Virtual care and telemedicine are still at an early evolutionary stage. They still face regulatory uncertainty, low market penetration, and privacy concerns. As technology evolves, these challenges and circumstances will change.

To understand the industry’s direction, here are some notable regulatory trends.

In the US, the need for care during the COVID-19 pandemic pushed regulators to allow telehealth to be used in non-rural areas to limit people’s exposure to the virus. Telehealth became accessible to more people, and temporary codes were created to allow telehealth reimbursements in the 2021 physician schedule.

Software Regulation in Europe and US

A significant problem for the health regulatory sector has been how to regulate software used in the diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring of patients. The Food and Drug Administration has taken a more liberal approach in the US. It has signaled its intention only to regulate software that could harm a patient if it malfunctions.

In contrast, the approach regulates any software as long as it benefits a patient. In the EU, the relevant laws are the Medical Device Regulation and In Vitro Diagnostic Device Regulation.

Such clarity in the regulatory approach is essential to developers, medical professionals, and hospitals.

The US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is the federal agency responsible for setting regulations on healthcare reimbursement. During the pandemic, they eased limitations on reimbursement to increase access to care at a time of need. Beyond the pandemic, they have continued to reduce regulations on telemedicine by improving the number of services that can be reimbursed.

The EU passed The General Data Protection Regulation in 2018 to clarify how businesses should handle personal data collected from residents in the zone. In the first 12 months after the law came into force, people sent 89000 complaints to the supervisory body. Creating such bodies is crucial because it instills confidence that misuse of personal data is punishable.

Although most individuals can lose weight, few can maintain the weight loss. Luckily, rural Americans can now keep their weight off, thanks to telehealth. Could individual videoconferencing support be the long-awaited key to keeping additional pounds at bay? Research shows that telehealth or videoconferencing technologies can effectively deliver counseling after weight loss and reinforce people in remote areas to maintain long-term weight loss.

This insightful piece highlights telehealth yielding weight-loss outcomes similar to in-person interventions, especially during a pandemic. So keep reading.

Maintaining long-term results

Most people think that health issues like obesity and overweight belong to acute care problems. And many believe that once you treat it, you have closed that chapter. But it might just be the beginning of a new weight-loss chapter. It would help if you consistently work on it, relying on other support parties for continued weight-loss success. Someone needs to be by your side to help and challenge you.

However, distance and the new COVID-19 containment measures can be natural barriers to caring for individuals living in rural areas.

Remote weight-loss management

The emergence of the ongoing pandemic has helped remove the barriers mentioned above via increased access to telehealthcare. Today, professionals deliver telehealthcare remotely through the internet or telephone.

How do telehealth counseling approaches help?

According to Michael Perri, a senior research author, the chances are high that telehealth one-on-one counseling helps through supportive accountability. Most people under such a program know their counselor will keep working with them and show them support. In addition, they are also aware that the counselor will need to know their progress from time to time.

Individual telephone counseling holds participants accountable while keeping them more engaged in obesity management behavior. That includes self-monitoring in terms of eating and physical activity.

However, telehealth group counseling tends to be not as strong as in the case of one-on-one counseling. Why? Most individuals in group sessions appear to be more reluctant to discuss their progress than their counterparts in one-on-one sessions.

Additionally, telehealth group counseling sessions often face the challenge of low attendance. Still, the good news is that the individuals who participate in the group sessions do well at maintaining their body weight.

Bottom line

Telehealth through consistent telephone-based health coaching and video conferencing with education can effectively promote and maintain weight loss. Additionally, despite the ongoing COVID-19-related challenges, these interventions can effectively lead to sustainable exercise and eating habits changes.

About 22 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders. This is due to the limited number of clinics, living in remote areas, and a limited number of specialists. To make it worse, patients with sleep disorders have challenges accessing health care services.

Unlike before, the general population is now aware of the benefit of having a healthy sleep. Therefore, embracing telemedicine technology will help patients with sleep apnea disorder access better health care services.

Why use telemedicine for sleep apnea healthcare

Covid 19 restrictions and financial challenges are additional challenges facing the health care sector. Telemedicine has made it easier for sleep apnea patients to access these services.

How telemedicine works for sleep disorders

Telemedicine is a platform where you can meet your specialist without moving to the health center. The patients must have a mobile app on their phones or computers. Through the dashboard, the specialist can be able to;

  • Monitor the patient’s breathing and oxygen levels while you sleep.
  • Follow-up on the conditions on the patient and help the patient adjust CPAP therapy
  • Advise and prescribe the proper medication.

