The Benefits of Telemedicine During a Pandemic

While the Coronavirus pandemic progresses worldwide, health care providers are struggling to keep up with expectations for telemedicine services. Some see the change to online healthcare as unforeseen gains – and hope the trend will continue after the crisis is over.

Devin Mann, MD, Associate Professor in the Departments of Public Health and Medicine and Senior Director of Informatics Innovation and Medical Center Information Management at NYU Langone Health:

The pandemic has produced an immediate need to redirect patients from in-hospital treatment and avoid overcrowding in our treatment centers. We moved the battlefield to areas outside of our clinics and medical offices – using telemedicine. And since NYU Langone engaged in these advanced technologies early on, we were fast to make use of telehealth to help tens of millions of individuals.

During the COVID19 outbreak, telemedicine provides a very significant contribution to healthcare, that is used in a range of methods.

But still, when it comes to addressing people throughout a disease outbreak, telehealth systems seem to suffer from certain drawbacks.

Additionally, there seems to be a risk that telemedicine will contribute to the excessive number of visits to hospitals unless it can be utilized effectively. However, in the course of a worldwide pandemic, healthcare facilities must try to adapt to telemedicine services.

The Benefits of Telemedicine During a Pandemic

During this major catastrophe, telemedicine is evolving as a resilient and comprehensive precautionary measure, preventive mechanism, and treatment solution to curb COVID-19 expansion.

We will review the main benefits of telemedicine during a pandemic and try to guess if it is a temporary event or telemedicine is here to stay forever.

Safety of Doctors and Healthcare Experts

Telemedicine creates a gap between individuals, doctors and health-care systems, allowing patients, particularly symptomatic patients, to remain at home and interact with doctors via virtual networks, helping to minimize the transmission of the infection to large populations and medical personnel.

With telemedicine, we can split the patients into categories that require urgent help and that can be skipped.

Effective steps would then be undertaken to reduce the risks to physicians and healthcare staff.

Then, the right steps are being done for the pre-screened individuals, saving valuable energy and workforce, and mitigating disease transmission risks.

Dr. Jason Hallock, chief medical officer at SOC Telemed, a telemedicine technology and services vendor:

Healthcare is witnessing a spike in the number of telemedicine services operating on a global scale promising to deliver treatment to clients who may wonder whether they need treatment after experiencing possible coronavirus-related symptoms.

Sadly, involved organizations are currently only experimenting with telemedicine innovations and are just starting to understand that they are important tools for keeping potentially infectious people out of hospitals and doctors’ offices.

Safety of Chronic Patients

Telemedicine’s second function during this pandemic can be underestimated: to help deliver daily treatment to patients with significant-risk chronic illnesses.

The virus is very dangerous and even lethal to people with poor immunity, and doctors can protect these patients by preventing exposure to coronavirus by using telemedicine for remote consultations.

A contact management system, backed by telehealth software, should make it easier for chronic patients and their doctors to communicate better and avoid unnecessary risks.

Also, a timely collaboration between chronic patients and doctors should reduce the risk of further development of chronic diseases.

Keep Healthcare Systems Running

The third important function is often less clear but still quite crucial: Doctors and medical experts are not resistant to viruses and are at greater risk of acquiring COVID-19 due to their constant access to hospitalized individuals.

This leads to doctors being brought to a clinic with symptoms of the disease.

Such doctors will be quarantined until checked and confirmed and will become inaccessible to the health sector even when it requires them desperately.

Limitations to Telemedicine

Telemedicine can be an instrument used to manage COVID19. There’s one obvious gap that needs to be fixed, though.

The patients often have a more severe problem than originally discovered, which leads to the rapid progress of disease and requires hospital treatment.

The truth might just be that telemedicine, as it exists at the moment, needs to be revised for COVID19 to better handle early monitoring, evaluation, and tracking to anyone who might need out-of-hospital treatment.

The Future of Telemedicine

For now, telemedicine helps straighten the curve and deaccelerate virus transmission. Through offering this quick and convenient alternative, medical professionals are seeking to reduce COVID-19 circulation, as well as protecting patients that fall into high-risk groups.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advocated the use of alternative treatment when this COVID-19 story began.

Telemedicine is a critical tool in cases of a pandemic and is a game-changer when it comes to the question of how health care is delivered.

But it’s not a temporary event. Most healthcare experts agree that telemedicine is the future of medicine. And while it cannot replace the original way health care is delivered, it is here to stay, support, and improve traditional medicine!

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