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A decade ago, if you told anyone that you were using telemedicine, they would think you had lost your mind. Today, in the era of the global shortage of healthcare practitioners, telemedicine actually gives hope for better access to qualified medical help.
In fact, telemedicine is even better than traditional healthcare when it comes to its application.
Telemedicine Is More Convenient and Accessible
Before COVID-19 stroke, telemedicine helped citizens of rural areas get quality medical help on time. It aided millions of people with chronic diseases to maintain their living standards, control their treatment, or stay healthy.
During the lockdown, telemedicine has become the only possible way to connect with a health practitioner and get professional advice on one’s medical condition. Hospitals were crowded with coronavirus patients, and many people were banned from leaving their homes.
Telemedicine has almost replaced in-person visits for a while. Even though some people like face-to-face communication better, telemedicine largely contributes to the continuity of medical care and its accessibility.
Telemedicine Is Cheaper
Telemedicine lets hospitals save money and function more cost-effectively. Electronic medical consultations and data storage largely reduce healthcare service costs. It saves money for all stakeholders.
Recently, the American Hospital Association announced that telemedicine helped save 11% in costs that almost tripled ROI for investors. Since most hospitals are independent entities that are a part of big medical corporations, reaching cost-effectiveness is critical for their sustainable operation.
Telemedicine Offers Scheduling
No one has to wait in lines or commute to distant facilities if they have an issue that can be handled online. Telemedicine promotes calendar management helping both a physician and a patient plan their time.
Thus, with telemedicine, you can access more specialists regardless of location and within a specific timeframe. Of course, if more people start using telemedicine, the waiting time will increase. But for now, it is a perfect, time-saving alternative to traditional healthcare consults.
Telemedicine Can Promote Preventive Medicine
Unfortunately, many people still address healthcare providers only when it’s too late for preventive medicine to work. Telemedicine can help change it. It has already proven to grow patient engagement, so it has high chances of promoting preventive medicine among people.
The culture of preventive medicine is only getting popular, but it is already efficient. It saves people’s money, and even lives, by helping prevent disease instead of treating its acute form. Telemedicine is equipped to promote such an approach like no other medical practice.
Telemedicine Can Provide Better Quality
This advantage is closely related to access to medical care. People living in rural areas with small or underperforming healthcare institutions are no longer bound to get treatment based on their place of residence. They can get a consultation from a specialist living thousands of miles away.
Thus, people get to choose quality over proximity. In other words, patients come to specialists with a better skill set rather than agree to the services they have at hand.
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Telemedicine Offers Convenience
Now you can access healthcare from the comfort of your home. You can literally have a doctor visit you virtually without making a big effort on your side.
For many people, this might not be a great advantage, but it truly is when it comes to mental health consultations. People in need of such medical help would prefer to stay in a place where they feel safe and secured instead of having to go through the stress of traveling.
Telemedicine Bears No Risks of Contagion
It wouldn’t be on our list if it wasn’t for COVID-19 that showed us how important it is to stay home when the disease is raging. Fortunately, we are slowly getting back to normal with vaccination and self-isolation measures working. However, and unfortunately, there will be other viruses in the future that will spread globally or regionally. Telemedicine has the potential to save thousands of lives by simply treating people at home.
What’s more, immuno-compromised people can also get quality help without leaving their homes. This is a great advantage since most of them have a higher chance of getting sick after visiting hospitals.
Telemedicine is not the future of healthcare. It’s a reality already. Just like online learning is a reality of education today.
Whether you support in-person meetings with a doctor or would prefer to connect online, telemedicine is not going anywhere. Thus, we need to make the most of it and learn to take advantage of all the new opportunities that it offers.