The benefits of telemedicine for sleep disorders

Easy access to health care

When using telemedicine, you don’t have to worry about transport costs, missed work, or child-care-related issues. Telemedicine makes patients become more actively involved in health care services before, during, and after hospitalization and avoids missing specialists care.

Time and cost-saving

The sleep disorder specialists can serve many patients at convenient times and in different locations. These reduce waiting time in the health care center. In addition, it saves the cost of moving patients from residents to the Hospital.

Allow use of Insurance cover.

Most insurance plans will cover telemedicine health care services after meeting the agreed payment. In addition, various sleep disorder health plans may require you to pay upfront and submit the bills for reimbursement.

Where to find a telemedicine provider

Telemedicine services can be accessed through online platforms or local sleep laboratories. In addition, you can liaise with your sleep specialist to set up virtual visits for sleep disorder care and therapies.

Final Remarks

Telemedicine has adversely bettered the well-being of patients diagnosed with sleep apnea illnesses. This technology has proved to be a convenient way for sleep specialists to treat and manage various sleep disorders.

Getting access to various surgical care services is a right for every individual. However, because many people live in remote areas, Pandemic and financial constraint access to surgical care services are challenging. Nevertheless, telemedicine technology through telehealth has become a helping tool to reduce various barriers of pre-and post-surgical care. This article will discuss how telehealth can be a helping tool in getting virtual surgical care assistance from your healthcare provider.

Improved access and quality of healthcare services

Telehealth technology allows surgical patients to get unlimited healthcare services remotely from their health practitioners. The patient must have certain levels of telehealth technology literacy to have a fruitful appointment with their doctors at the comfort of their home. There is no need to physically attend a hospital through telehealth technology, which might be tiresome, thus reducing travel time and cost. Patients access surgical care services even during Pandemics.

Reduced costs

In most cases, the money used on fuels or bus fare, as well as much time spent while attending to your hospital appointments, might be expensive. Surgical care services have become more accessible and less costly through telehealth appointments. You only need access to the telehealth appointments, network, digital, and health literacy to access your surgical care services.

Fewer missed appointments

Due to remote accessibility, rural settlement, or low-income level, most surgical patients end up missing the in-person doctor’s appointments. However, telehealth technology has resulted in an increased rate of surgical patients getting their surgical care services all time and without missing their appointments.

Patients and clinicians become more flexible.

Generally, in-person patient visit appointments are made within specific office hours. In addition, the positions require a schedule to be performed, thus, limiting patients’ time to receive thorough care during their doctor’s appointments. Therefore, telehealth technology has made it easier for patients to receive their surgical care conveniently. It has also helped doctors to plan their scheduled appointments with their patients at their convenient time limit without causing inconvenience to their surgical patients.

Final Word

Like in other health fields, Telehealth technology has enhanced surgical care services and improved patients’ outcomes. Challenges of pandemics, financial constraints, race, settlement in remote areas, telehealth technology illiteracy, and network accessibility hinder telehealth surgical care services. However, the article has discussed the benefit you can reap from Telehealth surgical services.

It’s the right for everyone to access better health care services. However, living in remote areas, pandemic restrictions, and low income may make accessing some health care services difficult. Accessing large urban medical centers with experts and advanced equipment may sometimes be challenging. Nevertheless, local health care centers help deal with acute and emergency health issues. As discussed below, Virtual Stroke Care is a helping tool in improving stroke prevention, recovery, and after stroke rehabilitation regardless of patients’ location.

Since stroke patients can lose over 1.9 brain cells per minute, timely treatment is crucial. To save the patient, through Telestroke, Doctors in distant sites work with doctors at the originating site or at the ambulances to recommend diagnosis and treatment. Clot-dissolving therapies delivered through Telestroke can help reduce stroke-related disability or death.

Help experts Serve patients in different locations.

After hospitalization, patients can continue receiving services from the stroke experts through Telestroke. Doctors at distant sites work with other doctors or staff in a remote locations to provide care to patients at their homes and remote hospitals. In addition, doctors at their homes can communicate with their patients with digital cameras, internet telecommunications, smartphones, or tablets.

Telestroke Ensure continuous health care services even during pandemics.

Patients experiencing some stroke symptoms are required to visit a doctor urgently. Additionally, patients who develop physical and cognitive problems need to see their doctors for rehabilitation. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has temporarily distracted this. Virtual Stroke Care has enabled continuous stroke care services without breaking the COVID-19 rules.

Telestroke Makes it easy for home-based rehabilitation therapy.

