You no longer need to plan your visit to the doctor – you can simply resort to distance medicine. Telemedicine refers to the practice of remote patient care, when the doctor and patient are not physically close to each other. Physicians advise people through modern technology and the use of innovative video conferencing tools.
The stages of origin of distance medicine
The healthcare system always takes a long time and painfully to any innovations. But the constant progress in the field of technological innovations still forced doctors to resort to the practice of remote delivery of medical services.
Interesting! The idea of interactive healthcare is not new. Back in 1906, the scientist Einthoven already knew how to transmit electrocardiogram signals via telephone lines.
For the first time the concept of remote therapy arose in the 50s of the last century in America, at that time such treatment was called telegnosia. Domestic telemedicine developed in parallel with space. Teleradiometry is considered the ancestor of this trend, with the help of which physicians monitored and managed the health indicators of astronauts.
With the advent of television, the second stage of remote consultation started, and the invention of computers and the Internet improved and facilitated the monitoring system. New medicine is responding and adapting to changing health and community needs, enabling most people on the planet to receive remote health care without leaving their homes.
How does remote treatment work?
To provide online consultations, doctors use basic software that allows digital file transfer, video consultation, and remote diagnostics. Large clinics need to install special telecommunication software for video conferencing.
Telemedicine is differentiated into several categories:
- an online doctor conducts an appointment in real time;
- clinical services in the mode of recording, storing and exchanging information, when the doctor is busy at the time of contacting him – the patient records a video message with free medical access;
- remote monitoring – used to monitor patients with already identified pathologies.
Note! Human health data is strictly confidential; it is transmitted over the network in the form of encoded information.
Distance therapy is also used to educate staff, with more experienced therapists helping less-skilled professionals.
Benefits of online therapy
Telecommunication clinical services are life-saving tools. Its main advantages include:
- Expanding access to medical care – even rural residents, where there are no clinicians at all, can consult with a specialist.
- Improving the quality of services. Research has shown that remote treatment reduces hospital stays, cuts days in hospital and activates the desire to see a doctor.
- Reducing healthcare costs. Patients do not need to be transported to the hospital, which reduces care costs.
Last but not least, telemedicine increases patient involvement in the therapy process. Everyone loves convenience, flexibility and real-time care. You can maintain your health by continuing to do your personal business.
Are there any disadvantages?
Despite its “strengths”, distance treatment has some drawbacks. One of the main drawbacks is affordability and cost. Setting up and maintaining such software is expensive. This service is too expensive for small medical institutions.
If you prefer a personal relationship with a doctor, then telemedicine is not for you. You may not be able to contact a medic exactly when you want, and you may never get a chance to meet with him in person. In addition, not all diseases can be diagnosed using telecommunication technologies; the physical presence of the patient is often required.
So this option isn’t for everyone, but the pros seem to outweigh the cons. The ability to monitor patients from their homes, provide valuable medical support, information and services in less developed areas makes telemedicine indispensable.
No clinical service is perfect, which is why distance treatment is a positive and progressive therapy option that saves time, money and saves lives. The demand for telemedicine continues to grow, but it must support, not replace, traditional health care. Remote monitoring should provide individualized patient care while providing the flexibility and convenience of remote monitoring for follow-up visits, check-ups and training.