Telemedicine uses electronic information and telecommunication technology to get the health care you need while practicing social distancing. All you need is a phone or device with the internet to continue your medical care while protecting yourself and your healthcare provider from COVID-19. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the usefulness and benefits of telemedicine, providing a way to contact patients and health professionals when a consultation in person is not possible. The benefits of telemedicine are multiple. It is a safe and effective way to assess suspected COVID-19 cases and guide the patient’s diagnosis and treatment, minimizing the risk of disease transmission. Telemedicine also enables many vital clinical services to continue to operate regularly and without interruption in the course of a public health emergency.
How is Telemedicine Being Used in the Context of COVID-19?
During this worldwide epidemic, telemedicine is a successful and long-term option for COVID-19 prevention and treatment. Telehealth is bridging the gap between people, physicians, and health systems, allowing everyone, particularly symptomatic patients, to remain at home and interact with doctors through virtual channels, reducing the virus’s spread to large populations and frontline medical personnel.
Benefits of Telemedicine
There are the following benefits of telemedicine as given below:
i. Comfort and Convenience
The most prestigious benefit of telemedicine is to make life convenient and comfortable. When you’re ill, telemedicine eliminates the need to travel to the doctor’s office or clinic, park, stroll, or wait in a waiting room. From the comfort of your bed or couch, you may consult with your doctor. Virtual visits may be more convenient for you to fit into your hectic schedule. With telemedicine, depending on your schedule, you may not even have to take leave time from the workplace.
ii. Control of Infectious Diseases
Control of infectious diseases is one of the primary benefits of telemedicine. Doctors may employ telehealth meetings to prescreen patients for potentially contagious illnesses to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, flu, and other infectious diseases. It also eliminates the need for unwell individuals to visit the workplace. One of the main benefits of telemedicine is reducing exposure to other people’s germs to lessen the spread of infection.
iii. Better Assessment
Some specialist practitioners may benefit from telemedicine since they can see you in your own home. Allergists, for example, may be able to spot triggers in your environment that cause allergies. Neurologists, physical therapists, and occupational therapists may evaluate your ability to navigate and care for yourself at home. Telemedicine may also be used for psychiatric assessment and psychotherapy.
iv. Family Connections
It’s usually helpful to have a family member there while meeting with your doctor to assist you in giving information, asking questions, and taking notes on your doctor’s responses. If you allow it, telemedicine may bring your family in on a virtual visit if they reside out of town or even across the nation.
v. Primary Care and Chronic Condition Management
Primary care practitioners, such as those specializing in family medicine, internal medicine, and pediatrics, should be visited regularly to ensure your family’s health. It’s simple to communicate with a doctor or nurse practitioner through telemedicine. Some systems are set up so that new patients may be scheduled with the next practitioner available, saving time.
vi. Lower Cost
Even for those with excellent health insurance, doctors and therapists may be costly. So, the one significant benefit of telemedicine are that it saves you money. Telemedicine visits are usually less expensive than in-person consultations. This lowers out-of-pocket expenses, eliminating a financial barrier to treatment.
Telemedicine refers to the ability of healthcare professionals to consult with patients through phone or video from a distance. This technique has been around nearly as long as telephones, but during the COVID-19 epidemic, it became more popular and feasible. Telemedicine’s popularity has grown due to advancements in technology and changes in insurance reimbursement rules. Doctors and therapists would be unable to interact with patients without it, particularly during a pandemic. Professionals and patients have become more comfortable interacting online as telemedicine has been more widely used. Telemedicine is not intended to replace in-person encounters. Benefits of Telemedicine include making life easier, controlling infectious diseases, managing primary care and chronic conditions, and providing better assessment.