Many stroke patients may develop physical and cognitive problems and need stroke rehabilitation. However, physical and mental difficulties created during stroke, patients living in remote areas, Covid-19 restrictions, and travel costs may hinder physical meetings with specialists. Video Conferencing has provided an opportunity for patients to connect with their specialists easily.

Final Word

Like other fields, video-conferencing enhances healthcare and allows better outcomes for patients regardless of their locations. It enables the Stroke experts to save the patient from stroke-related disability or death from their homes, remote hospitals, and the primary stroke Center efficiently and quickly.

With the increase in destructive unnatural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, and forest fires, communities need to be more prepared for the aftermath with affordable healthcare. Telehealth is a real-time solution that facilitates the provision of healthcare using internet and intranet technologies.

Despite being an inexact science, telehealth still has components that offer robust solutions. The government plans to expand broadband, healthcare, and telehealth, making it the opportune time to develop telehealth and broadband-driven disaster recovery strategies.

Typically, natural disasters have three phases:

  • Unpredictable initial impact
  • Immediate aftershocks
  • Recovery

Telehealth can impact these natural disaster phases in the following ways:

Creating emergency health centers

Often, natural disasters can cause a power outage for a week or more. Advisably, before a disaster, various buildings need to be designated as telehealth and generator zones. The required equipment and telehealth kiosks would be ready for any recovery phase. These would be useful for people without access to power, the internet, or destroyed homes.

Expanding first responder’s reach

In the face of a disaster, first responders tend to receive a considerable share of immediate medical responses. They are equipped to reach out to clinics and hospitals to manage injuries. Paramedic vehicles need to be wirelessly enabled to facilitate patient treatment while heading to the hospital. The cars also need to be fitted with telemedicine tools to expand medical capabilities and healthcare to underserved and unreachable populations.

A broadband foundation

Natural disasters can destroy homes and buildings, making telehealth challenging to access. A community’s broadband network significantly impacts the technology’s ability to get through a disaster and quickly get back online. The broadband network needs to be designed to have less downtime even during a disaster. Telehealth stakeholders need to work with communities and cities to set up broadband that facilitates telehealth and disaster response.

In a nutshell, when properly implemented, telehealth can revolutionize how we prepare for and recover from disasters. It will help reduce mortality rates and improve access to general healthcare.

In 2021, Rock Health conducted an annual consumer adoption survey to track the prevalent modalities and telehealth user satisfaction. Accordingly, the survey depicted that urban dwellers, high-income earners, and people between 18 to 40 years were more likely to use telemedicine than the rest of the population.

Although telehealth should be accessible equally across the board, its adoption has remained skewed to recent findings. While the COVID-19 reshaped telehealth preference, the following population cohort were the most prolific users:

  • The young population comprising individuals from ages 18 to 44
  • People with a minimum income of $ 150,000
  • Adults with a history of chronic conditions

The 2021 Digital Health Consumer Adoption Survey that involved at least 8,000 U.S. adults showed that the least consumers of telehealth and people with no experience in telehealth include the following:

  • Adult above the age of 55
  • People with an average annual income of $ 35,000 and below
  • People living in the U.S. rural areas
  • Uninsured people
  • U.S. citizen taking no prescriptions

Although most primary healthcare providers in rural areas have introduced telehealth in 2020 and 2021, statistics show that 40% of rural respondents did use telehealth at all. Besides, 28% of the consumer of telehealth used the service for the first time. As a result, location remains pivotal in skewing telehealth access in the U.S. For example, 9% of rural respondents in the 2021 survey indicated that broadband and cellular connectivity remained the top barrier to telemedicine access.

Rock health survey also depicted that fewer men were likely to use telehealth compared to their female counterparts, a finding that contradicts the 2020 survey results. Besides, Non-white respondents such as Latinos, American Indians, Blacks, and Pacific Islanders used telehealth more than white respondents. This finding aligns with the 2020 Pew study that found Latinos and blacks use telehealth more than white respondents mainly because of health disparities.

Skew Towards Video Visits Preference

Rock Health survey indicates that 51% of the respondents preferred video telemedicine compared to other telehealth modalities. Unfortunately, video visit satisfaction rates declined between 2020 and 2021. The authors indicate that the latter is due to the shift in expectations around the purpose of telehealth. In 2020, the respondent believed telehealth as an alternative to in-person visits rather than a replacement to patient care in 2021. Virtual care assumed a new dimension, with the video visits increasing during the pandemic.

