Editor’s note: Alena explains how to distinguish between telehealth and telemedicine and shows how telemedicine technology can be advantageous for healthcare organizations and patients. And if you are considering taking advantage of telehealth or telemedicine technology in your organization, check it out ScienceSoft’s offering in the development of telemedicine applications.
In accordance with Markets and Markets study, the global telehealth and telemedicine market will reach $ 191.7 billion by 2025. This growth is mainly driven by the rising prevalence of chronic diseases, the shortage of doctors, the rising demand for patients and the acceptance of telehealth applications, advances in telecommunications and strong government support. In addition, as consumers tend to avoid healthcare facilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the trend of virtual care is expected to increase significantly this year.
The terms “telehealth” and “telemedicine” are often used interchangeably, and in fact there is no big mistake here, because telemedicine is an important part of telehealth. But there are also a couple of important nuances, which we’ll talk about below.
Telemedicine covers the field of clinical services and includes processes and technologies that allow healthcare providers to treat patients remotely, for example, through mobile health (mHealth) applications that facilitate remote communication of patients and health professionals via video, audio or instant messaging, etc. mobile health application can work.
Online video conferencing (synchronous)
It allows patients to contact doctors using audiovisual technology for remote diagnosis, monitoring and treatment, avoiding face-to-face visits. Check out this example of an application that has replaced unpaid phone calls with refundable video views.
Store and forward (asynchronous)
Patient data (e.g., computed tomography, MRI, X-ray, etc.) are recorded, stored, and sent to health care professionals (e.g., doctors, radiologists) elsewhere for analysis. -those to support diagnosis or treatment without the need for a real-time interaction. Storage and forwarding functionality is also effective for examining non-critical conditions with visible symptoms (such as skin problems, bruises, eye infections) using photos.
Remote patient monitoring
Patient remote monitoring (RPM) technology includes the collection of patient data using, for example, biosensors placed in a patient’s body, the transmission and analysis of data via a cloud-based platform, and the notification of real-time patient data to a physician or a physician. nurse. RPM solutions allow healthcare professionals to adjust the treatment process quickly, for example, by detecting new symptoms early, as well as make medical care more accessible to patients, as their health status can be monitored even outside a medical center. Telehealth software with RPM it can also help reduce the number of hospitalizations, readmissions, and length of hospital stay.
The impact of telemedicine on healthcare can hardly be overestimated. According to the Cochrane Library research, telemedicine is not inferior to traditional medicine in quality in the treatment of cardiovascular disease, skin, diabetes and mental disorders. For example, telehealth has been identified as a successful means of administering mental health services to deaf patients.
The health professionals I work with say that telemedicine is also useful for pediatrics, as children are more interactive during virtual consultations in their home environment than in the hospital. In addition, telemedicine makes care accessible to patients living there rural areas and patients with mobility difficulties, including elderly patients.
The term “telehealth” is more general and includes all distance clinical (telemedicine, described above) and non-clinical services, such as virtual provider meetings and teleeducation.
Teleeducation technologies play an important role in overcoming the work isolation suffered by rural and remote health professionals. Examples include virtual projects such as Telesalud Village, ECHO® Project (Extension for Community Health Care Outcomes), MATRC (Mid-Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center), And others.
It’s time to benefit from telehealth
I believe in telemedicine and telehealth technologies they are promising for health care providers, as they increase the availability of health care, the efficiency of medical staff, as well as reduce the costs of providing care. If you need professional assistance in any aspect of introducing telehealth technology to your services, the ScienceSoft healthcare IT team will be happy to help you.