The use of Telehealth in providing health care
Telehealth is the integration of health care facilities with technology. Through the remote technology, health-related education, services and guidance for health care are provided. There are different software and mobile apps which are the main sources to get access to tele-health facilities. Sometimes telemedicine is used as the interchanged word for telehealth. But the facts suggested that tele-health covers a wider range of digital facilities for healthcare activities while telemedicine includes the remote treatment and diagnosis of the patients through telecommunication and other means of technologies.
Telehealth technology gets deployed by several technologies including audio, video technologies, digital photography, monitoring of patients through remote digitalisation, mhealth apps, etc. This evolved in America’s rural regions to provide easier access to the rural areas. Gradually this is adopted in many other regions globally. Many people are using the advantage and convenience of doing the primary diagnosis through tele-health services. It supports sustainability and promotes access to improve the health benefits for people.
Some Telehealth technology
mHealth: about 95% of Americans use a cell phone while 77% have a Smartphone. The increase of smartphones and advances in using technology among generations have leveraged the use of telehealth for better outcomes through the increase in primary care and accessibility to the information. These applications can track the patient’s current health condition and suggests different measures to improve the condition. For example: if a person is suffering from Asthma the symptoms, medicines, and other remedies are provided to the patient with a tracker. Additionally, the patient can also contact doctors through messages and book online appointments.
RPM- Remote Patient Monitoring includes the collection, transmission, reporting and evaluation o the health data of a patient through the devices like mobile, wearable, computers, etc. It reminds the patients of weighing, measure heart rates, blood pressure, SPO2, etc to get a summarization of the functioning of their body. This has become even more popular during covid. A study on Cardiac Implantable Electronic Devices in 2015 found that the patients which used the facilities of remote monitoring has a faster recovery and better survival rates. The study also found that the aged patient doesn’t have to stay for long in hospitals that used the RPM system.
Benefits of Telehealth:
- More convenient through on-time and efficient delivery of healthcare services
- Ease of use of the apps
- Improved access of patients to monitor their health conditions and cost-effective
- Secure and private platforms
- Enable better engagement between the patients and doctors with high-quality communication facilities to contribute to the time effectiveness of doctors to provide consultancies to patients.
- Better accessibility across the region
- Systematic appointments and the opportunity to have extra income for the doctors.
- Sometimes cases of fragmented care cause gaps and irregularities which leads to overdose, or unnecessary medications
- Without face to face consulting sometimes lead to confusion due to variabilities in the condition of a patient.
Telehealth was traditionally restricted to rural or isolated areas, but it is now rapidly being used to broaden the geographic coverage of medical services and enhance healthcare access. Since telehealth is an efficient technique for improving accessibility and outcomes of health care, acceptability and acceptance are expanding in parallel with technical advancements. However, some barriers to telehealth practice continue to be resolved.