7 Reasons Some People Don’t Use Telemedicine… Yet

Telemedicine has become hugely popular in the United States. It is improving the lives of a vast amount of people. But not everybody is availing of it yet. However, the number of people using telemedicine is increasing all the time, and surely it is only a matter of time before everybody uses telemedicine in one form or another.

Here are seven reasons some people don’t use telemedicine… yet.

Some people are still unaware of telemedicine’s existence

Despite its recent explosion in popularity, many people who do not have a finger on the pulse of modern technological advances are still unaware that telemedicine is a viable option for them. With a busy family life and career, it can be difficult for many people to find the time to stay up-to-date with cutting-edge developments in modern technology. This is unfortunate and ironic, because when people discover telemedicine and begin to use it, it usually saves them a ton of time – time they could spend educating themselves on the wonders of modern technology! This lack of awareness will gradually go away as more and more people become avid telemedicine users and spread the word amongst their friends and family.

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Telemedicine might seem like a daunting concept to older people who don’t have a solid understanding of technology.


There is still a widespread lack of understanding of technology

Many people who did not grow up using technology find modern telecommunication devices such as smartphones and tablets awfully confusing. Many baby boomers believe that using telecommunications technology is more difficult than it actually is, so they are resistant to attempting to learn about it. This lack of understanding of technology prevents people from using telemedicine. This issue will go away as devices become more and more intuitive and user-friendly and as more people cotton on to the overwhelming benefits that come from being at least modestly techno-literate.

Some people have a distrust of technology

Technophobia is a very real thing. Especially when it comes to their health, many people still believe that technology is unreliable, risky, and error-prone. This means that people are hesitant to use telemedicine and would rather stay with what they know. This distrust will slowly filter out of the population as people realize that their wellbeing, health, and safety are already thoroughly dependent on modern technology, and that, in reality, humans are far more prone to error than machines.

The U.S. still has inconsistent broadband availability

According to broadband mapping, many areas of the United States lag well behind the average in terms of broadband speed and price. Internet access and speeds still vary dramatically across the nation. For people who live in areas with inconsistent, overly expensive, or slow broadband, telemedicine is sometimes not a viable option. This problem will soon be overcome as broadband technology improves and companies vie to outdo each other by providing faster and faster connections to every region in the country.

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Many people prefer the sense of trust embedded in face-to-face interactions with medical professionals.


Some people prefer face to face communication

It is a natural human instinct to desire face-to-face communication and connection, especially in times of stress. Reassurance is often more effective when given face-to-face. While telemedicine may be cheaper, less time-consuming, and less error-prone, people still place a very high value on in-person communication and the feeling it gives them. This desire for face-to-face communication, especially in times of stress, is not going to leave human beings anytime soon (and surely we wouldn’t want it to), but people will become more willing to forgo it when it becomes common knowledge than telemedicine, while often being less personable, is actually a more efficient way to acquire the best medical treatment available.

There are still limitations to telemedicine technology

While communications technology, and along with it telemedicine technology, is improving at an exponential rate, there are still many limitations. Many medical conditions are still not well suited to being treated remotely using telemedicine. It is still necessary to visit emergency rooms and doctor’s surgeries for many kinds of medical conditions and ailments. This will certainly remain the case for the foreseeable future. However, as technology improves, more conditions will become treatable remotely using telemedicine.

People still feel loyalty to their local family doctors

Many Americans have been visiting the same trusty, friendly family physician for decades, and so they feel a strong sense of loyalty. This is a nice thing. But it is hard to know if it will continue in perpetuity as telemedicine grows in stature and it becomes hard to argue that using telemedicine is not the most efficient way to get medical conditions treated. Will people’s sense of loyalty trump their desire to be as healthy as possible and to live as long as possible? It’s hard to imagine that this sense of loyalty is limitless. There will surely come a time when the case for telemedicine is just too strong to ignore.

Could Telemedicine Help Fight America’s Opioid Addiction?

The U.S. is currently facing a huge opioid epidemic that seems to only be growing worse with time. Nearly 115 people die from opioid-related overdoses every single day in the U.S., which actually makes it the leading cause of death for people under the age of 50. More than 97 million people have used prescription painkillers (like oxycodone, hydrocodone, and fentanyl) in the last year, either because they were prescribed them by a physician or due to recreational street use. Two million of these people are considered dependent on opioids. If more serious steps aren’t taken to combat this trend, health experts estimate that over 500,000 people could die from opioid overdoses in the next 10 years.

