Technology advancements have facilitated an increase of accessibility for healthcare and medical treatment. One of the ways in which these advancements have manifested is through telemedicine.
What is telemedicine?
Telemedicine uses telecommunication technology to provide care to patients at a distance. Using telemedicine software and conferencing software, patients are able to engage with healthcare providers via computer screen, receiving excellent care in the comforts of their own home.
According to the American Telemedicine Association, there are roughly 200 existing telecommunication networks in the US, providing connectivity to more than 3,000 locations. There are many types of telemedicine that fulfill a range of medical purposes. Two examples are teleradiology, the ability to send radiographic images from one locale to another, and telepsychiatry, which uses telemedicine video conferencing to offer patients psychiatric care.
What are the benefits of telemedicine?
One of the greatest advantages of telemedicine is the ways in which it drastically increases accessibility to healthcare. This is especially true for those who are immobile or without transportation and may be incapable of taking a physical journey to a healthcare provider. The benefit of accessibility also works wonders in regards to educating individuals in rural communities, enabling people to continue education from a distance.
And telemedicine is making a difference in patients’ lives. In an 18-month study, a 92% of telepsychiatry appointments were kept, as opposed to 87% non-telepsychiatry.
What’s next for telemedicine?
Telemedicine software and technology is constantly advancing. It is an extremely fluid means of care in our globalized, digitally connected world. In the U.S. alone, telehealth and telemedicine technology is projected to reach up to $1.9 billion in revenue by 2018.
Telemedicine is revolutionizing the way healthcare providers approach administering care, and is providing accessibility to patients in need.
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