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Telehealth: Healthcare Meets Technology

 Mar 20, 2023
Healthcare meets Technology

You must have heard this so often that the internet has altered contemporary life. In fact, it's likely to alter the way you make purchases, communicate with friends and family, and maintain relationships. Also, it has undoubtedly altered the way in which you look up health-related information. You may manage your health care and get the services you require using a variety of telehealth options. Several people employed telemedicine during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemic. It's still often used.

Telehealth

Telehealth refers to the use of communication technology along with online information to manage your health care and receive medical treatments from a distance. Computers and mobile gadgets like tablets and smartphones are examples of technologies. You might utilize this technology at some point in time from at home. In remote places like villages far from the cities, a doctor/nurse or other healthcare providers could offer various services of telehealth out of a clinic or mobile van. The technology usage by any healthcare provider to enhance or improve healthcare services is called telehealth.

These are some of the objectives of telehealth, often known as e-health or m-health (mobile health):

1. Make it easier and simpler for the people who live in isolated or rural places to access advanced health care.

2. If you have an infectious disease, such as COVID-19, keep yourself and others safe.

3. Provide primary care for a variety of ailments.

4. Make services more accessible or convenient for those with restricted mobility, time, or transportation.

5. Enhance communication and care coordination between the medical staff and the patient.

6. Provide guidance on how to handle your own medical care.

7. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people found telemedicine to be useful and still do.

Virtual visits

To provide care remotely, certain clinics might use telemedicine. Clinics might provide virtual visits, for instance. They enable you to speak with a nurse, mental health counselor, or healthcare professional via phone or video chat.

Many diseases, including migraines, skin disorders, diabetes, depression, anxiety, colds, coughing, and COVID-19, can be treated with virtual visits. When an in-person visit is not necessary or is not possible, you can get care from a provider through these visits.

Your medical team can email you paperwork to complete online and return to them prior to your appointment. They might also make certain you have the required technology. They will determine whether you need to upgrade or add any apps or software. Also, they can instruct you on how to log on and join the video chat during your visit. The medical staff can also demonstrate how to use the text chat, camera, and microphone. If necessary, contact a family member to assist you with configuring the required technologies.

To participate in the virtual visit, all you need is a smartphone, tablet, or computer with an internet connection. During your stay, you can locate a cozy, private space to sit. Also, your provider meets in a private setting.

Remote monitoring

Your provider or the medical staff can remotely check on your health thanks to a variety of technology. Among these technologies are:

1. You can upload data to your provider or the medical staff using web-based or mobile apps. For instance, if you have diabetes, you can upload your food diaries, blood sugar readings, and medication records for a clinician to review.

2. Devices that wirelessly communicate information on variables like blood pressure, blood sugar, and oxygen levels.

3. Wearable technology with autonomous data collection and transmission. The gadgets might collect information about your heart rate, blood sugar, walking style, posture, tremors, physical activity, or sleep, for instance.

4. Home monitoring systems that can detect changes in daily activities, such as falls, in elderly or dementia patients.

5. Devices that give reminder notifications about your exercise or take your medicine.

Patient Portal

A patient portal may be available online at your primary care office. Instead of using email, these portals give you a safer alternative to communicate with your provider. A safe online tool is offered by a portal for the following tasks:

1. Send a nurse or your doctor a message.

2. Request prescription renewals.

3. Examine test outcomes and summaries of prior visits.

4. To receive preventive care, schedule appointments or request appointment reminders.

5. The portal might serve as a single point of contact for any experts you might consult if your physician is part of a sizable healthcare system.

6. To have all the information, reports, prescriptions, and diagnoses handy. 

A collection of health-related data under your control and maintenance is referred to as an electronic personal health record system (PHR system). You may easily access a PHR app from any web-enabled device, such as your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone, at any time. You can see your test results, X-rays, and doctor's notes using a PHR as well. With your approval, your provider may divulge this to other providers. A personal health record can instantly provide emergency personnel with crucial information in a crisis. For instance, it might list your current medical issues, medications, drug sensitivities, and provider information.

The Potential 

The quality of healthcare could be enhanced through technology. Also, technology may make it simpler for more people to access medical treatment. Health care could be delivered more conveniently, efficiently, and effectively with the use of telehealth. A virtual visit can be attended from any location, including your house or vehicle. A virtual visit can be attended without having to travel. Telehealth can be helpful if it makes it difficult for you to travel or if you are ill and want to stay at home. Moreover, telemedicine is an option if you reside within a distant of a hospital. Even throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, many people were able to remain isolated at home while still receiving medical attention. You may choose to meet with specialists who don't reside in your area through virtual visits.

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