The word telemedicine refers to “medicine from afar.” Advances in technology have made it possible for telemedicine to grow in popularity in recent years. However, the practice is still something that a lot of people have difficulty understanding. As someone who will receive medical care for the rest of your life, you should be familiar with how telemedicine works – you never know when you may need it.
Telemedicine is the use of information and communication technologies to allow medical professionals to provide health care to patients electronically. This definition is broad because there are many tools for electronic communication and many ways to use these tools to render care. Most of the time, telemedicine is useful in performing some types of checkups, obtaining a diagnosis, monitoring treatments, and supervising recovery. Hence, telemedicine holds great promise for many aspects of health care.
As an example, someone who is recovering from a workplace injury might use teleconferencing to chat with their doctor and describe their condition. If a worker sustains an injury while in a remote location, the attending staff may reach out to a specialist miles away to seek medical advice. Someone who needs frequent monitoring but is unable to travel to see a doctor is a perfect candidate for telemedicine.
Types of Telemedicine
Telemedicine usually follows two approaches. The first type is called synchronous telemedicine. Under this method, the patient communicates in real-time with their doctor. For example, you might do a video call to discuss your symptoms, allowing your doctor to diagnose you.
The other form, asynchronous telemedicine, allows participants to communicate with more flexibility. For example, a general physician might send lab results of their patient to a specialist through email. The specialist would then reply a few hours later with their medical advice for the patient.
Advantages & Disadvantages
The most notable advantage of telemedicine is that it allows more people to take advantage of medical services without having to travel to a medical office. Some people might not have the time or transportation to visit a healthcare facility. Others might not be physically able to get to medical facilities due to health conditions. Moreover, during emergencies, emergency care facilities might be saturated, making telemedicine the only option for servicing nonemergency cases.
Telemedicine also reduces the demand for physical facilities since patients and doctors don’t need to meet face-to-face for every appointment. Also, the use of information and communications technology makes it more affordable to access many medical services, such as checkups. Hence, many low-income areas employ telemedicine to maximize the availability of healthcare services to as many people as possible.
However, not all medical procedures can be done through telemedicine. Even with the use of telecommunications, people can only transmit a certain amount of information to each other. Many diagnostic procedures require specialized tools that are inaccessible to people who use telemedicine. It can also be harder to thoroughly check patients, particularly for conditions and injuries that require physical examinations.
Telemedicine Services in North Richland Hills, Texas
At EMC Express Care, our experts deliver cutting-edge healthcare to our patients. We provide fast and effective nonemergency care through our skilled professionals and high-tech facilities and technologies, including telemedicine. Call us at (817) 503-8800 or check-in online to let us know you are coming.