Telehealth and telemedicine are revolutionizing the way a clinical research organization like Veristat provides healthcare services to patients. They make it easier for more people to gain admission to better medical care. Contrary to popular belief, virtual health care, often known as telemedicine or telehealth, involves much more than low-cost digital in-person care. When applied correctly, it enhances patient health and lowers expenses. But what are these two concepts exactly, how are they improving patients’ lives, and why are they growing rapidly? This blog post addresses those questions and more.
What do we mean by telehealth and telemedicine?
The goal of both telehealth and telemedicine is to increase access to medical care regardless of one’s location. Both models leverage distant communications technologies and cutting-edge technology to provide healthcare to people in remote areas. While the phrases telehealth and telemedicine are sometimes used interchangeably because they both serve the same purpose, there are important distinctions between the two. Below, we’ve defined each concept in as few words as possible:
What is telehealth?
The scope of telehealth services is extensive. These include preventive, promotional, and curative care, as well as the distribution of medications and the distribution of health-related educational tools.
Telemedicine is a subcategory of telehealth that focuses specifically on medical care. Its focus is on clinical service provision, particularly in the areas of monitoring and diagnostics.
What’s fueling the growth in telehealth and telemedicine?
The COVID-19 pandemic has hastened the spread of telehealth and telemedicine. A study from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) shows that there were 6200% more telehealth visits in 2020 than in 2019. Lockdowns that made it impossible or severely restricted people’s ability to physically access healthcare services were the driving force behind the massive expansion. But that doesn’t mean that the market has stopped growing. With more and more people having access to high-speed internet and mobile devices, telehealth and telemedicine are only anticipated to grow in popularity.
What are the benefits of using telehealth and telemedicine?
Not everyone has access to or can afford the healthcare treatments they require. Telehealth and telemedicine make it possible for people to acquire the care they need through the use of cutting-edge technology. Patients can receive virtual consultations, participate in at home clinical trials, have their health condition continuously monitored, and have their medications supplied automatically, among other things. Key advantages include lowering healthcare costs and improving healthcare outcomes by allowing for more thorough patient monitoring and follow-up. However, the advantages of telehealth and telemedicine are not limited to the patients themselves. Providers in the medical field can improve their output and effectiveness by increasing the number of patients they treat in a given period of time.
The added advantage for national healthcare providers is that their populations and economies will be healthier. The use of telehealth or telemedicine services can also lower the cost of health care, which frees up money for governments to spend on other things, like education, the environment, or benefits. Private healthcare providers might benefit from increased revenue as a result of increased productivity among employees and an increasing number of patients. This means they’ll have more money to invest in cutting-edge medical equipment, resulting in even better treatment for their patients.
Where are telehealth and telemedicine going from here?
Telehealth and telemedicine have promising futures. As technology improves, so do the kinds of services that can be offered, and the costs for patients can be kept to a minimum. Some of the most important trends in telehealth and telemedicine that support this are things like AI. Moreover, technological advancements are simplifying, improving, and decreasing the cost of telehealth and telemedicine services.
The potential of telehealth is promising, despite its current limitations. By connecting patients with a network of medical and behavioral experts, telehealth services improve their ability to receive timely, individualized treatment.