Telehealth refers to the use of technology in delivering healthcare services at a distance. It entails the use of computers in carrying out medical visits and remotely monitoring the patient’s vital signs. Telehealth also offers training and education the medical professionals. The three examples of telehealth currently used in the healthcare system include: first, synchronous, which means the doctor’s communication with the patient in real-time by use of either computer or telephone (Lurie & Carr, 2018). Secondly, asynchronous refers to recording data, images, and messages and later sharing them with the doctor (Lurie & Carr, 2018). The last example is remote patient monitoring that includes sending measurements, such as body weight and blood pressure to the caregiver.
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Telehealth has positively impacted in improving access and patient safety in many ways. It has helped in treating a wide range of medical conditions, especially when medical assistance is sought from a qualified professional who, in return, gives clear details about symptoms as well as preventive measures. Lower costs due to less time spent in hospitals have saved the cost of many patients who opt for telemedicine. In addition, less communication translates to lower transport costs and other secondary expenses like childcare and gas. This has effectively helped the financially unstable patients who get their services without incurring many expenses.
Telemedicine is convenient in that people access healthcare services in comfort and privacy. The patient is then free to share with the doctor all details of his ailment without fear due to the privacy hence getting the correct and effective treatment. Alternatively, one does not have to take time off work or arrange childcare services. It has helped improve access to healthcare, especially to the people with disabilities and the older adults who are geographically isolated, and those incarcerated. It has also slowed the spread of infection rate of diseases since there is no exposure with the infected people or any pathogens because one is treated at his home. Telehealth is convenient and should be used widely due to its many benefits to those who cannot go to the doctor’s office or prefer to stay at home due to fear of getting dangerous infections, such as contagious diseases. The patient should provide detailed medical information, such as visible symptoms requiring treatment to get the best healthcare services.
Lurie, N., & Carr, B. G. (2018). The role of telehealth in the medical response to disasters. JAMA internal medicine, 178(6), 745-746.