In these distressing times, social distancing is considered as one of the major measures to fight COVID-19. Telehealth is seen as a stepping stone and a key technology move for efficient and safe communications. WHO has announced that telehealth and telemedicine are one of the most essential links in intensifying the health systems’ response to COVID-19.
As hospitals and government officials are urging people suffering from symptoms of COVID-19 to avoid crowding in emergency rooms, the only services that will allow the patients to consult doctors are over their phones, through videos and even direct messages. Without denying, it is true that as and when the demand increases, the telehealth providers are in for a huge challenge and that is both capacity and accessibility challenges.
With a variety of health tools at your disposal, managing health and receiving the services you need especially when you cannot get out of your homes, Telehealth by far has emerged as one of the most successful technological breakthroughs.
Learn more about Telehealth
In simple words, Telehealth is the use of digital-age information and communication technologies (ICT) to get access to different health care services remotely helping you to manage your health effectively. The technologies so employed here could be those that you already are using at home or which the health care experts use in order to facilitate the entire process.
The goals of telehealth also known as e-health or m-health are
- Easy accessibility of health care especially to people in isolated areas and communities
- Access to the best of medical specialists
- Better coordination between the health care team and the patient
- Self-support measures for self-care.
How does Telehealth work?
A broad range of technology tools like email, videoconferencing and video chat services, as well as a simple phone, can help patients get real-time consultation remotely. Doctors can send prescriptions to a local health pharmacy via these telehealth applications. The health care providers cannot test people for Coronavirus but they can help identify who needs the test. An increasing number of medical institutions are implementing telehealth related benchmarks.
It is indeed important to understand the fine nuances of telehealth before understanding how it is used in such trying circumstances.
Patient Portal: The primary health clinic of yours can have an online patient portal. These portals prove to be great alternatives to email especially when it is some private medical information that you have to share. Portal is considered a more secure platform to communicate with health officials, request prescriptions and also to review test results. After reviewing the test results, doctors will additionally review the current prescription and modify it based on your results.
Virtual appointments: Many clinics also provide the facility of virtual appointments that enables the patient to see the doctor through video conferencing. These appointments ensure regular feedback from the doctor establishing that a personal visit is not required at all. Within the sphere of virtual appointments are web-based visits with doctors or nurses which are usually for very minor illnesses quite similar to a drop-in clinic. A web-based telehealth tool guides the patient through a series of questions and based on the answers, the medications are assigned with home care strategies. Based on the diagnosis the doctor will either message your prescription or post a mail.
Remote monitor control: A gamut of telehealth tools and supporting technologies helps the health care providers to monitor health remotely. Some of the technologies include
- Web applications and mobile applications for uploading basic information.
- High-tech devices that transmit information wirelessly.
- The onslaught of wearable devices that can automatically record and publish information.
- A slew of home monitoring devices for old aged population.
Finding an appointment with the virus cases increasing, has indeed become difficult. For that, one needs to check the health provider’s website and also check with the health insurer on information to access the telehealth services via its applications. There are several applications currently like Teladoc Health, Plush care, Doctor on demand which provide virtual visits.
Telehealth application augmentation for COVID-19
- Various telehealth platforms can be employed for both triage and screening. These providers can now increasingly use custom based chatbots and secure messaging with video visits to conduct the first screening process. UCSF had almost instantaneously launched a tool that proactively screened patients .
- South Korea’s drive-through testing models also have been a revolutionary move when it comes to telehealth. These testing stations are established in many countries now and when a patient doubts about getting infected can require care they intimate the hospitals which inturn prepares in advance and creates isolation spots.
- It also has opened up new possibilities of distributions where companies like Roman and HIMS are now growing rapidly. Newer ways of diagnosis are being introduced that will help patients recover and will encourage a higher movement towards treatment by combining telehealth with digital enablers.
How emerging technologies are resonating digital transformation in healthcare
Telemedicine, AI-enabled medical devices, Blockchain health record systems are just a few solid instances in health care. Technology means innovation and only innovation can simplify the work of physicians by optimizing their systems, augmenting patient outcomes, reducing the scope of human errors while reducing costs.
We have explored how in such times, the best of technologies can explore through tools that provide a maximum guard against the virus.Have a look-
1.The rise of on-demand healthcare
Only a rapid response system can cater to the demands of on-demand healthcare. This concept calls for fixing online appointments based on time availability. It is said that physicians find it easy to cater to the demands of the on-demand concept as it eases the pressure off them of swarms of people crowding at the facility.
2.The growing importance of Big Data
Big data is all about aggregating information through different formats and in the healthcare industry there are several important benefits like
- Fewer medication errors with better patient record analysis
- Frequent flyers’ who visit the hospital premises often can be restricted thanks to Big data and predictive modeling
- Future admission rates also can be known with Big Data gearing hospitals to staff themselves
To capture basic information about vital parameters, wearable devices are already a major part of healthcare technology. Healthcare companies are now proactively investing in wearable devices which go a long way in providing information and monitoring of COVID-19 risky patients to determine the plausibility of the symptoms.
4.AI and its wonders
AI has been at the helm of digital transformation and is an embodiment of medical innovation. During the pandemic, chatbots, and virtual health assistants both based on AI technology are very familiar as they are successful in disseminating information about symptoms, precautions and prove to be effective symptom checkers.
Several AI-powered computer programs have also proven to be most effective in studying images for detecting the virus.
5.Blockchain technology for better health records
For the healthcare industry, blockchain has proven to be a great tool in upkeeping medical records, preventing data breaches and also cutting costs. Fragmented medical records have been a pressing problem for a long time now and with Electronic health records (EHR) comes the initiation of digital versions of the patient’s medical history.
How our efficient health record-system tracker has helped parents and doctors track the health of their child?
With transformational technologies used in the healthcare industries, we as a highly-proficient custom software development company have always worked towards increasing clients’ exposure to emerging trends on the technology front. Our work in the healthcare industry speaks bounds and lengths about how dedicatedly we have optimally used the technology conducting seamless operations. Vigour 360, a cloud based application, was constructed for providing a complete gamut of health and wellness solutions designed for schools and colleges. The platform is a one-stop-shop for all kinds of medical solutions and awareness programs. Our use of AI-based smart algorithms and cloud computing helps clients to analyze data and also solutions to their health issues.
Telehealth in the world of healthcare is extremely promising. To begin with it can do a world of good by bringing medical care to people especially to those who do not have access. There are 5 likely things that can shape up the future of telehealth.
- An increasing number of virtual clinical trials
- A deepening and strengthening of the patient-practitioner relationship
- It will help in the reduction of the spread of epidemics and pandemics like COVID-19
- Great for cost-saving measures
- A better way to maintain medical records
These and many other reasons attributed to the bright future of telehealth applications in the healthcare industry. As an end-to-end IT solutions delivery firm, we understand that such an application requires the veracity of technologies, to begin with. Our tryst with the best tools makes us a preferred partner in the healthcare industry.
Our team of strategists and consultants are waiting to hear from you.
Are you willing to take the advantage?