Telemedicine was introduced to provide cost-efficient medical treatment to patients in rural and remote areas.
It is conducted via real-time interaction with a doctor using telecommunication technology.
Now, with the developments in the information and technology field, the scope of telemedicine is also expanding continually.
It is now being used for better patient engagement by providing them with efficient medical treatment as and when the need arises.
It is essential for doctors and all others to know what is telemedicine its different applications or types.
Here is a detailed guide to them:
Types of telemedicine
Telemedicine sector has been differentiated into the following types –
- Synchronous telemedicine
This is when a patient and doctor interact with each other in real-time via video call. This type of telemedicine comes in handy when it is not possible for a patient to visit the doctor in person.
It is beneficial in those situations when the patient needs urgent medical care, follow up care post-surgery, treatment for chronic illness and, the like.
- Asynchronous telemedicine
This is also known as store and forward system. It is because vital information regarding a patient’s medical health is stored in databases and then shared with a physician as required.
Consequently, it eliminates the need for a medical attendant to interact with the patient directly. This system is suitable for fields like dermatology, radiology, ophthalmology
- Remote monitoring telemedicine
In some cases, a medical attendant may need to keep track of the vital signs of a patient who is in crucial condition.
Remote monitoring telemedicine system uses a range of gadgets to monitor a patient, collect data on their health and send it to the physician in charge. It is a useful and cost-efficient method for treating elderly patients and patients with diabetes, cardiovascular diseases.
Benefits of telemedicine
Telemedicine is beneficial for the health care industry in a number of ways. Some of the benefits have been mentioned below –
- Cost-efficient – telemedicine reduces the cost of availing proper health care. It is because one can get medical advice and treatment from their home which allows them to save on transportation costs and expensive hospital bills.
- Enhances conventional treatment procedure – telemedicine enhances the quality of conventional treatment procedures. It allows patients to contact a doctor for medical advice before or after getting a treatment. Subsequently, doctors can also continue with follow-up care for their patients via telemedicine methods.
- Improves patient engagement and satisfaction – telemedicine encourages more patient engagement since it allows them to take more part and thereby more interest in their own healthcare. The flexibility and convenience also play a big role in improving the satisfaction of patients.
Additionally, medical attendants can also consider installing some must-have POC or point of care medical equipment at their clinic which will ensure patient satisfaction.
- Easily accessible – telemedicine procedure eliminates the need for medical attendants to be present physically. This makes it more convenient for patients to access quality health care.
Telemedicine in India
In India, the availability of doctors compared to the number of patients requiring medical attention is very low.
This scenario is especially very common in rural areas. Consequently, telemedicine can be one of the innovative approaches required to solve India’s growing healthcare crisis.
Doctors with their own practise can improve their infrastructure to implement the telemedicine methods such as better video conference system, remote monitoring gadgets.
It will enable them to expand their practice and provide high-quality healthcare to their patients.
Subsequently, it will increase the satisfaction of their patients and bring in more revenue. Aside from these, there are other reasons why doctors should consider going digital.
Nevertheless, expanding the practice by integrating new technology can cause a substantial financial burden.
In that case, one can consider availing a loan for doctors offered by most financial institutions and NBFCs.
Reputed financial company Bajaj Finserv also provides pre-approved offers on these loans that simplify the process of availing them.
Telemedicine methods if implemented correctly will be hugely beneficial for both doctors and patients.
Doctors can apply the technology along with traditional face to face treatment to chart an efficient treatment course for doctors which will be economical at the same time.