People are getting more comfortable with technology as it gets absorbed in different industries. The medical industry is not different as health-care providers are slowly embracing telemedicine. Telemedicine is where the medical information of a patient is accessed using electronic media to diagnose and treat the patient. Telemedicine includes a wide range of applications including video conferencing, emails, and others.
Mayo Clinic is integrating the use of telemedicine services to benefit its patients. The Rochester clinic is leading in telehealth even as insurers continue resisting and some even refuse to give reimbursements. They have chosen to absorb the costs for the benefit of the patients. They have integrated video conferencing and are looking at other telecommunication technology that can be used to improve their services.
Telemedicine is a means where patients can access medical attention from different locations. One of the benefits of telemedicine according to Dr. Ommen is that patients will access physicians even from remote locations. Patients will save money that would have been used for travel expenses. Also, since there is a shortage of some specialists, physicians will avail their services to more patients who might not have physical access to them.
The shortage of physicians, mostly in rural areas is leading to the adoption of other telecommunication services as the use of smartphones and home computers for video conferencing. Hospital readmission rates can be reduced by telemedicine as it can prevent medical emergencies. It can also assist in investigating medical emergencies in places where hospitals are far.
Telemedicine is a huge market that is still unexplored. Insurers and employers are beginning to see that is part of medical care and are starting to pay for it. The biggest challenge to the adoption of telemedicine in medical centers is the reluctance of insurers to pay for it. Telemedicine remains an area of discussion in different states as supporters fight to ensure that it is covered by insurance companies. If telemedicine is insured, more clinics and hospitals will emulate Mayo Clinic and integrate it into their services.