Technology impacts our lives in so many ways, and in no way is that more evident than in the world of health care. Telemedicine is a continually growing field in which electronic communication and software are used in the treatment of medical issues. Telemedicine in 2018 is definitely going to demonstrate how health care professionals and their patients can further use technology to improve medical care.

Telemedicine is currently being used in many different capacities, including communication between doctors and patients for follow-up visits and medication management, consultations with specialists, and other coordination of care efforts that can be done through email, live-chats, or video conversations. There are countless benefits to telemedicine for patients – everything from no travel expenses to visit a doctor’s office and less time away from work, to limiting exposure to other contagious patients. Read on for information on how telemedicine in 2018 is changing the health care world.

Changes in how patients are interacting with health care professionals

Originally, telemedicine was primarily used for patients living in rural areas to get additional medical attention. However, more and more patients are using telemedicine to help them get the medical care they need without disrupting their busy lives. Even if you live in an urban area, you can skip traveling to a doctor’s office or hospital and bypass the time you spend in a waiting room. With telemedicine, there are easier and more convenient ways to communicate with your doctor.

Patients living in rural areas can get proper care

In the past, individuals residing in rural areas far from doctor’s offices or hospitals faced limited treatment options. With telemedicine in 2018, patients can get consultations and diagnoses from the comfort of their homes. They have increased treatment options because they can get treated by specific specialists who would not otherwise be accessible to them. Plus, they can get proper aftercare and help with disease management by communicating remotely with health care professionals. Patients who don’t have access to a medical professional can still get services they need (like obtaining a handicap parking permit through a telemedicine website like Dr. Handicap).

Divan Medical - man using computer

The advancement of telemedicine in 2018 will provide benefits to patients and health care professionals alike.

Increased access to specialists and coordination of care

Individuals who don’t have immediate access to specialists can find the perfect doctor to treat them by using telemedicine options. Whether they need assistance treating a rare condition or are located far away from a specialist they need, telemedicine can assist in helping them get the proper care. Telemedicine can also help their whole team of doctors to coordinate their care (including determining what tests they might need or which medications they should try) with online communication. This increased communication between doctors can greatly help improve treatment.

Assist patients in better health care management

It can be challenging for people to manage their health. If they have any chronic conditions or are trying to obtain a healthy lifestyle, it can be difficult to take on these things by themselves. However, with telemedicine in 2018, doctors can help set up a plan to reach their goals if they don’t have the ability to make frequent office visits. Communicating with their doctor through telemedicine can help with everything from losing weight and quitting smoking to monitoring blood pressure and keeping track of symptoms. Sharing information with their doctor through email can help them track their progress and get instant advice if they have questions.

Additionally, there is another aspect of telemedicine that can help an individual improve their health. There are mobile technology options (like apps or software) that can assist patients in monitoring their vitals or logging exercise, as well as helping them remember to refill prescriptions or keep track of any upcoming appointments. These telemedicine options offer more control and increased options for better management of their health.

Help with rehabilitation

Patients can often find it difficult to recover if they require rehabilitation. If patients live far away from medical facilities, they can feel like they’re facing the rehabilitation process alone. However, with telemedicine, patients can follow up with their doctors or therapists remotely, while still receiving the treatment they need. Telemedicine can also assist in providing patients with online support groups, advice from other health care professionals, and help monitoring their progress.

Divan Medical - nurse looking at X-ray

Patient data is instantly and easily available when using telemedicine, improving processes for all involved.

Provide nurses with assistance

Telemedicine also provides the health care community with added benefits. This type of technology can help nurses or doctors monitor patients while they’re attending to other individuals. Patient data is instantly available (like doctor’s notes, lab results, etc.), and they have the option of using cameras to assess patients even if they’re not in the same room. This literally helps the medical professionals be in two places at once! Telemedicine in 2018 will also help with a shortage of staff. Specialists can treat more patients, since they can be seen and communicated with remotely.

Reduced health care costs

Another major benefit of telemedicine is a reduction in health care costs (for everyone – including patients, doctors, employers, and insurance companies). Patients can avoid costly check-ups or diagnosis of simple health conditions, because doctors can diagnose and offer treatment recommendations remotely. Employers don’t have to worry about their workers taking time off to drive to a doctor’s appointment. Plus, hospitals can release patients who can go home because they can monitor their progress remotely. Studies have shown that telemedicine technologies can save costs with lower admissions to the hospital, shorter stays in the hospital, and help in improving chronic conditions.

Telemedicine is definitely the future of health care. With all of these benefits, it’s no wonder this is such a growing field. Consider inquiring with your doctor or insurance company about how using telemedicine in 2018 can help make your life easier.