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Telemedical services have great potential to increase timely access to medical specialists, which reduce inefficiencies of a medical clinic and provide high quality care. They enable rural patients to see specialists without leaving their communities and obtain valuable medical consultations that they might not readily have access to otherwise. Telemedical services have also empowered patients to seek medical attention at their own convenience, in the environment where they are and without the huge efforts involved in setting up a doctor appointment and sitting in a waiting area with strangers.
According to a report published by National Rural Health Association, approximately 50 rural hospitals have closed down over the last 6 years and hundreds of healthcare centers are on the edge of declination. Decreasing population in rural areas, a higher number of uninsured patients, and the absence of high-margin specialty services have led to this poor condition.
It is very challenging for people to reach rural hospitals in a timely manner as oftentimes travel distances are too great. It means this that not only healthcare centers in big cities but also hospitals in rural areas are difficult to access and obtain immediate care. However, advanced telehealth solutions such that are the foundations for telemedicine have eliminated distance barriers and enabled doctors to address different medical conditions on timely through online medical consultation. Let’s face it most patients are not going to need a surgical intervention or truly emergent care for most health concerns. Those that do are self-referring to a hospital or medical center or emergency room (free standing Emergency room or part of a hospital) or transported by ambulance during their time of need. This is true in most countries around the world. This leaves a huge population that needs a doctor evaluation. These evaluations are easily and best managed in a telemedical manner, with the aid of a computer or smartphone or regular landline phone and an internet connection and via a videocam on a computer or mobile phone. The technology needed is available even in remote parts of the world. However access to medical attention is limited in many places.
That’s why the field of telemedicine has been growing rapidly in the USA. It is not easy to get an appointment with specialists due to the long waiting list. Appointments may take 1-6 months in many cases. It is also difficult for people to take out time from their busy schedules to visit a doctor. An online doctor consultation is beneficial especially for those who are unable to drive due to physical inabilities and having transportation issues. They can obtain medical advice at home at a time suitable for them. Hence, convenience is the key factor in taking advantage of telemedicine services and that’s why it is getting popular in the world.
Telemedicine offers many benefits to the doctors too. That’s why many health care centers and major medical school based hospitals are relying more and more on telemedicine as a way to manage their high volumes of patient influxes. Telemedicine has bloomed in many cities across the US, Canada, Indian as well as many African nations who incorporate telemedicine programs into their organizations. Think also of the Astronaut or Cosmonaut who is away from any major medical center or the military personnel who are not close to any medical facilities, they rely almost totally on remote medical management of their health condition even in many emergent situations. This has been true even during WW II when soldiers would use a walkie-talkie or two way transceiver radios to communicate with their base to request medical assistance when sustaining injuries during battle. You can say that telemedicine has been with us for decades in various forms. The internet simply takes it to new heights with the advent of High definition videoconferencing.
One of the popular telemedicine services provider, KOOLMD has implemented the latest telemedicine initiative, which provide patients better access to healthcare specialists.
It applies higher standards of care and uses diverse technologies including latest video conferencing, telemedical devices, mobile cooperation technology, diagnostic methods, distributed client or server applications, etc. This can lower healthcare costs, generate revenue and allow patients to access medical consultation at affordable costs.
In this system, patients can expect better outcomes as they have faster access to such specialists who apply higher standards of care. It also reduces unnecessary admissions and readmissions via remote consultations and monitoring, which allow patients to manage health conditions more effectively at home.