Virtue Medical Group

Telemedicine: How it will change the world of healthcare

By Virtue Medical Group | Created on: April 13, 2022

How was Telemedicine developed and introduced?

Back in the 1950s, a few healthcare systems and university medical centers tried to find a quick and easy way to share medical information. They thought about sharing images via telephone. In Pennsylvania, the strenuous struggle and enormous efforts of medical experts resulted in the successful transmission of radiologic images via phone. That’s how the concept of telemedicine came into existence and the future of telemedicine is quite bright.

Gradually, telemedicine evolved and a lot of new features were introduced to the health care system. Although it has been around for decades, it’s only recently become mainstream. 

How does Telemedicine work?

It is a system that allows patients to set an appointment with a medical expert over the internet through a shared video call. With the aid of a secure video call app, you can connect with medical experts from any part of the world.

The system helps doctors in the health care field diagnose, treat, and follow-up check-ups of patients even if they’re living in a remote or distant area. Moreover, don’t get yourself confused among telehealth vs. telemedicine because both are different – As telehealth refers broadly to telecommunication and electronic technologies used to provide health care services at a distance.

Is Telemedicine or Video Visit really practical?

Telemedicine may sound like a new word to most people. But the reality is that this system is not new, as doctors have been benefitting themselves with the system for years now.

Video visits exploded in the last few years when the impact of COVID-19 started. COVID-19 made physical interaction forbidden and started new social distancing rules. Clinics and hospitals fully accommodated coronavirus victims and encouraged doctors and other patients to provide video visits. It’s not that video visits were not practically applied before COVID-19; it’s just that it was not trusted by many patients. But now it became a very important part of American health infrastructure.

How do patients see a doctor?

As a patient, you can access their doctor or through Zocdoc. In most video visit platforms, patients are sent to a virtual waiting room and the doctor will join the video conference room within minutes. The doctor might send you your reports via email or any form of communication the patient prefers. You can talk about the reports and further treatment only through your patient portal to ensure safety and HIPAA compliance.

How to start using Telemedicine today

First, there are online platforms where patients can connect with doctors through video chat. Second, there are apps available for smartphones that allow patients to take pictures of symptoms and send them to a physician. Both options offer similar results, although some people prefer one method over another. A popular feature we recommend is Zocdoc. It is a free and easy-to-use software for patients that provides easy access to health care.

Telemedicine Benefits and Challenges

Advantages of virtual visits

  • Telemedicine bridges the gap between doctors and patients.
  • It became the safest way to visit a provider for patients.
  • Extremely convenient and beneficial system for those who are struggling with getting access to transportation
  • Moreover, telemedicine has made it easier for healthcare providers to track their patient’s progress regularly.

Disadvantages of virtual visits

  • To practice telemedicine, one has to get the basics of working with digital technology. Being a doctor or any healthcare expert, you aren’t fit for telemedicine until you learn how to operate technology gadgets involved in telemedicine. You should know how to use a secure video chat app, a webcam etc.
  • Telemedicine has reduced, in fact, eradicated the physical examination. On the other hand, not every medical illness can be diagnosed or treated without physical examination. Such circumstances may lead to a mistaken or prolonged diagnosis.

Takeaways of telemedicine

Telemedicine offers several advantages over traditional methods of delivering care. Patients can receive treatment at home rather than having to travel to a health facility. This reduces costs and improves access to care. Doctors can also see more patients per day because they do not need to spend as much time traveling. They can also work with specialists who are located far away.  Similarly, you are encouraged to go for virtual visits if you are having trouble with transportation, are diagnosed with COVID-19, or any other movement-impaired conditions. But virtual visits may not be a good choice in some cases where you need a physical examination like skin diseases, orthopedic injuries, etc. Some patients opt-in for house calls too. Visit our telemedicine page to learn more!

Article category: Virtual Visit, Virtual Doctor Platform, Telemedicine near me

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