As the nation is learning more about the rising abuse of opioids, the federal government has tried to take some action by pushing through stricter drug enforcement measures. There has also been a call for doctors to write fewer prescriptions for painkillers – thus, preventing opioid addiction before it can even get started. However, experts believe it will take at least a few years before these measures can have any type of true impact. So, what else can be done in the meantime?

It turns out telemedicine options can actually help combat the rising rates of opioid addiction. Several programs are launching around the country that bring together all types of medical professionals (physicians, nurses, social workers, etc.) to help gain important knowledge from addiction specialists and psychiatrists. The ECHO (Extension for Community Health Outcomes) program was established several months ago as part of the Office of Telemedicine/Telehealth at Virginia Commonwealth University’s VCU Health system. This program, funded by grant money from the Virginia Department of Health, works by holding sessions on connected platforms to help medical professionals learn and communicate with each other in a collaborative environment. Each of these sessions allows between 25 and 40 providers to participate in video sessions to get educated about current trends and treatments in the field of addiction treatment.

Dr. Vimal Mishra, the medical director and principal investigator for the program, says, “It’s a fantastic way of delivering health care in a learning environment. This is where the future of public health begins.”

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The key to reducing the opioid epidemic could lie within telemedicine.

One of the ways this type of telemedicine can be even more helpful is the fact that providers from rural or remote areas can participate and learn from the video sessions, no matter where they’re located. Providers can be up on the latest treatment options even if they live far from addiction specialists or treatment centers. These under-served rural areas are often where addiction treatment is needed the most.

ECHO focuses on educating providers on various treatment options, including Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT). MAT is a treatment plan that uses opioid treatment programs (OTPs) to combine both behavioral therapy and medications to help treat substance abuse disorders. This type of treatment helps providers view the patient as a whole, instead of treating various elements of the addiction. The use of medications (like methadone, naltrexone, and buprenorphine) work to block the effects of narcotics while reducing or preventing withdrawal symptoms.

Without the use of a program like ECHO, providers in remote areas would either have to learn about new treatment options like MAT through rare clinics held by larger health systems or state health officials. They would often have to convince these parties to travel to rural areas to offer training and education. This means that many areas still aren’t getting the support they need to effectively treat opioid addiction or to help stop the spread of the abuse of these medications.

It seems obvious that these telemedicine programs can be vital in fighting the U.S.’s opioid addiction. More education and communication with specialists would certainly give providers a better chance at treating addiction. Programs like ECHO mean that medical professionals can get access to essential information while fostering a wide community of support for treatment providers. Mishra states, “I feel like I’m learning something not only from the expert who’s sitting beside me, but also from the community. We’re all learning together. This is value-based care.”

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Opioid education programs delivered via telemedicine could play a huge role in decreasing this problem in the U.S.

However, these programs are still facing some uphill battles in terms of wider support and funding. Because these telemedicine options aren’t provider-to-patient care, but are rather a provider-to-provider system, some companies don’t see the immediate financial benefits of setting up the programs. But, on the other hand, the opioid epidemic is creating a huge impact on the U.S. economy. A study from 2016 stated that opioid overdoses, abuse, and dependence have cost the economy around $78.5 billion. However, the White House stated in late 2017 that the opioid epidemic has cost the U.S. closer to an estimated $504 billion, meaning that the crisis is not only having a huge impact on the nation’s health but also a detrimental effect on its economy.

Mishra suggests that the financiers considering supporting programs like ECHO take a different look at the formula. “It’s not a return on investment, but a return on public health,” he says. “It’s not hard money you’re looking for. It’s about how many people you’re treating in the communities, by their own primary care providers, rather than transferring them to other facilities.”

Mishra brings up a valid point with this. If patients are able to stay in their remote towns and still receive medical care from their own providers, they might be more likely to kick their addiction. Having to travel to bigger cities or meet with new specialists can create an environment that is less conducive to recovery for opioid addicts. Bringing the very best treatment options to rural communities could increase the chance that patients are able to stick to their recovery and avoid relapses.

It’s a fact that programs like ECHO can benefit those seeking treatment from addiction by providing medical professionals with updated and accurate information. Imagine how much it would help the country if even more providers were able to offer better treatment options for individuals, regardless of where they live. It’s obvious that more steps need to be taken to help fight the nation’s opioid addiction, and telemedicine just might be the solution to this frightening epidemic.

How Telemedicine is Changing the Treatment of Strokes

Telemedicine continues to improve the world of health care. Now, with the use of technology, people can get better access to treatment for a wide variety of conditions. One of the areas in which telemedicine has been the most successful is the diagnosis and treatment of strokes. In the U.S., strokes are the third leading cause of death, with a stroke patient dying every three minutes. Strokes happen to more than 700,000 patients every year, leaving many with permanent disabilities. Many individuals face a loss of employment or significant changes to their lifestyle. Read on for how these health care measures are helping to change how the U.S. treats strokes.

