Telemedicine was nice to have in the past but quickly became a necessity in the wake of the novel COVID-19, pandemic. With all leaders and medical practitioners calling for social distancing to halt the spread of the virus, telehealth emerged as the safest practical solution for delivering healthcare in the affected areas. However, things are getting back to normal, and while post-pandemic will be a relief for many in the healthcare industry, various things are bound to change. In the past, telemedicine was more of a perk that comes alongside primary healthcare services. Today, practitioners can charge for the service, which predicts a future where telemedicine is part of healthcare delivery.
The aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic calls for readjustments that include preparing healthcare facilities for the return of normal operations. For many, telemedicine will still be invaluable, at least until a vaccine is available for the virus. Even then, telemedicine is expected to take root in future healthcare provision. It involves delivering healthcare remotely over the telephone or internet services, such as web conferencing. Disease diagnosis, patient tracking, routine physical examinations, and conversational therapy can be delivered through telehealth, which is cost-effective and time-saving.
For healthcare practitioners, telemedicine provides a necessary tool that minimizes exposure to the virus. It also reduces traffic to the facility. Lending some operations to the online model also comes with the inherent benefits of the internet, ranging from convenience to efficient patient management. The model should allow easy updating of patient information and meet specific standards to ensure safe and seamless healthcare delivery. This calls for training and development of new tools that can facilitate the remote delivery of healthcare.
Telehealth already had massive support before the pandemic and is hardly novel in the industry. However, its necessity was highlighted by the virus, setting the stage to catapult telemedicine to mainstream healthcare provision. Many facilities will be keen to adapt their practices to the online model and incorporates telehealth, which can now be targeted for new income streams for the clinics and hospitals.