The Future of Telemedicine – What Is it & How Does It Work?

The Future of Telemedicine - What Is it & How Does It Work
Telemedicine is an expanding business within the medical world.  Because of the current global health crisis, health care providers are offering more virtual appointments than ever before. 

Telemedicine has grown tremendously within the past six months and is now consider the main source of provider and patient interaction.  Because of technology increases and availability you are now able to reach your doctor and have your health managed in a more private and personal manner. 

Telemedicine is expected to grow exponentially within the next year as safety precautions are being utilized to maintain patient health.  Telemedicine is now a vital component of modern health care that will only increase in accessibility and usability in the future. 

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What is Telemedicine?

Telemedicine is the virtual care for patients by their doctors.  This occurs when patients and their physicians are not physically in the same space with each other.  Because of technological advancements, doctors are able to consult with the patients regarding any medical question, test, or evaluation. 

Telemedicine is a valuable tool because it provides medical care access to any patient regardless of their location.  This also eliminates the cost of parking and driving to the medical facility.  This is also a great resource for rural patients because most health care facilities are in urban or suburban areas. 

Here is some telemedicine services offered to patients:

  • Interactive Medicine:
    • Allows patients and doctors to communicate in real-time through a phone call or video call.  Your doctor has access to your medical history and can perform psychiatric evaluations. 
  • Store and Forward:
    • This allows doctors to share your medical history with another specialist in another location. 
    • Eliminates duplicate testing and better medical management. 
  • Remote Patient Monitoring:
    • Remote caregivers monitor patients using mobile medical devices for testing
      • Blood Sugar
      • Blood Pressure
      • EKG testing
      • Ultrasound
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The Future of Telemedicine - What Is it & How Does It Work

How to Set Up Telemedicine?

You can download video software to have your medical appointments.  This video software must be HIPAA compliant and have excellent video and audio quality.  Your medical provider will recommend the appropriate software you need to schedule an appointment.  There is also a lot of medical staff that will assist you in downloading your understanding of the video software. 

Your telemedicine video call is conducted similarly to the one you have with your family or friends.  You can either have the video chat on your phone or laptop, whichever has the best quality of sound and picture should be the one you use for your appointment.  To prevent technical glitches you should invest in high-quality video, lighting equipment, and make sure each appointment is in high definition to reduce any miscommunication. 

Your overall goal is hearing and seeing your physician without any barriers or obstacles.  The experience should be a mirror to an examining room visit. 

Your video software also must follow the HIPAA guidelines.  These guidelines exist to protect your private medical information that cannot be shared without your knowledge.  This protects you from any fraudulent activity or abuse, which is a security risk within the digital world. The Future of Telemedicine - What Is it & How Does It Work? 1

The Future of Telemedicine - What Is it & How Does It Work

Future of Telemedicine?

The future of telemedicine is optimistic and exciting.  The future of telemedicine consists of expanding as millions use this service for their medical care.  Increasing the availability of doctors allows an increase in treating a variety of patients in record time due to the accessibility of the service. 

This is a remarkable accomplishment for doctors reaching their patients regardless of location.  Because of reduced wait time for appointments and increased access to health care patients will become more comfortable using this service. 

Telemedicine also saves on a multitude of health care costs by expanding its reach to a variety of medical specialists.  Because of telemedicine small hospitals are able to outsource testing via telemedicine, which provides their patients with quality care in record time. 

Patient care also improves through the use of telemedicine because health care providers have the ability to follow up with their patients, which leads to a more positive health outcome.  Your patient care improves in quality.  Because of the rapid increase in using telemedicine visiting a doctor’s office is becoming less common.  This does not mean you will never have to visit a doctor’s office again, but having telemedicine as an alternative increases accessibility and affordability for many patients.  Your wait time is also greatly reduced, which is always a plus for many patient experiences. 

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