A stroke, sometimes called a “brain attack,” happens when blood flow is cut off to an area in the brain. When these brain cells are deprived of necessary oxygen and glucose, the cells end up dying. There are two types of strokes: an ischemic stroke, which occurs when clots form in the brain’s blood vessels. The clots can also form in blood vessels elsewhere in the body that then travel to the brain. These clots block blood flow. Around 80% of strokes are ischemic. The second type of stroke is hemorrhagic when a blood vessel in the brain breaks or ruptures. Blood ends up seeping into the brain tissue, which results in damage to the brain cells. This type of stroke can be the result of high blood pressure or brain aneurysms.

The symptoms of a stroke include weakness or numbness of the face, arm, or leg on one side of the body, loss of vision in one or both eyes, loss of speech, difficulty talking or understanding other people, sudden severe headaches, or loss of balance or unstable walking. If stroke patients don’t receive an immediate diagnosis and treatment, there could be permanent brain damage. In more serious cases, death of the patient can occur. Therefore, time is the most important aspect of treatment – the sooner a patient is diagnosed and treated, the better their prognosis will be. Some patients can stave off disabilities caused by strokes if they are given the FDA-approved medication tPA (tissue plasminogen activator) within the first three hours of the stroke occurring.

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Thanks to telemedicine, stroke patients are receiving faster, more effective diagnosis and treatment.

Telemedicine is changing the treatment of strokes by implementing programs called telestroke. These programs are run by doctors (usually neurologists) who are able to remotely evaluate stroke victims through digital video cameras, web communications, and robotic telepresence. These doctors work to quickly diagnose the stroke patient and come up with a treatment plan that can best serve the individual – all without needing to physically examine the patient. The telestroke system generally has three elements to it: a brain imaging review, a remote examination, and a web portal for synchronized requirements. Doctors can download and view brain scans from any location to help determine the best course of action for a particular patient. The remote examination is done with video conferencing, where physicians can perform the evaluations to determine the cause and severity of the stroke. This allows them to come up with a diagnosis and treatment plan that can be transferred to whichever hospital or facility the patient is taken to. All of this data obtained from the telestroke program is available through a web portal that lets a team of doctors share valuable information about the patient.

In an interview with Medscape, Dr. Lawrence R. Wechsler, chairman of the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, stated that some of the telestroke systems “have CT scans in the ambulance and can give tPA right there and then. Others just use an iPad in the ambulance to connect to the stroke expert.”

One of the biggest ways telestroke can help patients is by assisting individuals who live in remote areas. A recent study estimates that three out of every four counties in the U.S. lack a nearby hospital that has the neurological services needed to effectively treat stroke patients. Telemedicine can therefore provide the very best neurologists on hand to stroke patients – no matter where they live. Thus, people living in rural areas can still access the very best health care options and are much more likely to have a strong chance of recovery.

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Advances in stroke diagnosis and care are just one of the myriad benefits of telemedicine.

There’s a growing amount of evidence that demonstrates telestroke measures have been effective in treating stroke patients. Back in 2016, Kaiser Permanente released a study showing that of more than 2,500 people diagnosed with ischemic strokes, there was an almost 75% increase in the timely use of the drug tPA after the patients received a telestroke consult. With telestroke care, patients were also able to get a diagnostic imaging test 12 minutes sooner, while drugs were administered 11 minutes sooner, reducing overall initial treatment times to less than an hour. The study noted, “Particularly in hospitals with limited resources and/or limited access to neurologic expertise, telestroke is an important tool to aid in the evaluation and treatment of potential stroke… Telestroke may aid in triage and transfer decisions and in identifying patients potentially eligible for endovascular intervention or patients who might otherwise benefit from transfer to a stroke center.”

Bottom line: telestroke programs allow stroke patients to have quicker and more in-depth evaluations that can be truly life-saving. Without telestroke measures, many patients would face waiting longer periods of time between the stroke event and making it to the hospital where they can meet with a physician. With instant diagnostic tests and communication with physicians, stroke patients have a much better shot at making a full recovery because of these vital telestroke programs.

7 Ways Telemedicine is Changing the Medical Landscape

While breakthroughs in medical knowledge have been impressively (and wonderfully!) common over the past few hundred years, the way in which medical consultations have been carried out has stayed rather similar throughout this time. Doctors have been treating their patients face-to-face inside their treatment rooms for most of medical history. This has often meant that patients have needed to travel large distances to see a doctor. It also meant that a doctor’s potential patient list was very limited by geography.

