Right from the 20th century, we have been noticing drastic developments in the field of Science & technology. The technological advancements have spread its branches even in the field of Medicine. One of the biggest advancement is the introduction of telemedicine. The telemedicine is an innovative system which combines the usage of both telecommunication & information technology. Basically, it is helpful in providing health care services from a distance. This has been of much use to improve the accessibility to medical services among the rural communities. It helps eliminate distance barriers and also act as life-saver in critical care and emergency situations. Telemedicine permits communication between the patient and the medical specialist. It also allows transmission of medical records, scan reports and other medical information about the patient from one place to another. The earliest form of telemedicine was achieved through telephone and radio. The effectiveness of telemedicine are listed below:
Telemedicine can be of most beneficial to people in rural areas and isolated communities as they don’t have to travel all the way long to receive medical care from doctors or specialist. It can also help avoid the transmission of parasites or infectious diseases between the patient and healthcare professionals. For example, MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is a bacterium which is in abundance in hospitals, prisons, and nursing homes, where patients with open wounds, weakened the immune system and invasive devices are at greater risk of being infected than the general public.
The recent development of telemedicine is the Mobile collaboration technology. It allowed the health professionals in various locations to discuss and share information about the patient as if they were all in the same place. Remote patients can be monitored through mobile technology and this can reduce the need for an outpatient visit and also enable verification by mobile prescription.
Telemedicine has facilitated patient monitoring on regular basis, using mobile phones, tablets, etc even before they get severe. This can decrease emergency room visit and hospitalization as the patient can be treated even at home provided all the requirements are supplied to the medical staff. Some people might feel uncomfortable with hospital atmosphere. Such people can adopt this system as it enables effective communication between patients and health professionals maintaining convenience and commitment towards their work. Also, the medical information about the patients is kept confidential and transferred safely from one site to another.
It can also save a life of the patient in emergency situations where there is no time to take the patient to the hospital. Telemedicine can also facilitate health education as the healthcare trainees can work under healthcare professionals and learn the working procedure from them. Also, the professionals can supervise the trainees in their respective fields.
Telenursing, telepharmacy, telerehabilitation, teletrauma care, telecardiology, teleradiology, telepathology, teledermatology, teledentistry, teleaudiology are few types that can be listed under telemedicine. The technology is being used in several ways but this approach to the field of medicine is being very useful as it meets the needs of thousands and thousands of people from the various economic background. Telemedicine is a boon that technology has gifted to this world!