When a person suffers from a medical condition, how many times do medical professionals and family members ask the question, “What would the outcome have been if someone had responded quicker?” This is one question that may not be asked through the use of telemedicine and remote healthcare.
The popularity of telemedicine and remote healthcare is growing. It is estimated that the telemedicine and remote healthcare market will grow from about $1 billion in 2016 to $6 billion by 2020. More and more healthcare providers and HMOs are adopting telemedicine and remote healthcare into their covered services.
What is telemedicine and remote healthcare?
Endorsed by the American Medical Association in June 2014, telemedicine and remote healthcare saves time, helps patients during off-hours, and delivers care to patients who live in remote areas or may have difficulty getting to medical facilities. An Internet or telephone connection is required to participate in telemedicine and remote healthcare services.
Telemedicine and remote healthcare gathers medical information from patients using cell phones, handheld personal digital assistant devices, or laptop/desktop computers. The information is then transmitted to medical professionals using voice messages over the phone, text messages, email, or live streaming audio or video.
Internet connections can also be used to search for telemedicine and remote healthcare services. Once connected with a physican or medical professional, the wait time is usually minimal, about 30 to 40 minutes. The physican or medical professional will take their time getting to know the details and symptoms of the situation. Should prescription medication be necessary, the physican or medical professional will contact the pharmacy.
The ultimate goal of telemedicine or remote healthcare is to provide better treatment for patients at a lower cost.
Diabetes, Hypertension, Congestive Heart Failure
Patients suffering from diabetes, hypertension, and/or congestive heart failure could stand to benefit the most from telemedicine and remote healthcare services. Some of a patient’s vitals and symptoms can be monitored closely at any time of day, without an appointment or even living their home.
Diabetic, hypertension, and congestive heart failure patients could see their quality of life improve greatly because the risk of complications or deterioration is reduced due to vital and symptom monitoring.