But all of this has changed over the past two decades. With the advent of super-fast internet and super-powerful mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, a new way of administering medical treatment has arrived on the scene and changed the medical landscape almost beyond recognition.

Telemedicine has made many things possible today that would have been beyond the dreams of even the most wildly imaginative futurists and sci-fi writers from recent history!

The telemedicine scene is bubbling with innovation and is a truly fascinating space to watch right now. Here are seven ways telemedicine is changing the medical landscape.

Patients Have Far More Choice

Telemedicine has given patients much more choice in which medical professionals they consult with. A patient can choose to be treated by a doctor who is based in another city, state, or even on the other side of the world if they wish. Whereas before patients could only deal with medical professionals located relatively near to them, it is now possible for somebody to be treated by a doctor located a vast distance away. This is a big change for the better in the medical landscape.

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ER waiting times are being reduced thanks to telemedicine.

Hospital Emergency Rooms Are Much Less Crowded

Thanks to telemedicine, a lot of medical conditions that are relatively minor but would still have landed somebody in an ER can now be treated remotely. The fact that a lot of conditions that would have required an ER visit in the past are now being treated using telemedicine means that ERs have become less clogged up. This is a profound change for the better, as it means that seriously ill patients who really do need treatment at an ER can be taken care of more quickly and more efficiently than ever before.

Many Medical Consultations Are Much More Time-Efficient

Throughout human history, receiving medical treatment tended to be very time-consuming. Traveling to doctors’ surgeries, queuing up, repeat appointments… All of these things took up a lot of time. This has changed dramatically since the advent of telemedicine. Medical treatment is now far more time-efficient. Travel times have been reduced (in many cases to zero) and queuing in a doctor’s waiting room is now unnecessary in many instances. Telemedicine has made receiving medical treatment much less time-consuming than ever before.

Less Competitive Medical Professionals Are Going Out of Business

Due to the fact that telemedicine allows patients to give their business to medical practitioners in any distant corner or the country or even world, doctors can no longer afford to be lazy and to rely on mere geographical proximity to provide them with a customer base. In today’s telemedicine free market, competition is rife. The best doctors get more and more patients, and other doctors see their businesses die. This is a great thing for patients and the medical industry on the whole.

Tech-savvy medical professionals are leading the way thanks to the advent of telemedicine.


Medical Professionals Are Needing To Be More Tech-Savvy

Telemedicine is developing and improving at a rapid pace. This means that medical professionals are having to study hard to keep up with the technological innovation taking place. Not only do doctors need to keep up-to-date with advancements in medical knowledge, they also need to be highly tech-savvy. This results in an increased workload for medical professionals. But it is surely a good thing for patients, as doctors become more and more highly trained and au fait with the cutting edge of human tech knowledge.

Medical Professionals Can Operate Successful Practices Outside of Major Hub Locations

No longer do medical professionals, especially those who specialize in elective procedures, need to set up their clinics in main urban hubs, such as New York, Chicago, L.A., or Houston, in order to attract patients. Thanks to telemedicine, it is now possible for a doctor to operate from a smaller, more remote location and still attract a lot of clients simply by doing a lot of their consultations (and promotion) online.

Certain Medical Industry Jobs Are Being Lost

Telemedicine is resulting in some medical industry jobs becoming obsolete. This is unfortunate for the people who lose their jobs, but it may well prove to be good for consumers and the industry as a whole as treatment becomes more efficient, more streamlined, and more effective overall.

How Will Telemedicine Change The Lives Of Medical Professionals In The Future?

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.

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Communication methods between physicians and their patients are set to improve through telemedicine.


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.

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Medical practitioners will be required to be even more tech-savvy as telemedicine use grows.

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!

7 Reasons Telemedicine Is Becoming So Popular

Telemedicine – the marriage of medicine with modern telecommunications technology – is growing in popularity all the time. The advent of the internet and the explosion in technological innovation that it heralded has changed the world in so many ways. Many areas of day-to-day life have been thoroughly transformed by communications tech. Medicine is certainly one of these areas, and in myriad ways, health care provision looks totally different today than it did a mere decade ago. These changes have really benefited patients and health care professionals by making it possible to receive and deliver extremely effective health care in more efficient ways than ever before. Here are 7 reasons telemedicine is becoming so popular.

