Telehealth services are expected to grow at a compounded annual rate. There are several benefits of using telehealth services including reductions in travel time and costs, and the ability to speak with a physician over video chats. It is a better alternative than being relegated to voice calls or email exchanges. It is also important to examine potential drawbacks like inaccurate data transmission and supervision, limitations on patients’ mobility, and medication adherence. Another drawback to examine is the lack of human interaction for those who need it most.
What Are the Benefits of Telehealth as a Healthcare Alternative?
Telehealth services have the potential to benefit patients, healthcare providers, and society in several ways.
Telehealth allows for more accessible healthcare services, reduces travel time, and costs for patients, and enhances research opportunities. It does this by allowing studies to be performed over longer time periods than traditional patient-physician interactions.
Also, it enhances physician productivity using technology while minimizing the amount of call time they spend on administrative tasks.
Another factor is the ability to provide a viable option for patients who are unable to travel because of their medical conditions. A good example of such patients is senior citizens.
What Are the Barriers to Telehealth?
The issue of accurate transmission has been identified as a concern. It is despite efforts to ensure that information is accurately sent from the physician’s office to another.
The technology used for transmission is not ubiquitous and equipment is not always at the patient’s disposal. There is a high likelihood of data transmission errors. Also, it is important to have multiple mechanisms in place to minimize the chances of errors.
The issue of supervision also arises because patients may not always monitor or participate in their medical care. It is because of their medical condition or mobility issues and being unable to read text-based messages.
Telehealth services could provide supervision for these patients, however, being unable to reach them through normal means such as voicemail and text messaging can prevent this from occurring.
The lack of human interaction may become a problem when necessary social interactions are unavailable. It includes emotions like sympathy or empathy, and non-verbal communication like smiles, facial expressions, and eye contact. Patients of all ages tend to appreciate human interaction more than technology-based interactions.
How Can Telehealth Services Benefit Society?
Telehealth services represent a potential solution to many of the healthcare issues faced by senior citizens. It is especially good for those with disabilities and others who are unable to travel for medical care due to their illness or disability.
The potential solution offers an alternative for elderly patients that does not require them to travel as far and as frequently as they once did.
The telemedicine market is expected to grow at a compounded annual rate increases the demand for telehealth services exponentially in the years following 2021.
Telehealth services are also expected to benefit society through health research. It means studies can be performed over longer time periods than traditional patient-physician interactions. It is especially important in the field of mental health, where the effects of treatment are difficult to assess.
Telehealth services also have the potential to reduce healthcare costs. They reduce travel time and costs for patients and reduce the amount of call time physicians spend on administrative tasks.
Telehealth services also offer a viable option for patients who are unable to travel because of their medical conditions.
What Are the Short- And Long-term Benefits of Telehealth in Health Care?
Short-term benefits for patients include access to their healthcare provider without having to travel. It also provides an opportunity for physicians to spend more face-to-face time with their patients. Presents the ability to teleconference with multiple physicians instead of just one.
Longer-term benefits include an increased capacity for communication between healthcare professionals and doctors. It is due to the exceptional audio quality of teleconferencing systems combined with improved patient education.
What Are the Challenges in Creating a Successful Telehealth Strategy?
There are several challenges related to the use of telehealth services. For example, physicians may face problems from their primary employers, such as insurance companies and hospitals. It is because these organizations may not support telehealth criteria.
Another main challenge is completed by patients and healthcare providers alike: both parties must be flexible and willing to try new things for a telehealth strategy to be successful.
Regardless of the challenges facing telehealth, it has a great potential to remain effective for many years to come.