Telehealth is driven by innovations in digital technologies, which allow patients to meet health care providers virtually. According to the FAIR health report, the use of telehealth grew by 53% from 2016 to 2017. That growth was higher compared to other areas of study in that report.
Telehealth uses various technologies to deliver virtual healthcare to patients. The common ones are: live video conferencing between a doctor and patient, store –and –forward (a patient sends medical data to a doctor for later examination), and remote patient monitoring using devices that record data and send it to physicians.
Advantages of Telehealth
Reduces Patients Costs
Patients use a lot of money-seeking healthcare services. A hospital visit comes with parking fees, travel costs, taking off work, and consultation fees. With a telehealth visit, you only need a digital device such as a laptop or phone and telehealth software to get medical services.
Cuts Patient’s No-show
Many hospitals experience frequent patient non-attendance to receive medical care. Most patients from outlying areas spend much time and resources to reach health facilities, and they end up failing. No-shows have affected the quality of healthcare, especially follow-up patient’s visits. With the use of telehealth, many patients can now get the right Medicare.
Caregivers for older adults face a lot of challenges taking them to hospitals and follow-up visits. Geriatric patients enjoy their independence as well. Telehealth has helped minimize overdependence on others and institutions. AARP statistics show that 87% of people aged 65 and above want to age on their premises and thus, require home-based care to fulfill their dreams.
Assist People Living In Rural Places
Some rural areas are far from healthcare facilities, and patients face many challenges such as lack of reliable transport means. Telehealth has addressed such struggles, and rural residents can access medical care in their homes. Research by Harvard T.H Chan School of Public health shows that one out of four rural residents couldn’t get healthcare assistance due to distance barriers.
Ensures Timely Care
The healthcare sector is faced with challenges when trying to connect patients with the relevant healthcare caregiver. Most patients do not know the specific area they are supposed to go to meet the doctor. These scenarios bring confusion when patients make unnecessary entries to emergency rooms or any other place they aren’t supposed to visit. With telehealth answering service, patients’ confusion is significantly reduced since they get the right guidance through digital devices.
Helps Patients with Mobility Challenges
Telehealth has helped patients who are faced with traveling challenges to healthcare facilities. Seniors, people living with disabilities, and those living in areas with low transportation networks, can now access healthcare at the comfort of their homes.
Telehealth has dramatically impacted the healthcare sector, especially patients, healthcare facilities, and care providers. With decreased hospital admission, patient satisfaction, and the fact that there is a shortage of healthcare workers, all healthcare facilities should adopt this technology. Telehealth is growing, and technology providers are improving their software by the day.