Constantly Improving Technology

The first reason telemedicine is becoming more and more popular is because the service provided is improving all the time. Every year, technology makes huge advances and so telemedicine provision gets better, quicker, and more effective. With the advent of newer, better telemedicine apps and more cutting-edge forms of technology, telemedicine provision is going from strength to strength. People have more options now than ever before and what can be achieved using telemedicine is more impressive than ever. Due to this ever-improving service, telemedicine is continuously getting more popular.

More Choice

A big reason for telemedicine’s ever-increasing popularity with patients is the fact that it opens up a vast world of choice for them. No longer is a person limited to consulting with one of a small group of health care professionals that just happen to be located near to where they live. Using telemedicine apps, people can choose to be treated by medical professionals located in any area of the country, or the world, no matter how far away. This means that people now have a vast amount of choice in who they deal with, and this increased choice is proving very popular with patients.


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More People Choosing to Live “Off the Grid”

With the advent of the internet and ever-improving telecommunications technology, an increasing number of people are choosing to escape the rat-race by moving out of big, crowded cities and working remotely from smaller towns and villages, rural areas, and even wildernesses, both at home and abroad, where they can enjoy a more relaxed and laid-back lifestyle. For this small (but ever-growing) army of digital nomads and remote workers, telemedicine is proving to be an invaluable way to receive the health care they need while living and working in a small, remote or foreign location that may not have many local health care options.

Time Savings

One of the main reasons for the increase in popularity of telemedicine is, of course, the fact that it is a huge time-saver. Consulting with a health care professional from the comfort of your own home or office using telemedicine takes far less time than traveling to a doctor’s surgery, clinic, or hospital for a traditional, face-to-face consultation. In today’s busy world, many people have very hectic schedules, so any way to save time is very valuable. With improving technology, telemedicine services are only getting quicker and quicker, so more and more people are choosing to avail of telemedicine as an excellent time-saving tool.

Money Savings

Telemedicine can be a lot cheaper than traditional medicine. With more choice comes increased competition. Due to the larger market that telemedicine opens up, competition is increased and this forces prices down. A small cabal of doctors in a small town can charge a higher price for their services, but if telemedicine is increasing competition by providing the consumer with access to medical professionals from anywhere in the country, then the price of all health care will tend to be forced down.


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Avoid Doctors’ Surgeries

More and more people are happily utilizing the opportunity to avoid doctors’ surgeries. Telemedicine allows people to stay away from hospitals, clinics, and surgeries and the germs and viruses that these places often harbor. It is not uncommon to enter a hospital with one illness and pick up a new virus while being treated in the hospital. Avoiding this unpleasant possibility is very attractive to a lot of people. Telemedicine is providing people with the opportunity to stay comfortable and virus-free in their own home.

Convenient For Patients With Mobility Problems

For patients with disabilities or mobility problems, getting to a hospital or surgery can be a major inconvenience. Telemedicine is proving to be more and more popular with people in this situation, as it allows them to consult quickly and effectively with health care professionals without needing to go through the hassle of traveling to a destination that may or may not be disabled-user-friendly.

Telemedicine and Technology: What The Future Holds For Online Consultations

Telemedicine first became possible 20 years ago with the advent of modern internet-based communications technology. Since its inception, telemedicine has exploded in popularity and is now a vast industry that continues to grow at an ever-accelerating pace. For millions of people in the United States and around the world, being able to use telemedicine to receive medical care remotely via high-powered communications technology is a genuine godsend.

Growth in the telemedicine sector is happening exponentially, in tight lockstep with growth in technology that is fascinating, aiding, worrying, and even terrifying us in equal measures. As technology advances and becomes more spectacularly powerful, so the possibilities for developing and improving telemedicine become more and more thrilling. In a sense, we are only limited by our imaginations. So, what may the future hold for telemedicine and online consultations?

It is important to realize that this move away from face-to-face consultations and increasing dependence on modern technology, machines, and robots is certainly not something unique to the world of medicine and health care. The nature of how we communicate and work in the modern world is changing rapidly, profoundly, and permanently. While our lives become more and more convenient and our array of choices more and more boundless, many jobs are becoming obsolete. When is the last time you had your groceries scanned by a human at Walmart? Or used a traditional taxi cab company? Or waited in line at your local bank branch? Apps and machines are changing how we live in so many ways, and due to this, many people are having to rethink how they go about earning a living. Self-driving trucks are already in operation, and when they become widespread, as surely they must, many truck drivers around the world will lose their jobs. People who work in certain sectors of the health care industry will be affected by the unstoppable rise of telemedicine, but to what extent and in what ways, only time will tell.