With the increasing accessibility to online health care, it is becoming increasingly easy for people to choose a different option from traditional healthcare providers. The shift towards online healthcare is also reducing the holiday fuss.

There are many benefits to choosing a digital practitioner over a traditional one.

Availability of Health Care in Remote Areas

If you’re going to be away from your home for this holiday season, make sure you have access to the internet. 

Patients can quickly get help with any medical problem they might be facing when visiting a doctor online. Even in a remote location, you can still contact your doctor by phone, text, or video chat.

Telemedicine services such as Ourdoctor allows users to talk to a healthcare professional from anywhere in the world.

Medical Help From Doctors During Travel

Telemedicine, the use of online services to provide healthcare needs, is an efficient way for people with seasonal illnesses or injuries to receive timely care.

Using online medical help is a good idea. A doctor can provide specialty care in your home via telemedicine reducing the need for physically visiting a doctors office.

Your doctor can give you advice when you are not physically in the office. You can consult with them via phone or text while remaining at home.

Prompt and Consistent Health Treatment

Telehealth provides the opportunity to interact with doctors and view images of conditions in real-time, which leads to better treatment outcomes for all involved.

Telemedicine is an innovation in healthcare offering access to medical services without taking up much time from your day.

You can get advice from a doctor on-demand using a telemedicine website such as Ourdoctor. Doctors can treat symptoms promptly and timely.

Online health care and medical services reduce reliance on traditional medical providers during the holidays.

Having access to telehealth technology has made it possible for doctors to work remotely with their patients, leading to more efficient care. Telehealth is also helping those who can’t travel due to living in remote areas or being too ill and can’t make it into a doctor’s office.

While telehealth is an affordable way for people to manage their healthcare needs, there are some things you should know before you use this option.

Is Telehealth the Future of Medicine?

The pandemic revealed the need for telehealth and a shift away from brick-and-mortar healthcare. It is an innovative and essential solution to the rising COVID-19 pandemic that has brought the rise of telehealth to the public eye.

The future of healthcare is rapidly becoming digital. Patients can use their mobile devices to schedule appointments with their physicians and healthcare professionals, complete health assessments, and view other important information online.

Healthcare providers are constantly looking for ways to limit the influx of patients while keeping them safe and healthy. Telehealth helps many people do this by allowing them to receive care in the comfort of their own homes.

The convenience, cost-effectiveness, and patient satisfaction associated with telehealth make it an ideal tool for many providers.

Orthopedic Option in Telehealth

Did you know that fractures, falls, and other bone damages are the leading causes of hospitalization? Hospitals may save money by providing orthopedic telehealth.

Telehealth can be a good option for those with an orthopedic issue that requires treatment.

Orthopedic Problems Using Telehealth

You may benefit from telehealth for orthopedics when you want to avoid a trip to the clinic or if you are looking for some minor problems that don’t need immediate attention.

These situations include:

  • Dealing with minor joint pain from arthritis;
  • They can also cause pain in the neck or sciatica;
  • Sprains, strains, and back pain are common issues for many people;
  • You may have to check with your doctor after minor, uncomplicated surgeries.

Did you know that the top reasons for hospital admissions are falls, fractures, and other bone trauma? By offering telehealth for orthopedics, hospitals can reduce admissions and stay within their budgets.

While telemedicine can grow dramatically over the next decade and help healthcare professionals, it still offers specific technical and practical challenges. For a long time, telemedicine has been centered on technology.
Furthermore, combining various technologies may result in massive data flows that are neither useful nor easy to manage (e.g., continuous monitoring of temperature and blood pressure) Certain constraints may impede the adoption, deployment, and scaling up of telemedicine and related technologies. It will take considerable training to guarantee that patients are comfortable with video teleconsultations and the usage of assistive technologies. Additionally, physicians require subspecialty-specific technological, clinical, and communication training. Moreover, access to broadband and Internet facilities is a significant barrier to telemedicine deployment in rural and under-resourced settings.

Telehealth requires stable broadband access, which is not always feasible for remote clinics and patients. When telemedicine technology is used, legal limits and a lack of clarity about what is permissible are possible, and these restrictions encourage telemedicine providers to exercise prudence. Certain conditions are not covered under health system legislation.

When adopting technologies and procedures to close gaps in the healthcare system, it is critical to question whether the gaps exist and establish the standards and goals of care and iterate toward these standards and ideals. Telemedical consultations fall short of the fidelity that an in-person physical exam provides in physical examinations, body language, verbal intonation, and scents. The commitment of the technology used in telemedical consultations must be constantly improved to achieve the same level of fidelity and information as an in-person visit.