COVID – 19 has provided us with an opportunity to change the current healthcare system as more and more people at present are seeking healthcare facilities at home, this is called telemedicine. For decades, the medical field has undergone vast revolutions and the new “digital medical treatment” methods have soared in popularity after the escalation of the global pandemic. Now more than ever, with the integration of AI (Artificial Intelligence) and global digitalization, health facilities can become remotely accessible, assuring better health facilities and the well-being of the people regardless of where they live and what facilities they may be able to access.
Telemedicine is the practice of providing remote clinical services through a telecommunication system, which allows real-time monitoring and consultation between patients and healthcare providers. In a virtual checkup with the doctor, the patient sits in front of his/her camera and virtually communicates what they would in real life with the medical professionals. It is not only limited to checkups but telemedicine can further promote other fields such as counseling and guidance with doctors with the help of technological advancement. People can get online treatment through using specialized apps for this purpose such as MDLIVE, Lemonaid, Livehealth, and the like. The risk of spreading COVID-19 has been exceedingly reduced by telemedicine as people find this method the perfect alternative weighing all the pros and cons it has.
Telemedicine opens up the opportunity to provide immediate and quality care to the elderly, those living with chronic disease which hampers their mobility, and the less mobile populations in rural laces. It is predicted that the convenience provided by telemedicine can offer a decrease in hospital admissions and readmission rates due to improved patient compliance and ongoing monitoring. Hospitals won’t be overcrowded, people can get their appointments at their suitable time and the healthcare society gets ameliorated. The price of seeing a doctor is also likely to go down as all the logistical and infrastructural costs are minimized.
The innovative idea that is telemedicine can reform the way the healthcare system works today. With such salient concepts in hand its success would mean that patients in rural areas won’t have to travel for days and nights to meet a doctor, a checkup will be accessible to everyone everywhere around the globe via the integration of technological advancement into the healthcare system.
Telemedicine has already begun to work its magic. Countless lives have been improved and will continue to be improved. The main impact of telemedicine like I have said before will be on the lives of poorer people in developing countries. Let’s take Pakistan for example. Pakistan only has one advanced cancer hospital. And while this hospital is free and efficiently subsidised it cannot help people who live in remote areas where travel is impossible or people who can’t afford the travel and logistical cost. With telemedicine all a person in a village in Balochistan needs is a WiFi connection to see if they need a cancer test.
The idea of introducing the concept of telemedicine in today’s world especially in the least developing countries will not be easy to achieve however the things which are worth doing are often not easy. Moreover, the effective implementation of telemedicine is easier said than done. Telemedicine has its problems, one cannot get an X-ray done online but one can decide if they need it. Many developed countries have adopted the method of telemedicine considering its convenience and need in this pandemic; however in developing countries, it’s still a challenge. Many people do not have smartphones and access to a stable internet, thus this is another setback to introduce the concept of telemedicine in front of the whole world but, if these problems are solved, telemedicine can be a game-changer.