Like in most industries, face-to-face consulting will become less necessary in health care as technology advances and grows. Telemedicine will enable more and more advanced consultations and procedures to be undertaken remotely. And while there are advantages to face-to-face consultations, overall, increasing people’s ability to consult remotely will bring huge benefits to the majority of patients. The more of a person’s health care needs that can be met using telemedicine, the more time and hassle they save, the more access people living remotely can have to the best health care, and the more choice all patients will have when deciding what type of care is best for them.


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Telemedicine has many benefits for people all around the world.

As people’s attitudes towards technology change and they become increasingly comfortable with performing the majority of their advanced tasks of life online, increasing amounts of people will become willing to avail of telemedicine. The more tech-savvy the population becomes, the happier people will be to get their crucial health care needs met online. After all, it was only ten years ago that most people were very apprehensive about paying for goods online using their credit card details, and now practically everybody buys a large amount of their goods online through sites like Amazon and eBay. In the no-too-distant future, online medical consultations will be the norm. We may even soon have a generation of citizens who have never had the experience of queuing in a doctor’s waiting room!

Online consultations will continue to become quicker and more time-efficient. Time savings are a huge motivation for modern patients, and so telemedicine will continue to provide ways and means of speeding up medical consultations. Predictive algorithms will read the patient’s mind and provide answers to questions that they have not even realized they want to ask yet!

As more and more detailed info becomes transferable online, doctors will be able to do advanced consultations remotely. Patients will have apps on their smartphone that can detect their symptoms and determine their physical condition, and then relay this information instantly to their examining physician anywhere in the world.


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As technology advances, so too does telemedicine.

As robots become smarter, patients will have less need to deal with flesh and blood human medical professionals at all. It is highly conceivable that most telemedicine consultations will be done with an embarrassingly intelligent (and presumably extremely personable!) robo-doctor within the next decade – this is already happening in the world of investing, where robo-advisors are giving people the best possible advice on what to do with their life savings.

These are just some of the developments the future holds for online medical consultations. Telemedicine and technology will continue to grow at an exponential rate, and while interesting predictions can be made, the future will surely be even more fantastic and exciting than anyone can currently imagine. Watch this space!

How Telemedicine is Revolutionizing the Medical World

Telemedicine may appear to be a new-fangled technology that is coming to destroy the jobs of established medical professionals, but the truth is that it’s been around for a long time and is just experiencing a renaissance thanks to smartphone technology. While people may be slightly fearful of what they don’t know, the reality is that telemedicine has the potential to change everything, both for patients and for doctors.

Simply put, telemedicine is the combination of telecommunications technology with medicine. It allows medical professionals to deliver diagnostic and medical advice over telecommunications technology. In earlier instances, technology such as radio and traditional telephones were used, particularly in rural areas and in war and combat environments. Nowadays, telemedicine is using smartphone technology to provide the best health care possible to all kinds of patients.

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Telemedicine is revolutionizing the way doctors and patients communicate.

If you’re wondering how a telemedical appointment even works, you’re not alone. Luckily, the process is very simple for both patients and medical professionals. If you’re a patient, you can access a telemedical doctor via an online service. Depending on the service, you can either make an appointment or “walk in” to see someone. If you need to wait, you may have to stay in a virtual meeting room, but once you’re connected to a medical professional, they will conduct your appointment via your phone, usually by video chat. It is just like an in-person appointment. They will ask about your symptoms, your lifestyle, and any treatments that you may have administered to yourself at home. If they need to take your heart rate or blood pressure, you may have to visit a pharmacist to administer these tests, but otherwise, the appointment is very similar to an in-person consultation.

Your telemedical doctor will diagnose you and if you need a prescription, it can be sent directly to your pharmacist so you don’t have to worry about losing it. The best thing about telemedicine is that it takes a lot of the stress out of the hands of patients. It also caters to patients who may not be able to properly access traditional health care. If you have mobility issues, including physical disabilities, it is easier to receive medical advice over your smartphone as opposed to having to leave the house several times a month. It can also be very helpful for people suffering from mental or emotional conditions that may prevent them from being able to leave the house. Many mentally ill people are unable to access health care due to their social isolation, but telemedicine can help them to get the medical advice that they sorely need.

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With smartphone technology, the possibilities for telemedical advances are endless.

