What is Telemedicine and How Does it Work?
What is Telemedicine?
In “Telemedicine”, the word ‘tele’ derives from the Greek, which means ‘at a distance’; hence, clearly, telemedicine can be described as ‘medicine at a distance’. Moreover, it involves the whole range of medical activities which includes monitoring, diagnosis, treatment, continuing education of healthcare providers as well as consumers, and research activities.
Telemedicine is a healthcare delivery system that provides a platform where doctor-patient interactions take place through telecommunication mediums i.e. via two-way Audio-Visual platforms.
Telemedicine is a tool that enables the patient, who is present in distant or rural areas, to have an access to the specialist physician for their treatment and for the prevention of disease. In addition, doctors can study patient’s Investigation reports like vitals and diagnostics reports and can provide treatment plans despite the geographic separation.
How Does it Work?
Barrier-like geographical access to healthcare is a substantial reason in developing countries. It is like a burden for patients to cover a large geographic area for their treatment. As the healthcare system is concentrated in an urban area, therefore people staying in the urban area are more aware of the concept of telemedicine than the rural and remote areas. Telemedicine works greatly in context with geographic separation, people now have access to specialist doctors by sitting in their hometowns.
The Patients do not have to travel miles to the bigger cities for their treatment which helps in saving their travel as well as accommodation cost. Opting for Telemedicine can act as a beneficial option when a conventional referral to a bigger hospital involves much travel and risk to life, whereas a general practitioner can retain the patient in the primary care by teleconsulting from the specialists at an affordable price which is a cost effective solution.
Uneven or Poor Quality of Care:
Shortage of competent medical staff can adversely affect the quality of care in hospitals. Lack of resources and infrastructure results in poor quality of care which can be improved by telemedicine services. Well-trained critical care nursing staff and experienced intensivists help to provide a better quality of care via TeleICU technology.
Unavailability of Physician:
Most of the population resides in the underserved areas who are facing difficulty in treatment due to the unavailability of an experienced qualified physician. Through telemedicine, it has become possible that a specialist physician is now available in the farthest part of the world to serve rural population.
Telemedicine at its present:
Telemedicine has influenced almost every aspect of the healthcare delivery system, whereas many success stories are witnessed the role of telemedicine in improving healthcare access & structure, reducing the cost of healthcare, and enhancing the quality of care. . India still stands in a developing stage in terms of telemedicine but it is growing at a brisk.
According to a recent analysis from Grand View Research, the worldwide telemedicine industry is estimated to reach USD 298.9 billion by 2028. From 2021 to 2028, the market is expected to expand at a CAGR of 22.4 percent.