Understanding Telehealth In Modern Healthcare

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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Dr. Trang Nguyen Conroe Family Doctor provides singular medical care for patients in Montgomery, Harris, and Walker Counties under the leadership of Dr. Trang Nguyen. As a Board Certified Family Medicine physician who graduated from the University of Oklahoma, she brings expert care to local families.