Telemedicine: Bridging the gap in access to healthcare

Telemedicine and its uses

Telemedicine is the use of communication technologies, such as mobile devices and computers, and digital information to access medical services and treat symptoms of illness. With the help of these technologies, you will be able to access medical services from the comfort of your own home. Physicians and clinicians can use them to support and improve healthcare. Between 2017 and 2018, avoidable hospitalization rates in remote areas of Australia were 2.5 times higher than in major urban areas (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2019). In 2016, it was reported that barriers to access to specialists and general practitioners were much greater in remote areas than in metropolitan areas (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2019).

Telemedicine aims to improve access to healthcare for target groups such as people living in remote and rural areas, elderly patients, and immobilized patients. Telemedicine can help solve this problem and help connect GPs, specialists, patients and caregivers using telecommunications systems and additional facilities such as audio conferencing and scanning TV (Wootton, Craigand Patterson 2017). In Australia, advances in computer and communication technologies have enabled the introduction of telemedicine (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2018), which in turn could help solve health care access problems in remote and rural areas. I have. Computerized systems assist in accessing pathology reports, diagnostic images, and information retrieval through computerized information systems.

Telemedicine, also known as electronic health (e-health) or mobile health (m-health), aims to improve access to healthcare for people in remote and rural areas. Telemedicine aims to provide easy access to medical services for those with limited mobility, limited affordable transportation, or limited time (Wootton , Craig, and Patterson 2017). This makes it easier for people to access medical professionals and improves coordination and communication between medical team members and patients. It also aims to help patients self-manage their health care. Examples of telemedicine services used by healthcare organizations include patient portals, remote monitoring, virtual appointments, consultations, doctor-to-physician communication, medical records, and personal health applications (Razmak and Bélanger 2018).

Telemedicine has a profound impact on the equitable distribution of health services among Aboriginal and Torres Islander peoples. Telemedicine can not only improve health education for Aboriginal people, but also improve their health through m-health technology involving community health centers. Telemedicine supports health institutions and providers to improve access and quality of care in rural areas (Razmak and Bélanger2018). The use of telemedicine in the delivery of health services can help reduce patient burdens and barriers. Minimize commuting issues. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, telemedicine is becoming increasingly important in providing healthcare services, resulting in a decline in in-person clinical visits (Mahoney 2020).

Elderly people with previous illnesses and diseases, such as those who are not infected with coronavirus and those who are at high risk of contracting novel coronavirus, should not be exposed to the virus through contact with other patients. should continue to receive comprehensive clinical care (Mahoney 2020). Telemedicine has therefore been a boon to medicine, helping people in critical need. Digital healthcare technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), telemedicine and bid data analytics are expected to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 by increasing public health responsiveness at the population level. (Mrazek and O`Neill 2020). Telemedicine and e-health technologies are therefore his 21st century approach to providing patient-centered care while protecting doctors and patients.

Purpose and Goals of Telemedicine

Telemedicine has a long history, beginning as home care, as explained in an 1879 paper. The article mentions using the phone to reduce unnecessary in-person visits. In 1925, the journal Science and Invention demonstrated the use of radio for remote diagnosis of patients (Losorelli et al. 2021). Personal-centered care at home began to improve after the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) introduced the concept of remote physiological health monitoring. This concept evolved when NASA partnered with Rural Papago Advanced Health Care (Sageena, Sharmaand Kapur 2021). The inventor of the electrocardiogram published his 1906 paper on the electrocardiogram, and since 1920 medical advice has been transmitted by radio to passenger and cargo ships. Alaska has been a historic model for telemedicine technology and development over the years.

Community health services in remote villages were able to perform hearing tests and otoscopies, and the data were sent to health professionals in Fairbanks or Anchorage for further diagnosis and treatment planning. Modern telemedicine has evolved from wireless technologies to high-definition flat screens and computerized technologies (Razmak and Bélanger 2018). One of the earliest examples of hospital-based telemedicine was introduced in the 1950s and 1960s, establishing a direct television connection between the psychiatric department at Norfolk State Hospital and the Nebraska Psychiatric Institute in the United States. Hospital-based telemedicine has developed rapidly in two of his areas: critical care and stroke care. Studies have shown that high-quality imaging and stroke assessment are possible even from a distance (Losorelli et al. 2021).

