As telemedicine develops and gains traction in healthcare, the specialty of cardiovascular care, in particular, is benefiting tremendously. Telecardiology aims to streamline the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease through real-time and remote technology. Innovations in cardiac rehab, cancer care, and pediatric cardiology not only benefit patients but help physicians to work more efficiently.
Cardiac rehab is a medically supervised program created to help patients recover and improve the quality of life following a heart attack, heart failure, or other heart problems. Compliance with cardiac rehab dramatically impacts the recovery and outcomes, but often patients struggle with attending appointments due to living in a rural area or requiring physical assistance. Telemedicine is gaining recognition in the ability to raise the compliance rates of patients undergoing cardiac rehab significantly. By removing the barriers patients face in transportation to and from appointments, telemedicine gives patients the ability to attend and complete their rehab from any location.
Cancer treatment can cause the development of various cardiac complications. For cancer patients who are fighting the disease, having to see a cardiologist can be very difficult. Patient evaluations often don’t require the full resources of a hospital and can be done in local clinics. Telemedicine gives cardiologists the ability to conduct thorough exams remotely, while nurses and medical assistants perform screening and diagnostic tasks. Patients only have to go to their local clinic or regional hospital.
In the scope of pediatric cardiology, videoconferencing technology helps reduce disturbances in the busy schedules of families, who don’t need to miss much work or school to attend virtual appointments. Students can conference with their physicians at school on break, while parents can participate in the meetings from work. An added benefit of videoconferencing over a simple phone call is the ability of the physician to pick up on facial expressions that can help them understand where the patient or the parent is confused, and direct discussion as such.