Technological advances mean that you don’t even need a high-end smartphone to access telemedicine. Given that most phones these days have cameras and access to app stores, you are likely to have access to the technology that you need to get medical advice via telemedicine. It’s also very easy for medical professionals, as they likely only need a smartphone or a laptop themselves to be able to help patients. All both parties need is a camera and an internet connection to be able to make the relationship work. This flexibility means that doctors can work the hours that suit them as opposed to being slaves to strict clinical schedules, and that patients can see a doctor at a time that doesn’t interfere with their day-to-day lives. Given that we use our phones to manage most aspects of our lives, why wouldn’t we use it to easily track our medical progress?

Telemedicine also delivers information directly into the hands of patients. In a traditional clinical setting, your records are stored either physically or digitally in the doctor’s office, and you are unlikely to be able to access them without filing a special request. With telemedicine, your records are usually stored within your profile on the website that you use – and you can check your prescription or your consultation notes whenever you want. This process gives the power back to patients and means that you are not tied to a certain clinic because if you need to change service providers, your information is right there waiting for you.

Telemedicine is already changing so much in the medical world, both for patients and for doctors. It is allowing flexibility, empowering patients, and making it easier than ever to access real medical advice. It’s the best way for patients to be able to access health care in an easy and flexible way that doesn’t impinge too much on their lives, and doctors are able to access a larger and more diverse pool of patients as well as being able to work far more flexibly. It seems like an obvious choice for everyone – so what’s holding you back?

How Telemedicine is Revolutionizing the Lives of Busy Professionals

The biggest complaint that people seem to have about modern life is that it’s too busy and crazy. In today’s world, we are being pulled in so many different directions and it can be so difficult to find a moment to engage in self-care. With professional responsibilities becoming ever more present in all facets of our lives, and social media ensuring that are social lives are broadcast performances, it can be hard to take care of ourselves at a basic level. That’s where telemedicine can help.

Trying to find time to visit the doctor can prove impossible to do alongside working full-time. Most doctor’s clinics only open during office hours and they can be inflexible in accommodating working professionals. Similarly, not all jobs offer paid leave to attend medical appointments, so sometimes you may literally be asked to choose between money and health. However, there are many new advances in telemedicine ensuring that busy professionals are having their health care needs properly met.

Telemedicine is not a new phenomenon, but it is experiencing a new renaissance thanks to smartphone technology. Simply put, telemedicine is the delivery of health or diagnostic advice via the means of telecommunications technology. It has been used since the advent of the emergence of telecommunications technology, usually to serve people in war-torn remote places, but it is now far easier to access thanks to smartphones.

Divan Medical - man with tablet

As a busy professional, you’re probably already using smartphone and tablet technology constantly – why not put it to use in your health care, too?

While it may seem odd to use your smartphone to access this kind of technology, it really couldn’t be easier. Firstly, depending on the service you pick, you can either make a formal appointment or drop in to a virtual waiting room. When it comes time to see a doctor, you will be connected via the camera on your smartphone. After this, it’s just the same as seeing a doctor in person. They will ask why you have come for an appointment, talk you through your symptoms, and ask you to move your camera to look at any physical symptoms, if you have any. Then they may order further tests or send a prescription to you. This all happens from anywhere that you happen to be. It couldn’t be easier.

As well as working around your busy schedule, telemedical doctors will make your life even easier by doing the hard work for you. If they feel that you need further tests, they will send a letter to you, detailing what needs to be done so that you can take it to a specialist. If you require a prescription, they can have it sent to your local pharmacy, so that your medication will be ready and waiting for you when you go to pick it up, saving you even more time. In today’s busy world, what could be better?

The key advantage of telemedicine is that its main purpose is to make the lives of its users easier. As well as the advantages listed above, telemedicine also empowers its users to take charge of their medical histories. Usually, it can be a tenuous and difficult process to access your medical records from a traditional doctor’s clinic. However, with telemedical providers, your records are stored centrally, in a way that they can be easily accessed by patients if needed. This also means that if you happen to see a different doctor, they can easily access your records to provide you with the best care possible in light of your medical history.

Divan Medical - tablet

Using telemedicine instead of visiting a doctor in-person can save busy professionals so much valuable time.

If you commute a long way to work, have limited mobility, or live far away from your doctor, telemedicine can truly revolutionize your life. Instead of messing up your daily routine to grab ten minutes with a traditional doctor, wait until you get back to the comfort of your home to grab a consultation with a telemedical doctor. You don’t have to mess up your daily routine, and you won’t lose any of your precious leisure time by diverting yourself to the doctor’s office, even if you’re lucky enough to get an appointment outside of office hours.

