The way that we receive healthcare has been changing. Numerous pressures and technologies are driving this change. Telemedicine, also known as telehealth, has become more available due to advances in communication technology. Almost everyone carries a digital device with them these days. These devices are capable of phone communication and video calls and can even be tied into wearable medical devices that track information about your health. The COVID-19 pandemic didn’t create telehealth services, but it did set a fire under the industry’s need to provide greater access to it.
Understanding Telehealth In Modern Healthcare
The term telehealth has been around for a long time. In its earliest incarnation, it involved medical practitioners contacting their clinics over the phone. These calls had limited facility but were perfect for simple follow-ups with patients. Whether the patient lived far from the doctor’s clinic or simply had trouble getting up and moving around, it made things easier for them. As communications technology continues to advance, the options for telehealth services are expanding.
Modern devices are almost always video capable. They’re lightweight, easily transported, and can be used almost anywhere. Many of them also can connect with various devices via Bluetooth. This has led to the creation of wearable medical devices that improve treatment and diagnosis in previously impossible ways.
Multiple benefits come with using Telehealth services for patients and doctors alike:
Avoid Unneeded ER Visits – Being able to reach out to your doctor quickly can help eliminate unneeded visits to the ER. Using photos and video, you can quickly have them assess an injury and determine if it can wait for an office visit. They can also inform you whether you should go to the ER or Urgent Care if it needs to be seen quickly.
Limits Exposure – Whether patients had a cold or a rash, it was off to the doctor’s office they went to. However, with telemedicine options, they may not need to come into the office for simple things. This means that there is less exposure to viruses and bacteria for everyone. Doctors get sick less; patients spread illness less, and everyone benefits.
Improved Visit Availability – One of the most time-consuming parts of seeing a patient in-office is preparing the treatment room. They must be sanitized after every visit, regardless of the severity of the patient’s condition. This leads to wasted time, wasted materials, and fewer patients the doctor can see per day. Telemedicine doesn’t require this process, so more patients can be seen daily.
Final Notes About Telemedicine Care
One of the most fundamental changes telemedicine brings to patient care is convenience for the patient. They can schedule their visits without accounting for trips across town and back. The time required for a visit is greatly reduced and costs less overall. There are no gas costs, less time off work, and less wear and tear on the vehicle. As communications technology advances, we’ll see new options in treatment, diagnosis, and care.
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Every day the world of medicine becomes more and more interconnected. The advent of digital technology makes the sci-fi dreams of yesterday a present and imminent reality. The world of medicine has been the site of some of the most fundamental changes. The advent of wearable medical devices has utterly changed how the treatment is planned, diagnoses are made and carefully administered. Below we’re going to explore how healthcare has changed with the advent of wearable devices. We’ll also consider what we may expect in the future.
Physicians And Patients Both Benefit From Wearable Devices
Diagnosis can be difficult when a patient reports intermittent symptoms that occur unreliably throughout their normal day. These types of symptoms are common with numerous conditions and ailments, and physicians have devised numerous ways to provoke them. Treadmill stress tests and other approaches have always yielded dicey results and have been notoriously unreliable for more obscure symptoms. The introduction of wearable medical devices has been nothing less than revolutionary in cases like these.
Wearable medical devices serve many purposes, many of which contain answers to concerns like this. They can track heart rates, body temperature, electrical pulses within the body, blood pressure, oxygen levels, and countless other biometrics while the patient goes about their day. When events such as oxygen levels or low blood pressure drops occur, they can be recorded and reported to the physician. This allows the doctor to observe these kinds of events in the context of the patients day to day life.
Immunotouch – This device was developed during the pandemic and aimed to help wearers reduce their risk of contracting COVID. Anytime a wearer would reach for their face, the device would issue an alarm to prevent them from doing so.
VivaLNK Continuous Temperature Sensor Patch – This device was implemented to track the wearer’s temperature. It proved effective in providing meaningful feedback for those with fibromyalgia and aiding in treating and managing the condition.
Mojo Lenses – These contact lenses are an advanced device that provides the wearer with a HUD (heads-up display). Various information can be provided through this interface, including biometrics like blood pressure and heart rate, as well as navigational information. These devices have been used to help the sight impaired get around easier.
These devices represent a movement in medical technology to improve health and quality of life through the melding of man and machine. This is currently being achieved through removable medical devices, but more advanced options are on the way. We may one day be able to address certain health concerns with a simple implantable device that compensates for biological shortcomings.
Ask Your Physician About Wearable Health Devices
If you live with the condition that you think may benefit from the aid of a personal wearable device, speak to your physician. Currently, devices like this tend to be specifically designed to handle a narrow range of conditions. However, there may be something that can benefit you in handling the struggles of certain medical complications. Reach out to a medical provider for a consultation today.
If you’ve ever gone to look for information about health concerns online, you’ve probably noticed a disturbing trend. Many of the “sources” of information you find are dubious in their accuracy at best. Most of them seem designed for clickbait purposes to generate ad revenue or promote political ideologies regarding healthcare. The overreliance on the internet as a source of information has led to it being a significant risk to public health.
How Misinformation Has Impacted Public Health
One significant example of the impact of misinformation on public health concerns cancer treatments. Consider the case of Steve Jobs of Apple. When first diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, he opted to attempt various alternative therapies for treating cancer. These treatments include spiritual consultations, herbal remedies, acupuncture, fruit juice therapy, and special diets. None of these treatments were backed by evidence-based science, and he stated his regret over-relying on these treatments near the end of his life. While he began traditional treatments later in his life, even the best care available to a multi-billionaire couldn’t compensate for the time lost.
Sadly this story is not unique to eccentric billionaires with a central role in getting web access into the hands of people everywhere. People from far less prestigious positions have relied on supposedly effective treatments found online. Their reasons range from distrusting medical science to simply lacking the funds to afford more traditional treatment options. There is a worrying distrust in science-backed treatments due to the perceived trustworthiness of some authority sites that carry these alternative treatments.
Even more worrying was the coordinated assault on medical science during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, dissidents reached out to the public with reams of misinformation in a well-organized campaign. This was no mistake, and a few conspiracy-minded nutjobs didn’t just drive it. Instead, this attack was backed by significant finances and those who saw an opportunity for political and financial gain. The result was a pandemic that impacted our day-to-day lives and was significantly more deadly than needed.
One disturbing aspect of this trend is the promotion of misinformation for financial gain. From social media companies to fraudsters selling snake oil remedies, many financially profit from misinformation.
Protecting Yourself and Your Family From Health Disinformation
With the wealth of disinformation and those invested in spreading it for personal gain, it’s important to learn how to protect yourself. This requires that you reach out to reputable sources of accurate information, such as the CDC and licensed medical professionals. These individuals are invested in ensuring that you and your family have the right information to protect your health. You can also research the treatments through sources such as the National Institute of Health, the CDC, and peer-reviewed medical journals. Vigilance and respecting the proper sources are essential in protecting your family’s health.