlanger nurse practitioners conduct visits, which happen within 10 to 15 minutes. An Erlanger nurse practitioner watches through a webcam as the student’s parent joins in through the phone.


As a result, most students are treated faster than they used to be returning to school quicker. They do not have to miss school when the condition is non-contagious. Also, studies show that more than 50% of teachers treated through telehealth have been able to resume work immediately. As a result, this program has also helped schools save much money on substitute teachers.

Telemedicine has rapidly gained popularity thanks to its ability to remotely avail medical care over the email, phone, or video chat. Today, people can access birth control, dermatological care, HIV preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP), therapy, erectile dysfunction medications, therapy, and UTI treatments from wherever they are, without visiting a doctor’s office.

Well, the harsh realities– where inmates have complex medical needs and accessing an offsite doctor is a lengthy process– telemedicine has proved to be primarily an integral part of prison health care.

How telemedicine has improved health care in prison

Telemedicine is considered a better alternative to manage the demand for medical care in prison. Here’s how telemedicine has helped:

Shorter waiting time

Telemedicine is a vital triage system. The specialist can go over complaints and do a moderate physical exam with or without the help of an on-site medical staff as well as order diagnostic lab tests if need be. That means that those inmates whose health conditions do not need in-person care don’t have to deal with the logistical difficulties of going to the hospital. Given that inmates are more susceptible to all manner of illness, this reduces the waiting time to receive medical care.

Better specialist-patient engagement

Inmates don’t have to be handcuffed when receiving care. That means the patients can engage directly with the specialists on an equal level. Besides, it is easier to talk to patients (mainly through video chats) when the guards aren’t surrounding the conversation. Even when present, the guards won’t be imposing as they might be when handcuffed to an offsite hospital.

Better health outcomes

Telemedicine has significantly enhanced health care, especially for common conditions among the prison populace. For inmates who are HIV positive, telemedicine has enabled them to have better health outcomes like lower viral loads and stronger immune systems. For hepatitis C patients, diagnosis and treatment have shown similar improvements.

Minimal or no travels

In the past, physicians had to deal with long trips and extensive security to see patients at prisons. Today, they can see them from the comfort of their office. Also, inmates who had to travel offsite for care now leave the prison only for appointments that need in-person care like surgery.

Bottom Line

Telemedicine is a genuinely transformative force for inmates who need specialized healthcare. It has connected inmates to service providers they would not otherwise have access to, and improved provision of services.

In recent decades, everything seems to be moving online, and healthcare should be no different. The healthcare industry changes all the time to make room for new research findings and integrate new systems. Today’s medical industry has changed in ways like never seen before. With the growth of the internet and the dominance of smart devices, people are gradually warming up to the ides of receiving healthcare online. Welcome to telemedicine.

Although you might have just heard of it, this word is older than you can imagine. It is just that the technology is finally finding a home in this decade. Tech companies may have played a big part in this by easing the transition by training people to take care of several things right from home. You can now get your grocery on Instacart or watch the latest movie on Netflix without moving an inch.

When it comes to health, the same applies. Using virtual medicine companies like OurDoctor, can help you get appointments faster than usual. The idea of many telemedicine companies is to keep as many people at home as possible, and rightly so. For example, a flu-stricken patient may be unable or unwilling to go to see a doctor.

With telemedicine, the patient can receive all the help needed online by scheduling a quick video checkup. Dermatology exams, therapy, or pink eye is treatable at home. Just turn on the camera and have a chat with your doctor. To a degree, this long-distance seems to be working. We have noticed tremendous growth in the use of telemedicine over the years. Teladoc, for example, on its busiest day last year, saw over 10,000 patients use their services in one day.

By keeping patients at home, the Telemedicine companies are helping prevent the spread of germs from ailments such as the flu. Another reason for telemedicine is that it helps treat the small maladies at home, while the doctors on the ground focus on the more critical cases.

So who pays?

For the many citizens using Medicare and Medicaid, your fellow taxpayers typically absorb that cost. For the people with health insurance from their bosses, the workforce might end up clearing your bill.