The truth is that telemedicine is truly changing the lives of busy professionals. We live in a world where we have higher and higher expectations on us from work thanks to mobile technology, but this technology can also help us to make our lives more efficient. Why wait in a germy doctor’s waiting room when you can chat to a fully qualified doctor from the comfort and privacy of your own home? Why traipse from doctor’s office to pharmacy to wait to have a prescription filled when your telemedical doctor can make sure that your medication is ready and waiting for you when you get to the pharmacy? Take back your life and your personal time. The power is in your hands and on your phone!

How Smartphone Technology Is Allowing Telemedicine To Advance At A Stunning Rate

Thanks to the telecommunication and information technologies that have been at the forefront of 20th century technological advancement, telemedicine has become an incredibly effective solution to distance barriers, providing people in isolated, rural areas with access to medical services. Communications between patients and medical staff now take place with expedience and high fidelity, and this leads to faster diagnosis and resolution for patients. More recently, with the rapid technological advancement and ubiquity of smartphones (it is estimated that there are around 2.1 billion smartphone users in the world), telemedicine has managed to advance at even more rapid rates. Outlined below are some of the most mind-boggling ways smartphones have facilitated the progress of telemedicine.

Mobile Apps

There is a vast array of health apps currently available for smartphones – many of which are free. Anyone with a smartphone can use apps to monitor sleep patterns, track their weight, use two-way video calls to communicate with medical staff, get medication reminders, and even connect with online support groups.

Remote Monitoring

Some of these telemedicine apps can track and report a patient’s health information to their healthcare provider, so that detailed analysis and diagnosis can be drawn. As smartphones are always at hand, data collected this way tends to be far more accurate than both patients making estimations and medical practitioners tracking for short periods.

Remote monitoring, or self-monitoring, allows medical professionals to monitor a patient remotely using a plethora of technological devices, including smartphones. This is applicable in managing chronic diseases or conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes. Remote monitoring often provides similar health outcomes to more conventional, in-person patient encounters, supplies greater satisfaction to patients, takes less time, and tends to be far more cost-effective for both the patient and the medical practitioner.

Divan Medical - X-ray on computer

Medical imaging and telemedicine have paired well together, particularly for stroke patients.

Medical Imaging – Stroke Patients

In 2012, medical images taken on smartphones to evaluate stroke patients in remote locations through telemedicine were proven to be effective. This allows patients to access expert help in a timely fashion when they need it most. If required, patients can be prescribed medications within a short timeframe to proactively minimize serious injury to the brain.

Medical images sent via smartphones have also led to significant cost reductions by making ground or air ambulance transfer of the patient to another medical center unnecessary.

Wound Management

Telemedicine for wound management is conveniently done using a smartphone’s high-quality video camera in conjunction with electronic medical records (to exchange medical information). After receiving wound images, a plan of care is developed that best ensures the patient’s full and speedy recovery. Subsequently, products that will benefit recovery are ordered and delivered. This is all done from the convenience of the patient’s home.

Wound management is particularly interesting because it provides a level of care that often cannot be done in person. Follow-ups on post-surgical visits are far more frequent and continued care for chronic wounds are much more extensive. Furthermore, it means less pain for patients, as they don’t have to travel long distances for care.


Ophthalmology is the branch of science concerned with the study and treatment of diseases and disorders of the human eye. Tele-ophthalmology attempts to digitalize as much of the ophthalmological care as possible and effective. Electronic ophthalmologic records of the patients often include the capturing of images by smartphones. Smartphone cameras are now advanced enough to be able to capture both anterior and posterior segments of the eye to be evaluated by ophthalmologists.

Divan Medical - eye

Tele-ophthalmology is another advancement that’s been made largely due to smartphone technology.

Only if patients require further evaluations will they be referred to experts in the relevant field. Tele-ophthalmology, in conjunction with smartphones, is able to treat diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and retinopathy of prematurity. These are the most common causes of blindness, but smartphones are helping ophthalmologists deal more effectively with these diseases on a mass scale, helping many isolated people get the help they need before it’s too late.

A large number of studies have shown that clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction levels of tele-ophthalmology are similar to the conventional eye care system, while also providing cost-effectiveness.


The tele-dentistry industry has shown the ability to detect occlusal caries (decay on contacting surfaces of teeth) from photographs taken by smartphone cameras with comparable diagnostic results when compared to traditional screening. As tooth decay is linked to many dangerous diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, and even dementia, this is an important development for many patients.

With the rapid advancement of smartphone technology, telemedicine has become an incredibly exciting space to watch, and one that provides incredible benefit to the many people who would be very poorly served in its absence. But there is clearly lots more work to be done to bridge the gap between medicine and telemedicine, and the power of smartphones will have a large part to play in bridging that gap.

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