Telehealth technologies all over the world are on the rise. Telemedicine provides healthcare treatments and information to patients through the use of mobile, tablet and computer devices.
It is being used to bridge the gap between the doctor and the patient. Telehealth technology is giving patients control over their healthcare service. They no longer need to wait for hours in medical practice; instead, they can get the service they need at the touch of a button.
The overall advantage telehealth technology brings to the industry is the convenience, in that patients can get the help they need quickly and better quality of care.
With the number of techniques increasing, going up all the time, there are plenty of great main applications of telehealth technologies.
This article will discuss current uses and important factors to note for businesses that are looking to create their own.
Firstly, here are some current applications of telehealth technology:
- Patient portals
- Remote appointments
- Health apps
- Personal health records
- Patient monitoring
- Communication between professionals
Healthcare practices may uses portals as a way of communicating updates to patients. Portals allow confidential information to be stored securely and can be used by professionals for a number of tasks, including scheduling appointments, reviewing information from previous visits and general communication with the patient.
For practices with large systems, patient portals can also provide a single point of communication to liaise with specialists. Consultants can access the data easily and analyze without trouble.
Telehealth technology allows healthcare professionals to arrange virtual, remote appointments via a video call. This gives patients access to a doctor or nurse to people or areas that have difficulty getting to the practice.
For example, doctors can perform routine checkups and treat minor illnesses to patients. From here, they will be able to prescribe a treatment, suggest remedies that can be applied from home, make arrangements for an in-person examination or invite a specialist into the same conversation from another location.
Combined with a patient portal, virtual appointments can be extremely effective according to Healthcare Weekly. Larger healthcare organizations even have dedicated virtual offices as part of their overall service.
The healthcare app development space has seen thousands of apps released for download. The main reason for this is to help patients track and record their health information at their will.
There are plenty of apps to choose from, such as those that track steps taken throughout the day to the number of calories consumed.
One particular example comes from the American Heart Association, whose applications provide patients with the ability to make audio and video calls with a physician or cardiovascular consultant. This allows them to get the help they need quickly.
That said, the proliferation of mobile apps in the healthcare space has not gone unnoticed by regulatory bodies. As others have noted, the FDA has stepped up to govern what specific health apps can and cannot do. Any company launching a health mobile app (or at least hoping to operate in the United States) must be mindful of the fact that health apps must abide by an increasingly more stringent set of rules and regulations.
Personal Health Records
Along with apps, telehealth technologies have enabled patients to access personal health records, known as a personal health record (PHR) system. They can be accessed by the patient from anywhere, at any time, using a device of their choice, including computers, mobile phones, and tablets.
The advantages of using PHR systems include providing emergency services with vital information, such as current conditions and if they are taking any medications. In an emergency, a personal health record can quickly give emergency personnel vital information, such as current diagnoses, medications, drug allergies and your doctor’s contact information.
Another benefit of PHR systems relates to finance. Both healthcare payers and purchasers can benefit from lower management costs, lower medication costs, and lower wellness program costs.
Telehealth technology can be used by professionals to monitor a patient’s health remotely, such as providing wearable equipment that transmits information back to the practice for analysis. One benefit of this is that the information can be monitored over an extended period of time.
For example, doctors may issue portable heart rate monitors to patients that suffer from respiratory or cardiovascular disease. Before they were issued, patients had to remain in a hospital for monitoring, whereas now they can go about their daily lives and still have the same vital data tracked.
Communication Between Professionals
Doctors and other healthcare professionals can also benefit from the rise of telehealth technologies by arranging virtual consultations between specialists and care doctors to get expert opinions on a particular case according to Simon Stertzer, a renowned cardiologist.
They can share notes, test results and patient history for each other to review. From here, the specialist can make their judgment and provide a timely response with their suggestion.
This prevents wasting time from unnecessary referrals, allowing specialists to focus on cases that actually require specialist help. On the patient, they don’t need to spend more money than what’s required and also save traveling to the specialist.
So, now that some of the applications of telehealth technologies have been discussed, here are a few for development teams looking to create their own.
Smarter Telehealth Design
For developers that are looking at creating their own telehealth technology, there are few things to keep in mind.
Firstly, employ data visualization techniques to promote the brand through infographics, video, and graphs to make all facts and figures more digestible to the audience. They should aim to promote the organization’s services and encourage engagement.
Next, the telehealth technology should provide the information to the end user clearly. The last thing patients need is feeling confused. They have relied on technology to solve their problems, not create new ones.
While it’s important to talk accurately, the average user won’t be familiar with medical terminology so present in a way that everyone can understand.
Some companies have gone above and beyond and simplified the process even further. For example, HelloAlvin is a telemedicine company that actually allows patients to complete the registration process to connect with a doctor directly via text messages. When the process is complete, the user can simply reach a doctor via phone or video chat. Hello Alvin is a great example of an app or technology that makes it easy for the patient to contact the provider.
This article showed how the use of telehealth technology has risen and their many useful applications. They bridge the gap between the doctor and the patient, making healthcare more accessible and convenient.