The telemedicine market has grown exponentially over the last few decades. Telecommunications allow medical professionals to virtually diagnose, assess and treat individuals (Wootton, Craigand Patterson 2017). The science of telemedicine has evolved over the last decades and has secured a permanent place in today’s healthcare system. The global healthcare sector market is estimated to grow significantly by 2026, reaching over US$175 billion (Lee and Lee2021). The healthcare industry is adopting telemedicine more quickly due to the demand of the coronavirus crisis, increasing investment in telemedicine and telemedicine. The global m-Health market size in 2019 is estimated at his $40.7 billion (Al-Blooshi). , H., Al-Shami and Sidek 2020). In times of crisis, AI-powered e-health technologies such as healthcare chatbots could be leveraged to provide automated clinical dialogue with critically ill patients. A healthcare chatbot that integrates medical history and patient information such as symptoms, treatments, medications, and disease stage can save significant time and resources (Mbunge et al., 2021). It also helps improve the accuracy and speed of the diagnostic process.

The future of telemedicine in healthcare may be impacted by new technology developments, including the introduction of 5G technology. His faster 5G network will ensure a complete transformation of healthcare through telecommunications (Mbunge et al., 2021). This is essential for remote monitoring, medical imaging, virtual meetings, and medication delivery. Other enabling technologies such as cloud technology, blockchain and the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) are essential to update the telemedicine sector (Mbunge et al., 2021). The telemedicine business is growing all over the world and global investments have been a continuous source of expansion and advancement of the telemedicine industry and is expected to grow in the coming years.

Conclusion

It can be concluded that the recent coronavirus crisis has highlighted the importance of the development of telehealth and telemedicine in healthcare systems. The importance is likely to expand over the coming decades with the aim of providing healthcare services to remote populations. It has the potential to enhance the quality of care and make equitable healthcare access possible. The growing demands formedical services havesecured a brighter future for the telehealth industry and the development of mobile healthcare applications. The pandemic has made it easier for the telehealth industry to flourish and will continue to secure a stable position with the increasing number of chronic diseases requiring constant monitoring and care. The growing population is also another factor in the growth of the telehealth market. Therefore, the telehealth industry has a future in the healthcare industry and will continue to improve with the advent of newer technologies.

Reference

Al-Blooshi, H., Al-Shami, S.A. and Sidek, S., 2020. Mobile health and users demographic characteristics and preferences. A case study from the UAE. Systematic Reviews in Pharmacy, 11(12), pp.143-149.

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2019. Rural & remote health, Access to health care – Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. [online] Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Available at: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/rural-remote-australians/rural-remote-health/contents/access-to-health-care  [Accessed 21 April 2022].

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2018. Telemedicine in Australia, Summary – Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Available at: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/hospitals/telemedicine-in-australia/contents/summary [Accessed 14 April 2022].

Lee, S.M. and Lee, D., 2021. Opportunities and challenges for contactless healthcare services in the post-COVID-19 Era. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 167, p.120712.

Losorelli, S.D., Vendra, V., Hildrew, D.M., Woodson, E.A., Brenner, M.J. and Sirjani, D.B., 2021. The future of telemedicine: revolutionizing health care or flash in the pan?. Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, 165(2), pp.239-243.

Mahoney, M.F., 2020. Telehealth, telemedicine, and related technologic platforms: current practice and response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing, 47(5), pp.439-444.

Mbunge, E., Akinnuwesi, B., Fashoto, S.G., Metfula, A.S. and Mashwama, P., 2021. A critical review of emerging technologies for tackling COVID?19 pandemic. Human behavior and emerging technologies, 3(1), pp.25-39.

Mrazek, M. and O’Neill, F., 2020. Artificial intelligence and healthcare in emerging markets.

Razmak, J. and Bélanger, C., 2018. Using the technology acceptance model to predict patient attitude toward personal health records in regional communities. Information Technology & People.

Sageena, G., Sharma, M. and Kapur, A., 2021. Evolution of smart healthcare: Telemedicine during COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of The Institution of Engineers (India): Series B, 102(6), pp.1319-1324.

Wootton, R., Craig, J. and Patterson, V., 2017. Introduction to telemedicine. CRC Press

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