Post Date: May 3, 2016

The need for telemedicine in the urban setting is greater than ever. The United States in particular has too few primary care physicians to meet the needs of the population and, more people are faced with a lack of time, transportation, or resources to spend a day at the doctor’s office. With the use of telemedicine, more of the people that need medical care can access it.

Consider the Lack of Providers

Some surveys have found that nearly 80 percent of adults visit emergency rooms because they do not have another provider to turn to and 48 percent go because their doctor is not available. This lack of access to doctors limits a person’s ability to get care. But it is not the only reason that telemedicine can change the overall well being of patients.

How Telemedicine Changes Urban Care

With the use of telemedicine, it becomes possible to reach a larger group of people in a more practical way. The same doctor can treat numerous patients in a far more streamlined manner without having to have patients come in. Imagine, for example, a single mother who has a child that has an ear infection. She is forced to miss work, and therefore pay, to visit a doctor’s office when she already likely knows that the child is ill, knows what the child needs, and doesn’t need an extensive testing.

Nevertheless, there are many struggles to establishing telemedicine in today’s urban setting. It may not meet the requirements, for example, of Medicare or Medicaid. In some cases, there is the need for physicians to have licensing updates to provide further coverage beyond traditional state borders. And, communication infrastructure needs to be updated to ensure a lack of resources does not limit Internet connectivity for these patients.

However, when proper structures are in place, individuals can thrive using telemedicine over other types of treatment options ultimately saving government-sponsored health programs money and improving overall quality of life for those in need.