Have you ever heard of telemedicine but weren’t quite sure what it was? Well, you’re one of many but we’re about to change that. How? We’re going to tell you exactly what telemedicine is, how it works, and more! For starters, telemedicine is basically the practice of diagnosing and treating patients via telecommunications devices. You know, sort of like phones, computers, and other devices that can be used from a long distance.
So, how does it work? Well, telemedicine started around 40 years ago and has drastically evolved since then. It mainly consists of systems that use two-way video, email, and other wireless tools that help connect two places at once. While it isn’t a separate medical specialty (all different specialties use telemedicine), it is a very effective tool in the medical world. Its main use seems to be with medical education.
It is much easier for a doctor to communicate with you via email, phone, or video than it is to have you come in to their office just to get some recommendations or advice. In most cases, you’ll still have to come in for treatment if needed but you can save yourself an additional trip in many cases which comes in handy for most people with the high price of gas and the busy schedules that we often face. With all of that being said, telemedicine is also used widely among one medical professional with another.
For example, one doctor may need to refer a patient to another doctor. Through the use of telemedicine, they are able to do that without ever even seeing each other. Pretty handy stuff, huh? We think so too! Now, one more thing that telemedicine is capable of doing that is truly revolutionary is referred to as remote patient monitoring. What does that mean? Well, it basically means that your doctor can now keep tabs on things such as your blood pressure or glucose (sugar) levels from a distance. This keeps you safe, saves you a trip to the doctor’s office, and allows your doctor to see what’s going on with your body at all times. If that isn’t good technology, we don’t know what is!
To sum it all up, telemedicine is a practice among practices that allow doctors and other medical professionals to communicate from a distance, track their patients health remotely, and share medical advice with patients and other professionals from a distance. While its not a separate speciality or anything that requires additional education (other than learning how to use the tools and software), it is something that most any modern hospital or clinic has access to. If they don’t, they definitely should!