Tag: Sean Hopwood

Everything You Need To Know About Telemedicine

Sean Hopwood

By Sean Hopwood, CEO, Day Interpreting.

Scheduling an appointment with your doctor is usually the first thing you do when you’re feeling a little under the weather or have some questions about your health. But as technology keeps advancing, your options for healthcare are rapidly expanding. One of these options includes telemedicine, which enables you to get medical advice when you need it most, all without leaving the comfort of your home.

What Exactly is Telemedicine?

As the name implies, telemedicine is a way for patients to communicate with their healthcare practitioners with tech instead of physically popping into the doctor’s room or hospital for a consultation.

Telemedicine enables you to discuss your symptoms and questions with your doctor using video, web-based platforms or apps, and email. In turn, your doctor can send you a diagnosis, discuss your treatment options with you, and send over a prescription, all without the need for physical interaction.

Telemedicine is nothing new, but the name is. In fact, healthcare providers have been using this care method since the 1950s, when telemedicine was offered through landline telephones. Thankfully, technological advances have made it possible for healthcare providers and their patients to use various options for care these days. These options include online portals, apps managed by companies that offer telemedicine, and video software that even facilitates video remote interpreting services.

How Does Telemedicine Work?

Telemedicine isn’t suitable for emergencies like broken bones, lacerations, strokes, or heart attacks. Anything that requires immediate physical care should always be handled in person, at a clinic, or hospital. But telemedicine is an excellent supplemental care solution for issues you’d usually turn to your GP for.

A quick virtual consultation with your healthcare provider can help patients get the preventative care they need when physical consultations aren’t possible or not entirely necessary. Telemedicine is also helpful for other applications, including virtual dermatology and psychotherapy.

Is Telemedicine the Same as Telehealth?

Although the terms telemedicine and telehealth are often used interchangeably, there’s a considerable difference between the two. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), telemedicine allows patients to “heal from a distance” and receive healthcare services without physically visiting their physicians.
Health IT states that telehealth comprises the use of electronic data and telecommunications technology to promote and support remote clinical healthcare and professional health education and public health.
Unlike telemedicine, telehealth is not a virtual healthcare service but rather a way to improve patient care and education opportunities for physicians.

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The Growing Need for Language Services in Healthcare

Guest post by Sean Patrick Hopwood, MBA, president, Day Translations, Inc..

In almost every corner of the globe, an international population continues to grow. In the
United States, there are millions of multi-ethnic members of society who still do not have health insurance. Frequently, they also forego medical consultations and treatment because they experience difficulty in communicating with medical practitioners.

The number of adult foreign language speakers in the United States and the mandates of the Affordable Care Act have now paved the way for the more active involvement of medical interpreters in the healthcare industry.

A rise in numbers

In the past, medical interpreters facilitated two-way communication between adult patients and their doctors. Today, very few children with limited English language skills are insured under the Affordable Care Act or ACA. In view of this, medical interpreters are often called to remove the language barriers for pediatric patients who have limited proficiency in the English language. Studies have shown positive results for adult Limited English Proficient (LEP) patients when their communication is facilitated by an interpreter. Likewise positive outcomes have been recorded, showing that when the language barrier between doctors and their adult patients is removed, inappropriate treatment and misdiagnosis are eliminated.

Different situation with a child patient

When the patient is a child and the parents have limited proficiency in the English language, it often leads to children staying longer in the hospital. There had been studies conducted showing that on the average, inpatients in pediatric care stay about 60 percent longer when their parents lack fluency in the English language. With the help of medical interpreters, the number of children spending longer stays in hospitals are slowly getting reduced.

Higher demand for professional interpreters and translators

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, the demand for professional translators and interpreters in general is expected to have a 29 percent increase from 2014 until 2024. This projected average job growth for language services is faster than any other occupation. This will be driven by the larger increases in the presence of non-English speakers in the United States and increasing globalization. Likewise, the bureau also projects that the demand will be for translators and interpreters who have received certification.

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