Many of us these days wonder where medicine is headed in patient care. Today we have three amazing ways this is accomplished within three categories.
First, there is teleconsultation. It is considered an e-visit between a doctor and a patient using videoconferencing technology over the internet. A patient could also send an image to their doctor who would then interpret it.
Secondly, there is telemontoring via the internet. Many physicians use this method to monitor and help a patient. A primary physician might consult with a specialist somewhere in the country and the two manage the patient’s condition. No travel is involved.
The last category is telemonitoring. This is useful for patients who are at home and need monitoring. Data derived from some form of biosensor, vital-sign monitor, electronic scale, glucometer or other device is transmitted to the practicing doctor for updates on a patient’s condition.
The many benefits of teleconsultations are to improve patient’s quality of health and to cut down in medical expenses for both the doctor and the patient. It makes access to the doctor easier and with better treatment outcomes.
Physicians who are adopting this form of practicing medicine do have a learning curve. They should set-up their practice in a way that allows them to take care of their office visit patients a certain number of hours per day and their virtual patients as well. It becomes part of their practice and not an additional burden.
The American Telemedicine Association is a great resource for physicians if they are thinking about instituting teleconsultations.
It is the wave of the future and with doctors becoming more technologically savvy we may just see more and more of this taking place.