The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues impacting people’s physical, mental, and emotional health, lifestyle, and routines. As a result, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other reputable agencies urge people to continue staying home as much as possible, practicing social distancing, and quarantining if they become sick. Such encouragement is most vital for people who live in areas where COVID-19 spreads at faster rates.
Millions of people in the United States and worldwide experienced the change from working in the office to working at home or going on leave following the start of this public health emergency. Likewise, students went from going to their classes on campus to learning online. Just as remote connectivity tools and the internet enable people to navigate their needs remotely, technological advances allow people to connect with doctors and clinicians in a virtual environment and have medical consultations related to and unrelated to the coronavirus.
Technological advances have significantly impacted society, leading to inventions like computed tomography (CT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), autonomous vehicles that don’t require human drivers, smart home gadgets, and connectivity tools. Some technological innovations raise questions, as some people have concerns about the specifics of autonomous technology regarding driverless cars and accidents with Google’s autonomous vehicles. Other technological inventions like telemedicine and telehealth are practical solutions for people trying to navigate their health needs during the pandemic.
Through telemedicine, patients who don’t have COVID-19 can contact their doctors and have a virtual visit on the phone or a platform like Zoom and avoid potentially contracting the virus by going in public. Likewise, patients who have COVID-19 can contact their doctors through these tools instead of attending an in-person visit can reduce the spread of COVID-19. Read on below for more on what telemedicine is and facts about the telemedicine market.
1. Telemedicine doesn’t intend to replace traditional treatment.
Rather than replace traditional treatment, telemedicine intends to support and enable medical professionals to provide healthcare services from a distance. Telemedicine may encompass doctors and care team members having a virtual meeting where they coordinate patient care or a long-distance visit where a doctor monitors a patient’s condition, examines them, provides patient education, and offers a diagnosis and treatment.
For example, cancer care telemedicine enables oncologists, oncology experts, and cancer specialists to monitor, diagnose, and care for their cancer patients. This form of medicine and oncology treatment is a convenient option for people with busy schedules, those without transportation, and patients who are afraid that physical exams and in-person care could expose them to COVID-19. Cancer patients have lowered immune systems, which makes them more susceptible to COVID-19, which is another reason why Telehealth services are hugely beneficial to those with a cancer diagnosis.
2. Some insurance policies may offer telemedicine coverage.
Many people may rely on their insurance to take care of their health needs and emergencies. Insured patients may wonder if their policies cover telemedicine visits and telehealth. In recent years, some states passed bills that require health insurance companies to include some aspects of telemedicine in coverage plans. In some cases, some insurance programs like Medicare added additional telemedicine services in their coverage options in response to the surge of COVID-19.
3. Laws regarding telemedicine may change.
Like the changes made to healthcare policies regarding telemedicine, this emerging technology, and its growth could result in temporary and possible long-term legislative changes. The competitive nature of the current healthcare market and patients’ need for convenient, high-quality services could prompt changes to the telemedicine market from lawmakers.
4. Telemedicine could dominate the health information technology field.
Health information technology includes other services like electronic medical records and prescription transferal, but telemedicine may comprise most of the health IT market and contribute to most of its growth. Medical organizations can use telemedicine services to help reduce costs, increase reimbursements, and increase revenue. Most importantly, telemedicine enables healthcare organizations and medical professionals to streamline their services.
Organizations with a growing reliance on telemedicine should get equipped with tech solutions like virtual dedicated servers to acquire sufficient bandwidth, unlimited traffic, and acceptable use of their machines’ available storage capabilities, RAM, and computing power. Telemedicine is an advancement in health information technology that can enable healthcare organizations to make their services more efficient and safer. A virtual private server can make sure that patients’ personal information is secure, which is an important factor in ensuring that any type of misunderstanding is avoided and all relevant information ends up only in the hands of the physicians who need to see it. A virtual private server also provides sufficient space to house monthly reports on a great many patients, and keep those reports safe from hackers and other digital miscreants.
As a practical, efficient supplement to traditional care, the telemedicine market is likely to experience a boost in growth this year.