Telemedicine will likely result in a vast array of consequences – some exciting and positive, some challenging and even negative – for professionals who work in many different areas of the medical field. The future is very uncertain as technology, and therefore telemedicine, continues to develop and improve at break-neck speed. Many medical professionals will need to retrain, adapt, and evolve in order to cope. The requirements and skills to work (and flourish) within the medical industry will change. Some careers will hugely benefit, other careers will come to an unexpectedly early end. Here are some ways in which telemedicine will change the lives of medical professionals in the future.
Certain Jobs Will Become Obsolete
One of the most dramatic effects of telemedicine on the lives of medical professionals could be that some of them will perhaps end up losing their current jobs. As telemedicine technology improves, many positions within the medical industry may well become obsolete. Traditionally crucial jobs, such as doctor’s surgery receptionists and various types of nurse practitioner, may no longer be needed as more and more consultations are done remotely using telemedicine. Other medical industry jobs may end up being done better (without the possibility of human error) by telemedicine devices or apps. For medical professionals in these positions, it will be necessary to retrain for other positions, either within the medical industry or in another field.
Less Crowding in Emergency Rooms
As telemedicine improves, one of the major benefits will be that ERs will become less busy. More and more patients with minor illnesses that would previously have reported to ER (such as anxiety attacks, heart palpitations, mild food poisoning, or minor sprains) will be diagnosed and treated remotely using telemedicine technology. This will be a great thing for medical professionals who work in ERs, as it will mean that they can work in increasingly calmer and less crowded surroundings. Medical professionals will be able to dedicate more time to treating acutely ill patients who arrive in the ER with life-threatening conditions instead of wasting time dealing with only slightly ill patients who don’t actually need face-to-face emergency treatment.
More Efficient Communication With Patients
Telemedicine will make it much easier for medical professionals to have efficient communication with their patients. Frequent, high-fidelity, comprehensive communication between a physician and their patients will become easier and easier to achieve as telemedicine improves in the future.
Easier to Market to Patients in a Wider Catchment Area
For many medical professionals, improvements in telemedicine technology will massively increase the number of potential patients that they can market their services to. Traditionally, the people physicians could market their services to was limited by geographical proximity. Using telemedicine, a medical professional will be able to work with people on more and more complex consultations from much greater distances. This will particularly benefit medical professionals who offer elective procedures, such as plastic surgeons and aesthetic dentists. The ease with which preoperative consultations for these types of procedures can be done remotely using telemedicine will mean that medical professionals can market to patients all over the world.
Increased Requirement to be Tech-Savvy
For most of medical history, there has been at least some onus on doctors and physicians to stay up-to-date with advances in medical knowledge. In more recent times, and in most fields and jurisdictions, there has been a regulatory requirement that medical professionals undertake regular retraining in order for them to stay abreast of advances and modern best practices. As telemedicine becomes a more and more popular and important part of the overall field of medicine, medical professionals will need to work harder to stay abreast of changes in modern technology. Being tech-savvy will be increasingly crucial for medical professionals of every ilk. Needing to stay up-to-date with advances in technology as well as medical knowledge will mean that in future medical professionals will need to undertake more constant learning and reskilling than ever before.
See a Higher Volume of Patients
One of the major advantages of telemedicine over traditional medicine is that telemedicine is far more time-efficient. A telemedicine consultation can often be done in a fraction of the time that a face-to-face consultation would take. As telemedicine improves, more and more different types of consultation will be able to be done in less and less time. This means that the best medical professionals will be able to fit in more patient consultations than ever before. This may result in the most sought-after physicians having more patients and the less sought-after practitioners losing out on patients, and perhaps ultimately their jobs.
Improved Lifestyle Mobility and Schedule Flexibility
Telemedicine will allow many medical professionals to do a lot more of their work remotely. This will allow many people who work within the field to have much greater flexibility within their schedule and also allow them to work from different locations. Increasingly, medical professionals will be able to pick when and from where in the world they work. Physicians performing consultations, using telemedicine, from exotic beaches while they sip cocktails (non-alcoholic, of course) may become common!