The healthcare industry is often considered to be the one industry that can work independently of technology. People often believe that digital transformation can invade numerous industries in the market but not healthcare. However, ICT or Information and Communications Technology has proved this to be just a myth. In fact, with revolutionary advances in ICT, the healthcare industry has been able to boost medical support and care in remote places of the world using telehealth and telemedicine.
The idea behind telehealth is to connect healthcare professionals and patients in a way that they have never been able to before. It could be patients from remote parts of the world who do not have quick access to emergency medical services. It could also be elderly people who cannot step out of their houses without help from others. All in all, telehealth aims to touch the lives of billions of people all across the globe. Let’s dive deeper into how telehealth and telemedicine are flourishing.
Connecting patients and healthcare providers
Stronger and more robust mobile network and infrastructure, heavy usage of cloud, and exploration of smart solutions for companies have helped usher in a wave of digital transformation in the healthcare industry. The telemedicine market is expected to hit $185.66 billion by the year 2026. The key with telemedicine flourishing is to not just encourage patients to seek out telehealth services but also identify patients who are high-risk or need urgent medical attention.
Other crucial aspects of connecting patients and healthcare providers include:
- Bridge pathways to evaluate and connect high-risk patients with emergency healthcare.
- Reschedule and defer any non-essential visits to a low traffic time.
- Optimize hospital visits to ensure resources in the emergency departments aren’t overused.
While the primary idea behind telehealth and telemedicine is to touch the lives of as many people as needed. Additionally, aside from goal is also to add ease and convenience into the lives of healthcare professionals. This and many more benefits are key to the rapid flourishment of telehealth and telemedicine.
Telehealth and telemedicine are more important now than ever
Helps save resources
There are numerous supplies in a hospital that are constantly overused – first aid care, beds, etc. In emergencies, these resources are often not accessible to patients who need them the most. By deferring non-essential visits and giving the highest priority to high-risk or emergency cases, hospitals can save resources and rapidly provide them to patients in need.
Reduces staff burnout
Healthcare professionals are under constant stress to provide urgent medical care and save lives. With a growing number of patients visiting the hospital for essential as well as non-essential needs, the hospital or clinic staff can get very overwhelmed. This ultimately leads to burnout. Telehealth services can help reduce this burden and pressure and allow healthcare professionals some peace of mind and job satisfaction.
Protects staff and patients
People suffering from numerous ailments visit hospitals and clinics very regularly. Here the risk of cross-infection is very high. By making use of telehealth and telemedicine, one can protect both the healthcare professionals as well as other patients in the facility by reducing points of contact. This is especially important when limiting such contact is crucial to saving thousands of lives, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Access remote and elderly communities
Lastly, reliable cloud services and powerful mobile networks and infrastructure can help healthcare professionals provide medical care to marginalized communities. This medical care can also be extended to the elderly communities who cannot visit the healthcare facilities on their own. Using telehealth, such communities can access healthcare facilities quickly without having to travel long distances and access one in the closest metropolitan city.