What is Telemedicine?
Term “Telemedicine” was coined in the 1970s. According to WHO, it literally means “healing at a distance” and it implies the use of ICT to improve patient care by increasing access to medical information. Identifying that there is no one particular definition of telemedicine– the World Health Organization has defined it as:
“The delivery of health care services, where distance is a critical factor, by all health care professionals using information and communication technologies for the exchange of valid information for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease and injuries, research and evaluation, and for the continuing education of health care providers, all in the interests of advancing the health of individuals and their communities”
Telemedicine includes 4 important elements:
1. Main purpose of telemedicine is to provide clinical support
2. It should overcome geographical barriers
3. It aims to improve health outcomes
4. It involves the right use of various types of ICT
What are the benefits of telemedicine?
Using telemedicine as an alternative to personal visits has a host of benefits for both patients and doctors:
Benefits for patients:
- No travel expenses or time
- Less time-off from work
- No exposure to other potentially contagious diseases
- Better health outcome
Benefits for doctors:
- Improved office productivity
- Better revenue
- Better patient follow-up and improved health outcomes
- Fewer missed appointments and cancellations
Telemedicine have been shown to directly or indirectly decrease the number of referrals to off-site facilities and reduce the need for patient transfers. Furthermore, telemedicine has the potential to motivate rural doctors to remain in rural practice through the extension of support and opportunities for continuing professional development.
Another divergent opportunity provided by telemedicine to developing countries is the ability to collect patient data. Its tools and technology can help epidemiological surveillance by helping in evaluating public health issues and demonstrating trends. This helps in monitoring disease evolution and can support communication to plan and mobilize vaccination teams. Moreover, telemedicine can improve data management through network databases and digital record keeping. This can provide better coordinated care while also aiding the potential for more patient follow-up and evaluation.
How is Telemedicine applied or used?
Telemedicine can be used for different ways like:
Remote chronic disease management:
The increasing rate of chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension, heart diseases is a significant challenge for our healthcare system. Therefore, it is a prime reason for the use of telemedicine because it makes it easier, quicker and less expensive for patients to maintain their health and chronic diseases.
Using telemedicine for routine follow-up visits is not only more convenient for doctors and patients, but it also increases the probability of follow-up, reducing the number of missed appointments and improving patient outcomes.
Preventative care support:
Weight loss, diet control and quitting smoking or drinking are the key steps to prevent many chronic diseases and a host of other conditions. Telemedicine is a valuable tool which can connect providers with patients to ensure they get the support they need to be successful.
How is Telemedicine at RxDx?
Telemedicine Sites we cover in India
Total No of Centers covered – 24
Total No of Patients seen till date – 26,000+
How to book a Teleconsult?
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