Telemedicine’s approach to healthcare is to break down the walls of an office atmosphere and provide healthcare wherever the patient is, thereby rethinking the way a patient receives care. Telemedicine aims at bringing doctors and patients closer to each other dissolving the distance parameter completely.
Telemedicine has changed drastically from the time of its inception. Telemedicine began with the birth of telecommunication by way of which information can be sent to a distance in the form of electromagnetic signals. But it was only during the 20th century that the idea was applied to the field of medicine.
Hugo Gernsback, a German technologist in 1925, invented ‘teledactyl”, that would facilitate doctors to see their patients through a view screen and also touch them using robotic arms.
After several decades, a few universities and hospitals began experimenting on how to bring telemedicine into practice. This technology was originally developed to reach people in rural areas who needed healthcare. But as time went by, telemedicine began reaching urban populations that face a shortage in healthcare.
Pros of Telemedicine:
In most cases, telemedicine proves to be beneficial in providing quality healthcare to people who need it the most.
Telemedicine was initially funded by the U.S government to provide healthcare to the lower strata of the society who have less access to healthcare. But during recent years, telemedicine is being used around the world not only to provide basic healthcare but also to reach the elderly who have issues with mobility. Telemedicine has not only broken down geographical barriers but also proves to provide healthcare in the most convenient way.
With telemedicine, patients are able to connect to specialists for a rare case irrespective of the location. In addition, it makes it possible for primary consultants to get medical advice from a specialist in special cases and other diagnosis.
Telemedicine makes it possible for patients to contact their doctors more frequently by way of which doctors can answer more questions. (Try and use active voice whenever possible)
Cons of Telemedicine:
Since receiving healthcare solutions through telemedicine involves the use of technology, this reduces in-person interaction with doctors, which in turn affects the need for physical examination by doctors in necessary cases.
Telemedicine involves interacting with a doctor by way of technology. This requires telecommunication through mobile networks and internet facilities, which are usually not available in rural areas. It makes this facility redundant in these areas.
Some telemedicine companies require the patients to simply login and request for an online appointment with a doctor in a desired medical field. This being the case, it is possible for the patient to end up getting service from a doctor who is entirely different from the initial person who handled the case. And the method of medication and treating the patient might also differ, causing inconvenience to patients.
Telemedicine staff has a unique set of roles and responsibilities that are entirely different from their traditional job roles. Being a telemedicine physician does not require sitting in a desk, rather the physician will have a number of patients from various places contacting him/her through video facility during the hours that the physician is scheduled to work. In some cases, it will be necessary for the doctor to be available 24/7 to resolve certain patient issues.
Skills and Training Required:
Being a Telemedicine Consultant requires training in technology and usage of equipment. A telemedicine platforms involves not only the purchase of equipment, but needs to impart the training required to handle the equipment. First and foremost, a telemedicine staff will need superior communication skills and technical abilities to be able to communicate with patients with ease. He/She should be at ease in interacting with the patients and should have a basic knowledge about using video applications like Skype. Since care is provided through a video interaction, the staff must be able to ask the right question to their patients and resolve their issues with the correct diagnosis.
Doctors specialized in Telemedicine:
Among various doctors who specialize in providing healthcare through the way of telemedicine, listed below are a few of them:
Dentists are health care professionals who deal with tooth and gums. Among various doctors registered in ‘PRACTO’, Dr. Vijjay Kanth holds 23 years of experience in the field. He is currently working as an Associate Professor in Tamil Nadu Dental College and Hospital and is dedicated to providing personalized dental care that a person deserves.
Dr. Aruna Ashok is a renowned Obstetrician and Gynecologist and an Infertility Specialist from Sri Ramachandra Medical College, Chennai. She is a member of ISAR (Indian Society for Assisted Research) and FOGSI (Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecology). She is an expert in providing services like C-Section, Endometrial Receptivity, Dilation, and Curettage and other fertility issues.
Ms. Preeti Raj is a Dietician and Nutritionist with 11 years of experience in the field. Specializing in diets for weight loss, thyroid, PCOD, pregnancy, etc. she has helped over 1000 patients in a short span. In addition, she is a well-known dietician in the city with many celebrities as her clients.
Dr. Poongodi is a senior consulting physiotherapist in Chennai with an experience of around 14 years. She is an expert in bringing about mobility in patients after an ailment or injury.
Telemedicine offers a chance for patients to get in touch with doctors immediately despite their location and receive responses to their queries instantly. This offers a chance for people in remote areas to get quality health care without unnecessary visits to the doctor. The field of Telemedicine is under a lot of innovation and research. Statistics show that each day more and more patients are being benefited from telemedicine after seeing the ease with which it works. Telemedicine has seen great success in the field of chronic health care, stroke care, psychiatry, and several other fields of medicine showing success rates at par with the traditional method.
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