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The Increased Demand for Telemedicine
The Need for Telemedicine:
The increase in the number of patients, a looming shortage of experienced physicians, and the higher costs of medical facilities is giving rise to the new trend of telemedicine. Telemedicine allows doctors to diagnose a patient from miles away, and prescribe the appropriate medication. Furthermore, it also enables them to constantly monitor the vitals of patients with the help of electronic smart devices.
Telemedicine is quickly revolutionizing the healthcare industry, and it is predicted that telemedicine will soon take over globally accepted and used current methods of diagnosis and prescription.
According to HealthcareITNews "As was requested by several leading healthcare technology organizations this past week, Congress has included a provision that waives some restrictions for Medicare telehealth coverage as part of its new COVID-19 supplemental funding package." Telehealth and virtual care solutions can expand access to care and enable timely treatment, while also limiting the risk of person-to-person spread of the virus, ATA applauded the move. The recent global trends following the pandemic has started to change the way people approach healthcare, giving telemedicine a path to expand globally.
Additionally, one of the major factors behind the sudden rise of telemedicine is the increase in the geriatric population of the world. It provides a convenient method for the ageing population to consult with their doctors from the comfort of their homes.
Another essential factor behind the growing demand for telemedicine is the working and the business community. The option to discuss your medical condition with your doctor, without leaving the premises of your work, is an enticing one. The business community benefits greatly from telemedicine and therefore the telemedicine industry is attracting a lot of prospective investors on a daily basis.
The Growth of Telemedicine:
The trend of telemedicine is increasing day by day, and according to a recent survey by BCC Research, the global telemedicine market will grow up to 18.3% by the year 2021. This loosely translates into USD 55 billion dollars in terms of monetary worth.
More and more doctors are advising their patients to switch to telemedicine. Patients are also accepting of the new changes in the healthcare industry and are opting for the latest advancements in the field of healthcare. Wearable smart devices act as a platform for telemedicine and give the complete control to doctors and patients to constantly monitor their vitals and take necessary actions if required.
The Perks of Telemedicine:
The growing trend of telemedicine is stepping up the ladder of the healthcare industry, and it comes with several useful and beneficial perks.
- Accessible Healthcare in Remote Areas: This can easily be ranked amongst the top perks of telemedicine. Remote areas, such as distant villages and geographically locked areas, did not have proper access to healthcare professionals. With the advent of technological advancements in healthcare, telemedicine has eliminated the need for physical presence for diagnosis and medicine prescription.
Distant areas used to suffer from life-threatening diseases, and death ratio used to be higher among people from rural and remote areas. Telemedicine allows doctors to keep a close eye on the condition of their patients in remote areas, and quickly send for medical help if any situation arises.
- Reduction in Healthcare Expenses: Financial restrictions often confine one’s desires to acquire proper healthcare. With the rising trend of telemedicine, the overall healthcare expenses have been reduced for both doctors and patients.
Healthcare facilities don’t have to offer physical services or accommodation for the patients. The patients don’t have to pay for any on-site services or facilities. The entire diagnosis is performed via telecommunication devices. This translates into huge savings for both parties.
- Reduction in Overcrowding: Recent re-birth of ACA has forced several hospitals to accommodate more patients within the same facility. This means overcrowding. The patients are also forced to consult with the healthcare providers which are mentioned as partners in their health insurance plans.
Telemedicine and telehealth services eliminate the need for patients to be physically present in the facility. This reduces overcrowding and it also allows doctors to focus more on the patients with serious medical conditions. The hospitals are also more productive when the number of patients is easily manageable. Telemedicine plays a vital role in an efficient workflow of hospitals.
- International Collaboration Among Doctors: With the latest advancements in technology, doctors around the globe use telehealth communications to collaborate on different projects, and consult each other with ease for the medical procedures.
Additionally, in the olden days, patients had to fly all the way to other continents or countries to get better or appropriate healthcare solutions. Telemedicine enables foreign citizens to take advantage of international healthcare solutions from the comfort of their homes. Furthermore, if need be, the foreign doctors can advise and assist the local doctors in performing complex operations and procedures from miles away.
- No Geographical or Time Constraints: Another important factor behind the growing demand for telemedicine is that there are no constraints regarding the time of these consultations. Currently, doctors aren’t always available at the patients’ requests or needs. With telemedicine, doctors can provide useful help from the comfort of their homes anytime and anywhere.
Another thing that’s fueling the trend of telemedicine is that even if the medical healthcare providers are not in the same time zone or are away on holidays, they can still provide consultation services if the patient’s condition worsens. Instead of opting for assistance from the on-site doctor, the patients feel more comfortable consulting with their primary healthcare provider.
It is no surprise that the telehealth industry is slowly taking over the healthcare industry. When compared, telemedicine offers fewer cons than pros. It offers safety, comfort, reduction in expenses, and several other benefits while maintaining the integrity of the healthcare solutions offered.
Easier scheduling process, no commute time, and availability of healthcare assistance to homebound patients is fueling telemedicine’s trend in the healthcare industry. Convenience is a major factor behind telehealth servicers’ popularity. According to a recent survey conducted at American Telemedicine Association’s Fall Forum Event in New Orleans, more than 50 percent of patients actively requested telehealth services from their healthcare provider, and more than 22 percent healthcare professionals offered these services by themselves.
Hospitals across the country are setting up NASA inspired module centers to actively monitor the patients with the help of telehealth devices. 24-hour monitoring will reduce any serious damage to the patients’ health and increase the overall productivity and efficiency of healthcare providers. Telemedicine is the next big thing in healthcare.