In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and its resulting restrictions, many have changed how we navigate and receive goods and services. The health sector has been dramatically affected and influenced by the pandemic with the adoption of technological improvements that have allowed many to access healthcare from the comfort of their homes.

Below are some of the ways the pandemic has aided technological developments in the health sector:

Telehealth

It is a broad spectrum of health products and services and devices that utilize remote communication to collect and spread data related to health matters. This includes using a monitor to participate in medical seminars, collect medical data and issue prescriptions.

Telemedicine

On the other hand, telemedicine is a more direct means of communication between a medical professional and a patient through audio or video. It may involve sending data from a home medical sensor to a clinician who virtually explains what the data means and offers recommendations.

Health devices

With the stay at home’ recommendation issued, consumers needed the means to monitor some of their bodily functions, such as blood pressure and heart activity, to stay healthy. As a result, health devices were improved and developed to carry out such operations.

Some of these health devices include:

  • Smartwatches that can read blood pressure
  • Touchless digital thermometers
  • Personal EKG devices 
  • Pulse oximeter

However, when utilizing health devices, it is essential to remember that the readings differ in accuracy and repeatability with medical-grade devices. The term ‘FDA cleared’ plastered on the product implies that the FDA has gone over the manufacturer’s data backing up the product’s functionalities. It doesn’t mean they tested or looked at the outcome.

It is always advisable to take your health device to a physical clinician and compare readings with a medical-grade device to understand the discrepancies in readings and even tweak it to have better lessons.

The fantastic ability of technology to keep up with the pandemic’s effects has helped us successfully manage our health and understand our bodies better, thereby increasing the overall lifespan duration.

It always takes time for new technology to be appreciated because it can be challenging for people to give up their preconceived notions of how something should be to see the potential of what something can be. Telemedicine falls into this category. While telemedicine technology has existed for quite some time, no one was willing to adopt it until the Covid-19 pandemic hit, and suddenly the idea of a telehealth visit was appealing. Far past being just convenient, telemedicine can change the way we view and experience healthcare and is likely to be here to stay at this point.


One big way telemedicine will change the world of medicine is within the specialty field. Most people first visit their primary care physician (who you may have to wait to see) and then get referred out to a specialist who requires their wait. At this point, you will have paid for two visits and waited up to a month, if not more. You can cut out the wait and the extra weight in a world where a primary care doctor can instantly connect you to a specialist who can make a diagnosis on the spot. Sure, in some specialties like cardiology, this will not work for, but telemedicine can be a valuable tool in fields like dermatology.


Also, telemedicine makes it possible to get above the standard of care without leaving your home. Anyone who suffers from a rare or unusual health concern knows that to get the best doctors, you have to be willing to travel, which means many people don’t get the best care. However, in the world of telemedicine, you (or your doctor) can quickly consult with noted specialists in a field or diagnosis and deliver you a much better standard of care. Changes like these are going to make telemedicine the new gold standard, not a temporary convenience.

Covid-19 has changed medicine’s face in this country, which can be seen with patients who have rheumatoid arthritis. Many patients with this auto-immune disease have been conducting medical visits by telehealth.
Telehealth cuts down on the chances of contracting the virus. Many patients, especially those with co-occurring disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, are afraid of sitting in crowded waiting rooms.

Doctors have been looking at new ways to accommodate those who don’t want to do in-person visits. Telehealth has become one of the top methods of communicating with your healthcare professional during the pandemic. Telemedicine is diagnosing and treating patients by way of telecommunications technology. This usually involves the phone and the Internet and allows doctors to do video conferences with patients. It can also include mobile health apps, wearable devices that collect data, online health education, and sharing health information between providers.

Before the pandemic, telehealth was mostly offered to patients in rural areas. Adopting telehealth as a practice was hindered by confidentiality concerns, licensing requirements, administrative costs, and insurers not covering telehealth visits. Federal health officials have been working since the pandemic to remove and alleviate some of these concerns, especially with licensing and insurance. Because of this, more rheumatologists are offering telehealth visits.

A Canadian survey found that 44 percent of adults with rheumatic diseases, half of which had rheumatoid arthritis, had attended a telehealth appointment during the pandemic. Another survey found about two-thirds of rheumatology patients had had an appointment via telehealth.

Telehealth for rheumatoid arthritis can be effective as in-person treatment. However, there are some caveats to this. It is most effective with those who have already been diagnosed and treated for the auto-immune disorder. Rheumatologists worry that not seeing the patient’s joints in person may affect their ability to analyze and treat. Seventy-one percent of the respondents in the Canadian survey were happy with their treatment. However, rheumatologists still feel that face-to-face visits are the most important in treating the disease.
If you need a new diagnosis for rheumatoid arthritis, it is essential to see the doctor face to face. However, if you are an established patient undergoing treatment, telehealth might be right for you. You’ll need some way to communicate with your doctor during the visit, and this can either be by phone, computer, or even tablet. Your doctor will usually email you a link. Be sure to check with your insurance company to make sure the visit will be covered. If your visit is not covered by your insurance you can visit Ourdoctor.com to see a Doctor. Insurance coverage is not required for this visit.
COVID-19 has forced us to delve into new ways to provide healthcare services to patients. Telemedicine has been around for ages but only recently became necessary due to the constant need for social distancing in 2020. Physicians find that they can now successfully rely on technology to communicate with their patients about non-emergency health issues and follow-ups.

However, telemedicine will not die off when Covid does. There are a few good reasons as to why telemedicine would and should survive after the pandemic. Below I will be sharing five insightful reasons as to why telemedicine is here to stay.

1. Patient Demand: Patients love the convenience of doing virtual consultations with their medical practitioners. It saves the doctor and the patient a lot more time and prevents them from using their energy to come in for a face to face consultation.

The American Journal of Managed Care conducted a study where they deduced that telemedicine, by far, has become one of the most preferred methods for patients to have medical consultations with their doctors.

2. Convenience and Flexibility: Patients love telemedicine because of the convenience and flexibility that it has to offer. Patients can consult with their doctors anywhere, from their home’s comfort to even in the office during lunch hour.

In turn, patients will save themselves a lot of time from traveling and taking sick leave from work. Telemedicine will also help doctors take their time with patients as they will not have a waiting room filled with walk-in patients waiting to be seen.

3. Technology Continues to Improve: Technology is growing and improving with each day, which only means that telemedicine is only going to get better and more convenient in the future, especially with regards to remote work.
This will result in more efficient clinical feedback from doctors, which will increase the overall functionality of the medical industry.

4. Insurance Reimbursement: Insurance companies will have to adapt to the changes that telemedicine has to offer, such as more virtual appointments and fewer physical consultations. Some of these changes require insurance companies to make reimbursements as well.
Healthcare organizations will have to cater to patients living in rural areas without access to primary healthcare or even just people who prefer to do things virtually.

5. Health Equity: Not everyone has access to good healthcare services. Individual patients who live in rural areas but have smartphones will also access healthcare services now by the tap of a button on their smartphones. Access to smartphones helps eliminate inequality amongst underprivileged people of color and other privileged people globally, as everyone will somewhat have access to virtual healthcare services now.
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.

Conclusion

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.

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