Telemedicine is a combination of telecommunications and medicine that enables healthcare services to be provided across distances. In the United States, there are over 1 million telehealth visits each month, with growing demand for more. With these smart technologies for telemedicine, it’s easy to see why.
Teleconferencing allows patients to consult with medical professionals via video chat or phone call. This is especially good for people in rural areas who may not have access to doctors in person.
Videoconferencing is similar to teleconferencing, with the exception that it also includes video transmission of sound. Like teleconferencing, videoconferencing is mostly used for primary care, and follow-up visits after a patient has been discharged.
3. Satellite Communication
Satellite communication uses satellites to connect two telecommunication devices on the ground, often via phone or the internet. This is very useful in emergencies when medical equipment needs to be used across distances, such as an ambulance that drives into an area with no mobile service. The Explorer 323 mobile BGAN terminal is a good example of this wonderful communication technology.
4. Data Sharing
Data sharing technology allows patients to share X-rays or clinical notes with medical professionals at other locations. This kind of technology can be especially beneficial in emergencies when a patient is unable to communicate.
Smartphone apps are used to increase the engagement of patients who receive care via telehealth. If the app is connected with other smart technology like data sharing, there can be many benefits. For example, if a patient wants medications refilled or has questions about their condition, they may use the app to send commands for computer software to get this done.
5. Email Communication
Email communication allows patients to contact medical professionals via email at any time of the day or night, even when it’s hard for them to speak on the phone. This aspect of telemedicine is often used in pediatrics and geriatrics, where people may have difficulty communicating over the phone due to cognitive issues.
6. Remote Monitoring
Remote monitoring allows patients to monitor and transmit their health data such as weight, blood pressure, or glucose level at home using smart devices with Internet connectivity. This type of telemedicine is especially beneficial for people with chronic diseases who need to constantly check in on their condition, like diabetics with insulin pumps or heart patients with cardiac monitors.
Remote patient monitoring allows patients to have their vital signs recorded by a machine, which medical professionals then analyze. This can help improve the quality of care for patients who cannot visit their doctors in person or need check-ups from a distance.
7. Virtual Tours
Virtual tours allow medical professionals to assess certain parts of a patient’s body using Internet-connected cameras and software to view the images in real time. This kind of technology can be especially beneficial for patients who need their injuries or wounds examined by specialists via video chat, such as pediatric patients needing a dermatologist.
8. Virtual Visits
Virtual appointments or visits allow patients to see medical professionals via the Internet and talk with them through video chat, phone calls, or email. Patients can receive prescriptions, manage their conditions such as diabetes, and receive treatment for minor illnesses such as flu using telemedicine instead of going to the doctor’s office.
9. Shared Medical Systems
Shared medical systems allow patients to share their personal health records such as X-rays and clinical notes with medical professionals at other locations in order to prevent misdiagnoses or delayed diagnoses. Sharing patient data is especially beneficial for people who need to be seen by specialists across multiple facilities such as children with rare diseases who need to be seen by various healthcare professionals.
10. Distance Education
Distance education allows medical professionals at one location to teach students at other locations using technology such as video conferencing, education software, and shared databases such as OpenNotes that contain patient notes and clinical findings. This type of technology can be especially beneficial for people in rural areas who cannot receive adequate medical education due to the lack of local schools.
11. Wearable Technology
Wearable technology allows patients to track their health data using smartwatches or other wearable devices that connect to the Internet. This type of technology is especially beneficial for people with chronic diseases since it easily monitors their conditions at home.
Since telemedicine does not require people to go into the office, it has gained popularity in certain industries. For example, some patients do not have access to transportation or are ill and cannot easily get into the office. Telemedicine reduces these barriers by providing care without requiring that a patient leave his or her home.