Medical services have a long time debt with patients. As healthcare systems all over the world become saturated, populations grow in size and age, and technology evolves at a pace never seen before, there is a growing need to update existing health systems. Luckily, there are also many opportunities for improvement. This potential is something that is generally accepted by governments and companies. However, the transition has shown to be a hard task.
One of the many technological advancements that can help healthcare systems evolve rapidly to meet growing demands is Telemedicine. By using this technology, it is possible to transition efficiently and effectively towards better medical systems. Mobile and web apps can help do this, as many users already have some sort of device that can access the Internet.
In this post we discuss what Telemedicine is as well as its pros and cons.
What Is Telemedicine
Telemedicine is the use of technology to deliver remote clinical services. It differs from Telehealth because this last encompasses the same remote clinical services plus additional non-clinical ones. In other words, it is a specialized branch of Telehealth.
Contrary to traditional brick and mortar based clinical services, Telemedicine shortens distances by eliminating unnecessary displacements. Removing this helps services become more efficient and effective thanks to the possibilities that contemporary telecommunications offer. This has the potential to reduce costs and make existing dated healthcare infrastructure available only for those patients who really need it.
In order to provide an excellent remote service, patients and medical personnel need to have access to the right broadband infrastructure. Only by doing so can an adequate level of remoteness be guaranteed.
It is also necessary that users have the right software tools. In many cases it is not enough to have a regular video conference app. Specialized software is needed to provide the best possible remote clinical service.
Types of Uses
There are various types of services provided by Telemedicine. These are some of the most common.
- Telemonitoring: doctors can help patients take care of themselves with the use of special devices. Patients learn how to use them after receiving guidance and are able to track their chronic conditions. Although this poses some risks, it is very convenient for most patients that do not require a visit to the doctor.
- Real-Time Services: the possibility to check for symptoms, provide therapy, and diagnose patients is very popular. Through the use of powerful MedTech apps, doctors can retrieve information and let patients know what to do in case a problem arises.
- Telementoring: this is particularly useful for faraway rural places. Doctors in these areas can consult specialists regarding a specific treatment for a patient. That way, if a doctor is not familiar with an ailment, they can learn the fundamentals from a reliable source.
- Analyze Medical Data: patient medical data can be easily shared with doctors through secure platforms that guarantee privacy. Special HIPAA compliant software platforms make sure that information is secured.
Pros and Cons
Here are some of the benefits.
- Cost reduction and increased infrastructure efficiency thanks to improved medical resource allocation.
- Risk mitigation due to reduced contact with medical facilities. Patients can stay in their houses, reducing the risk of contagion.
- Patients can get their information faster as the doctor has increased availability.
- Increased flexibility for patients and doctors as systems are redesigned to take full advantage of the power of telecommunications.
- A patient-centered approach that focuses on providing a great User Experience.
There are also some aspects that need to be taken into consideration.
- Regulation is necessary, but it can slow down the pace of innovation and the implementation of new technologies.
- Infrastructure, particularly in terms of broadband, needs to be robust enough to guarantee a good service.
- Some people may have difficulties accessing their apps. Working with someone who knows how to develop software correctly is necessary.
The key success factor of a great strategy for any remote healthcare system is the quality of the software used. Having easy to use apps that focus on the patient experience is a necessary requirement. Failing to do so may result in money being wasted on expensive and ineffective solutions.
One of the best things to guarantee the success of any type of app is to work with a qualified partner. This will not only ensure that the necessary technical aspects are considered but also that viability and patient-centeredness are included.
At Koombea we have over 12 years of experience building world-class MedTech apps. We are familiar with HIPAA compliance requirements and understand the importance of easy to use interfaces for all types of users. Contact us for a free consultation and convince yourself that we are the right partner for your app.