There has been a significant shift on what consumers expect from health care services in recent times. These days, consumers expect health care providers to meet not just the requirements but also go beyond to meet their emotional needs. Telemedicine has been a new concept, but in the world of the internet, it is developing with lightning speed.
So what is telemedicine? This phenomenon is the remote delivery of healthcare services — for example, health consultations and assessments, diagnosis, and patient treatment using standard technology such as smartphones. As the health industry seeks to provide efficient ways to deliver healthcare—at a lesser cost, telemedicine has been at the forefront in realizing this dream.
Leaders in health say that this consumerization of the treatment process has been most beneficial. However, putting healthcare tools in the hands of consumers requires more exceptional care and oversight for the best results.
Wellness Devices vs. Traditional Medical Devices
Traditional medical devices monitor, mitigate, and treat certain illnesses and conditions. On the other hand, a wellness device, for example, a smartwatch, can monitor health-related information and promote a general state of health. However, wellness devices do not treat or diagnose a condition.
Despite the notable differences, these two categories are coming closer to developments in technology. For example, an Apple watch can be used to track your heart rate while some models even support electrocardiography and also work together with a blood glucose monitor.
The production of medical devices has also shifted to making them consumer-friendly and easy to use at home. This feature enables non-practitioners to view the data while the practitioners interpret it, making diagnosis and treatment more comfortable.
The Future of Telemedicine
According to Grand View Research, the linked health and wellness devices market is anticipated to hit $612 billion by 2024. Meanwhile, according to MarketsAndMarkts, the wearable medical device market is also likely to see a surge with $14.4 billion by the year 2022. These figures are just a slight indication of the push towards in-home patient care, where with time, we might experience patients themselves using the formerly traditional medical devices.
Dr. Samir Qamar of MedWand believes that significant advancements are to be expected in the medical industry in general thanks to telemedicine. He goes on to say that the big problem over the years has been people interpreting the data they see. However, when you pair the consumerization of medical devices with medical interpretation, then there will be a success.
There are dangers associated with telemedicine, like the wrong interpretation of data and possible attacks by hackers. Despite this, the consumerization of healthcare is giving a more significant focus on patient experience. It is an excellent shift from the disease-oriented model we have today, to that which is patient-oriented. Any practitioner who approaches treatment from the patient’s perspective will have changed the game.