Telemedicine Takes Hold in 2009

October 20th, 2016

Telemedicine, the formal term for online doctor consultation services, is an industry that is growing and changing rapidly, providing anyone and everyone with access to the medical treatment and care that they deserve. In 2009, telemedicine made many new strides, including adding itself to the covered benefits of many insurance plans. An online medical service can offer less expensive treatment options, a chance for better attendance at work, and simple, easy management of acute illnesses and simple conditions. About 95% of the people who have used online medical consultations in 2009 were able to be completely treated without any face-to-face interaction with a doctor.

With telehealth equipment averaging costs between $10,000 and $100,000, it can be quite expensive to provide these services to patients. However, that is not stopping hundreds of doctors, clinics and medical service providers from giving it a try. While most current telemedicine services treat over the phone or via email, video conferencing is slated to be a big part of the future success of this industry as technology improves. People already use video conferencing for many different things in their lives. Putting the technology into the hands of medical professionals is just a matter of equipment costs and implementation.

In a survey done this year, 50% of the people surveyed answered that internet or computer technology used for healthcare would be something that they would try. Roughly 76% of those who were interested in telemedicine replied that their preferred method of contact was e-mail consultation, while phone calls, Q & A sessions, and online forums were the other options people preferred. The great thing about telemedicine is that it offers something for everyone, and you don’t have to be a computer genius to use it. Many people who can use basic email functions and fill out a form can benefit from online medical consultations, and the future of the industry is in making it simpler for patients to gain access to the healthcare that they need.

In 2008, 36% of the physicians in the U.S. reported using online services to communicate with patients. That number has risen in 2009, and it is predicted that the number of physicians who adopt and use smart phones in telemedicine and online doctor consultations will rise to about 81% by 2012. That’s a substantial increase. However, with all of the complications surrounding healthcare, including the lack of insurance by many and the lack of time or effort to go to the doctor by others, it’s only natural for doctors to want to find a way to keep in touch with customers. When they won’t come to you, you find ways to bring healthcare to them, and that’s what online doctors and online medical consultations are doing.

Until recently, online medical services have always hidden in the shadows behind the scams and fake solicitations for ‘pain meds online with no prescription’ and other common medication scams that have been running rampant online. However, as more people turn to the actual online medical community (where the prescription of controlled substances is illegal and the management of serious illnesses is not possible), its reputation is growing strong. In the future, telemedicine will likely be the only reason that some patients are able to get medical consultations at all.

Better Utilization of Telemedicine and E-Health Using Video Conferencing

October 20th, 2016

Today technology has advanced by leaps and bounds and so has medical science. The ambit of medical health has gone well beyond just surgeries and administration of drugs to patients. Nowadays, it’s the power of video conferencing which is ruling the roost. Doctors today are making use of video conferencing for interactions regarding telemedicine, research, for providing individual care to patients and a host of other activities.

Meetings which are done using video conferencing greatly decrease the cost issues which arise when using conventional systems which use Multipoint Control Unit (MCU) and Quality of Service (QOS) Systems. They also increase efficiency by utilizing the MCU for connecting multiple video and audio sites to more than one conference in real time leading to better utilization of time. The MCU also supports mixed ISDN as well as IP video conferencing calls.

Use of Video Conferencing in Telemedicine and E-Health

One of the biggest applications of video conferencing happens to be in case of telemedicine and e-health. This is owing to the fact that it greatly helps those patients who live in rural or far off areas and for whom accessing a full-fledged medical facility could be more of an impediment. In such cases, telemedicine and e-health services provide such features to patients which helps them in furnishing their vitals, medical records, recent or old photos among other things.

The other uses of Video Conferencing in Telemedicine and E-Health are as follows:

For Illness Monitoring

This feature is mostly used by the governmental authorities as well as healthcare committees when an epidemic breaks out in order to gauge and mitigate the effects of the outbreak. Real time situational analysis is also done using telemedicine and e-health.

For Disaster Management

The features of telemedicine and e-health come in handy when calamities such as floods and earthquakes strike. During such catastrophes, when proper healthcare cannot be easily accessed, setting up of telemedicine and e-health services rules out the need for healthcare professionals to reach out to the affected areas and thus helps in reducing the costs incurred in the transportation of physicians and medical facilities.

Consultation from a Distance

The program of telemedicine and e-health can be used in providing health services in areas which are yet to open up fully functional medical facilities. This is highly beneficial for rural areas and remote places, where medical organizations are rather hesitant and apprehensive to set up fully functional institutions. In such cases, only an assessment of the medical condition of the patient is provided along with suggestions for professionals.

Taking Second Opinions

Telemedicine programs prove to be highly useful in cases where the patient has been diagnosed with a particular ailment but the doctor would like to take a second opinion from another professional who resides in another area. The patient can also get the reviews of the primary doctor validated from another doctor using video conferencing.

Mentoring Using Video Conferencing

The features of telemedicine and e-health can also be utilized in cases when a medical practitioner is unable to perform the required procedures due to lack of experience or ability. Under such circumstances, another professional can provide the required guidance and help him/her in doing the job at hand as well as provide an in-depth analysis.

Use for medical knowledge and increasing Awareness in Community

Telemedicine and e-health programs can be utilized for spreading awareness among the masses during the outbreak of epidemics without the need for a medical professional to be at ground zero. Video conferencing greatly aids in reaching out to a wide audience at the same time for the dissemination of information and that too, quickly.