What we have concluded is that most telemedicine visits are from people who would have otherwise stayed at home. If this trend continues, it could mean saving healthcare some money. However, keep in mind that each time you make a telematics visit, a new bill pops up that someone has to pay.

Telemedicine Can Help Fix Overcrowded Doctors Offices with Online Appointments

Healthcare problems are prevalent in all administrations across the globe. From low insurance covers to high cost of medical treatment and overcrowded facilities, the healthcare system is in dire need of an adjustment. Over the last few years, telemedicine has become quite popular within the medical community. In the US alone, around 7 million patients used some kind of telemedicine service in 2018. Pundits expect this number to increase tremendously, considering more than half of US hospitals use telemedicine and there are more than 200 such networks in the country.

How can telemedicine fix overcrowded doctor offices?

Telemedicine simply refers to doctors treating patients remotely instead of face-to-face. It may entail the use of videoconferencing, especially if the doctor needs to inspect the symptoms. Asynchronous telemedicine is also a popular practice that involves using messaging platforms such as email. This is ideal for discussing symptoms and ongoing monitoring that does not require real-time communication. According to experts, 80 to 90% of conditions patients visit the doctor for can be diagnosed and prescribed remotely. This means over half the traffic can be served without the need to show up at a physical premise. Telemedicine makes it effortless to schedule online appointments and provide medical services from anywhere in the world. All you need is an internet connection. Telemedicine can leverage video chats and online messaging to provide comprehensive, 24/7 healthcare.

Benefits of telemedicine

Several organizations do not follow the traditional health insurance model. For most people who lack the resources to see a doctor in person. Maybe you are going to school, work long hours beyond regular business hours, or have no transportation to reach your doctor. Telemedicine is also appealing for those without insurance, which is roughly 27.5 million Americans and also features low out-of-pocket-costs. What’s more, this option can help ease out the traffic and long waiting hours in doctor offices. With digital healthcare apps, telemedicine can quickly improve organization, outpatient monitoring and recordkeeping.

Medi-Cal is an extensive program offered by Medicaid. Currently, their services are available to over 13.5 million residents in California. They have been working on some new policies to enable them to increase reimbursement for telemedicine. They could not have done this at a better time. This is because there has been a shortage of doctors in the country. The practicing nurses and home care workers are also not as much.

With telemedicine, Medi-Cal can serve Californian citizens better. The program sees it as an efficient way to provide health care services using innovative communication and information technologies. This fosters the diagnosis of specific conditions and their treatment. Moreover, patients can access health education, consultation, and care management. They can even manage their health when their doctor is miles away.

Several policies were set regarding the provision of the reimbursed telemedicine services by Medi-Cal. They were put into effect on July 1, 2019, with the final plan being released by the Department of Health Care Services in August. Below are some of them:

Licensed Medi-Cal Providers Only

For one to offer the reimbursed telemedicine services to residents of California, they must be registered as Medi-Cal providers. On top of that, they must have a valid license to practice in California. This rule also applies to any non-physician medical providers in the state.

No Restrictions

Unlike the previous Californian Medicare policy, this new one comes without any restrictions on where the consultation should be done. If you are a patient benefiting from a reimbursed telemedicine service, you do not need to head to a health center to access it. Instead, you can comfortably do it from your home. All you need to do is have Medi-Cal coverage and meet all the guidelines that are required for telehealth.

Patient Consent

Under these new rules, health care providers cannot force their services on patients. They must be willing to get the services without coercion or blackmail. At the same time, the providers do not necessarily have to record any problem that they experience in an in-person visit. They also don’t have to state how a particular telehealth service is profitable.

It is important to note that Medi-Cal does not support all types of telemedicine. With the putting into effect of new policies, the program does not take care of any bills should a patient decide to buy a piece of telehealth equipment that the need. Also, providers who call them or send them emails do not get any compensation for it.

In addition to that, the guidelines do not allow them to pay for remote monitoring of patients to get health information through mobile phones or any other devices.