What Is Telehealth?
Telehealth is globally understood as providing a range of medical services using digital technology remotely. In addition to patient-medical specialist communication, some services can also be delivered. More often than not, telehealth is used by physicians to perform consultations. This approach is similar to traditional offline medical sessions with a doctor or a medical council.
- Remote consultations (software)
- Remote monitoring (hardware + software)
Why is Telehealth Growing in Popularity?
With the help of technology, doctors can monitor chronic patients or patients with urgent illnesses remotely. They can also adjust treatment or prescriptions without patients having to return for a physical checkup/consultation.
Telemedicine technologies evaluate the effectiveness of treatments and collect and analyze patient complaints and anamnesis data.
Telehealth in Action
Telehealth creates an ecosystem of enhanced communication awareness between doctors and patients. Patients get their portal – a personal account that’s generated from a series of questionnaires that build out the user’s health profile. The patient can answer the questions and upload their forms and documents.
The range of telehealth services depends on many factors. These are outlined and incorporated into healthcare software development. According to public data, the most relevant features are:
- Profile/account portal
- Medical record upload
- Audio and video call functionality
- Text chat
- Storage with prescriptions, analysis results, and all medical documents
- Physicians’ schedules
- Services list
- Booking and calendar integration
The Benefits of Telehealth for Patients
Telemedicine makes healthcare services more accessible and faster, especially for those who live in remote areas and communities. In addition, the telehealth approach allows patients to get medical advice when traveling, on business, or under other circumstances where a person cannot go to the clinic.
The Benefits of Telehealth for Business
Incorporating software solutions into clinic operations, whether public or private, benefits the organization. Software increases the value and quality of a healthcare facility’s services.
Optimize the time it takes to have initial consultations and review test results.
Digital Transformation Around Telehealth
Telehealth owes its emergence to the development of digital technology. It allowed electronic information and communication methods to support and promote professional medical services, information, and education.
The largest telecare market comes from North America and will approach $35 billion by 2025. Growing demand among smartphone users has led to the development of telehealth.
Internet of Things and Big Data
Applications can be connected to the Internet of Things monitoring devices, such as fitness trackers. Of course, they’ll not replace heavy medical equipment, but they can initiate the need to see a doctor for a more detailed examination. Some smartphones also have a built-in infrared sensor that can monitor heart rate and oxygenation levels and even measure stress levels, greatly extending the capabilities of remote assessment. IoT and Big Data algorithms make tracking and predicting patient conditions based on incoming biometrics in a centralized repository easy.
Video conferencing greatly reduced the costs for both patients and doctors around physical consultations. Online calls make it more comfortable for patients to express and show their concerns, and doctors can review and advise without being physically present. However, it’s important to note that online calls cannot completely replace the need to visit a doctor.
Virtual Reality technology is one of the most promising in distance learning and practice for medical professionals. With the help of VR, it’s possible to create conditions for the training and education of specialists in various branches of medicine: from surgeons to customer service personnel.
The Perspectives for Telehealth
Various statistical studies show that the global telehealth industry’s prospects are extensive. In 2019, the worldwide industry market was estimated at less than $50 billion. However, the pandemic and the rapid development of technology have pushed and driven that number up to a tentative $194 billion by 2023, with potential growth to more than $459 billion by 2030. The Statista portal cites its data on this issue.
The most promising trends include integrating electronic health records, natural language processing, wearables, and the Internet of Medical Things.
The global trend toward improving the healthcare system explains the introduction of digital technologies. Telemedicine contributes to the acceleration, quality, and availability of medical services. Investing in improved patient care processes, specialist training, and improved medical staff interaction suggests that the cost of healthcare practices will decrease in the future.
Business Analyst at Computools