An Overview of Telemedicine and Its Importance
The word telemedicine comes from two words with one being the Greek word Tele that means distance and the Latin word modern which means to heal. For the individuals that live in remote areas, distance is a huge constraint for access to good quality, timely and competent health care. With telemedicine, the aim is to overcome this challenge through the bridging of the existing gap between the health care providers and the patients. In the world health organization definition of telemedicine, it is put as the delivery of health care services in which the critical factor is the distance by every professional in health care with the use of communication and information technologies for exchanging crucial information for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of injuries and diseases, evaluation and research and for the continued education of the healthcare providers with the sole aim of improving the health of people as well as that of the communities.
For instance, a healthcare provider or a patient or even a caregiver might make use of a wireless phone to immediately and automatically upload vital signs and then transmit them to a monitoring center remotely. This form of medicine was one of the technologies that provided for the wide coverage of the healthcare services in the areas which were seen as hard to access at the beginning which eventually the healthcare services were able to reach.
With telemedicine, there is an improvement in the accessibility of the facilities used in healthcare provision for individuals that live in areas that are hard to reach and makes it possible for the doctor to get to those individuals and provide the important healthcare services beyond their clinic setting. With telemedicine, there is a reduction in the time of traveling for the healthcare provider as well as for the patient. Additionally, it leads to a reduction in the stress that comes with traveling in the search for health care services. Also, there is a reduction in the number of hospital stays, which makes it possible for shared health professional staffing which in the end means the price of healthcare is reduced.
For the many people that have no health insurance, there is an estimation that in a few years the ration of physicians to the patients will be very high. These are worrying statistics and they should be a worry for everyone. With telemedicine, it is possible to reduce this burden and give access to healthcare to the individuals that are at risk of missing out on these services.
Some telemedicine companies offer full-time services through the phone. The best of these companies provide access to nurses that are registered as well as physicians who are certified by the board for every case that is not an emergency. For some of these companies, they can provide access to the libraries that contain audios of health topics which are of great help to the patients. Some of the topics covered include weight loss management, the prevention of diabetes, nutrition among others. It is safe to say that telemedicine is looking great for the future especially for individuals that do not have access to quality healthcare.