Telehealth or Telemedicine is the remote delivery of healthcare services to provide quality care in the patient’s own home. Healthcare innovation and modern telecom technology are transforming the healthcare sector to deliver personalized healthcare services to the individual patient remotely.
Telehealth covers a wide variety of technologies and techniques designed to provide remote virtual medical consultancy, health monitoring, and even education services. It has a significant impact on the most challenging issues in the current healthcare; access to quality care and cost-effective delivery for every patient regardless of their condition. With remote monitoring services, telehealth dramatically increases the individual patient’s access to healthcare services and improves the patient experience.
According to Statista, “The total number of global telehealth patients grew from 0.35 million in 2013 to a projected 7 million in 2018”. The number of global telehealth patients is expected to surpass 56 million by 2026
Types of Telehealth Services:
The healthcare system can utilize telehealth software, devices, and websites in different ways to assist patients, but the three main types of telehealth services are:
- Remote Patient Monitoring: It helps healthcare providers in diagnosis and treatment to manage patient health more effectively. Using online portals, the physician or healthcare staff can collect and share information with patients. The system can also receive vitals from different medical devices to adjust patient care.
- Video Consultant with Real-time Interaction: This allows the patients and physicians to communicate in real-time using phone consultations or video conferencing. Remote consultation reduces travel time and costs for patients. The patients can receive aftercare instructions, urgent care, and primary care in real-time. Remote consultation has proved extremely useful for healthcare provision in rural areas and developing countries.
- Store and Forward: This allows the sharing of patient data and medical records with healthcare experts for diagnosis. This approach improves medication management as the physician can easily view the patient’s medical history.
Benefits of Telehealth:
Implementing a telehealth solution requires understanding and knowledge of healthcare applications, regulations, and technologies. Telehealth reduces healthcare costs, improves organizational productivity, and assists in addressing shortages of Healthcare Providers. It has several benefits for patients, healthcare providers, physicians, healthcare facilities, and insurance companies:
- Patients from rural areas or with mobility issues can conveniently receive remote clinical services.
- Telemedicine improves rural healthcare services without any additional cost.
- Hospitals and healthcare professionals can remotely provide emergency and intensive care services.
- Home monitoring for patients with chronic diseases reduces hospital visits and improves health outcomes.
- Telehealth services reduce the time and money required for traveling and hospital visits, which in return increases patient satisfaction.
- Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) reduces hospital read missions, which eliminates several expenses for healthcare facilities.
- The healthcare facilities can increase revenue by utilizing telehealth services as they can attend more patients without the need to hire new staff or expand the facility capacity.
- Paramedics can see the real-time capacity of emergency rooms, reducing ambulance diversions, and saving valuable time.
Telehealth During a Pandemic:
Virtual clinics can improve access to care and ease the workload on the healthcare system and workers during a pandemic. Telehealth services are critical to reducing the transmission of the virus and addressing the increasing patient volume. RPM and consultation reduce patients’ and workers’ exposure to the virus in crowded waiting rooms and control the spread of disease. Telehealth services conserve in-person resources(staff and medical supplies) for critically ill patients while ensuring proper and timely healthcare for chronic disease patients.
RPMAhealthcare is a telehealth solution by RPMAnetworks for healthcare providers and governments. It is a cost-effective remote monitoring solution to improve staff utilization, provide healthcare with convenience, and monitor patients’ health status. It allows healthcare professionals to build, use, and update patient protocols in real-time. RPMAhealthcare is a customizable and ready to deploy digital platform that enables remote patient consultations and monitoring.