Traditional medicine has a lot of side effects that are harmful to the environment. Telemedicine, on the other hand, makes the world a smaller and more efficient place, and this has a very positive effect on the environment.
Traditional medicine demands a lot of energy, mainly in the form of electricity. Traditional medicine requires large buildings and substantial physical infrastructure; it often necessitates that long journeys be made by road, rail, air, or sea; and it generates huge amounts of waste. The need to receive traditional medical treatment makes it essential for many people to live in large urban centers that cause great pollution to the environment.
Telemedicine has the potential to solve all of these harmful side effects of traditional medicine (at least to some extent). It makes travel less necessary; it reduces energy consumption; it decreases the need for large bricks-and-mortar facilities; it saves people time and money that can be dedicated to environmental projects. In all of these ways, telemedicine is much better for the environment than traditional medicine.
Here are 6 ways telemedicine can improve the environment.
Telemedicine Reduces the Need For Bricks-and-Mortar Medical Facilities
Physical infrastructure – such as hospitals, surgeries, roads, shops, cafes, and restaurants – is required to make traditional medicine work. All of this physical infrastructure takes up space, uses a vast amount of energy, and produces a ton of waste. Hospitals are often built on green-belt land. These giant structures often devour parkland and destroy ecosystems. Telemedicine makes a lot of this physical infrastructure unnecessary. Using telemedicine, people can consult with a doctor or any other type of medical professional remotely from the comfort of their own home. This makes physical infrastructure less necessary and therefore improves the environment.
Telemedicine Means Hospitals and Surgeries Can Be Smaller
Not only is infrastructure less necessary, but the infrastructure that already exists is now being scaled back thanks to telemedicine. Buildings that were once needed for traditional medicine are being freed up and can now be used for housing and other purposes. This reduces the need to build new houses on green-belt land. This scaling back of infrastructure and recycling of buildings is very good for the environment.
Telemedicine Reduces the Need For Travel
Being able to consult with a medical professional anywhere in the country (or even the world) from the comfort of your own home makes traveling much less essential. Telemedicine hugely reduces the need to journey by road, rail, or plane to visit a doctor in person. Using traditional medicine, patients often have to make a long car journey to see their local physician. A lot of patients need to travel by air to see a specialist when their condition requires it. Travel by road and plane is very bad for the environment. Telemedicine improves the environment by reducing the amount that patients need to travel to receive medical treatment.
Telemedicine Enables People To Choose More Eco-Friendly Treatments
Telemedicine gives patients far more choice. Thanks to this increased choice patients can now select from a wider range of possible medical treatments. Some treatments are more eco-friendly than others. For example, many people are choosing to use medical marijuana, grown organically on sustainable facilities, instead of synthetic drugs concocted in huge chemical-spewing pharmaceutical plants. Telemedicine allows people to improve the environment by choosing eco-friendly treatments.
Telemedicine Allows People to Live in Eco-Friendly Locations
The fact that people can get their medical treatment needs met remotely using telemedicine means that they can now, more than ever before, choose to live in remote locations. Cities are often clogged and dirty places that do great damage to the environment. Spewing sewage, traffic fumes, and household waste, modern cities put great pressure on the planet’s ecosystem. The more these cities can be decongested, the better. Living in less crowded, more eco-friendly locations can have a very positive impact on the environment. It is easier to live sustainably in smaller rural locations. Telemedicine makes it possible to live outside of cities by making it easy to consult with medical professionals from any location, no matter how remote.
Telemedicine Saves Time and Money… Which Can Be Dedicated to Environmental Causes
Telemedicine saves patients a ton of time and money. These invaluable resources can be used to improve the environment in numerous ways. Money can be invested in green projects like solar and wind power, and time can be invested in community clean-ups, building green homes and buildings, joining environmentalist movements, and volunteering on green projects. When telemedicine saves people time and money that they then dedicate to green projects, telemedicine is having a very positive impact on the environment.