The Present and Future State of Telemedicine
In a world where we are asked to stay in our homes, life is being lived online. We work virtually, we learn virtually, we stay connected to family and friends virtually, and yes, we even go to the doctor virtually.
The shift to remote healthcare is necessary in the midst of stay-at-home orders, but it has been challenging for many physicians who have had to completely rethink the way they interact with patients; it has also called for patients to take more responsibility for their own health.
However, the news is not all bad. Telemedicine has been around for a long time, and in some ways, the COVID-19 pandemic has been an instigator for growth that will change the way our healthcare system operates. Governments and organizations like the American Medical Association have poured resources into helping providers continue to care for patients, and entrepreneurs are responding to the increased demand for remote care with innovative solutions.
What Are Some of the Challenges and Advantages of the Shift to Telemedicine?
According to Stacy Lloyd, Director of Digital Health and Operations for the American Medical Association, the initial challenge faced by physicians was the very sudden shift to remote work. If telehealth systems were not already in place in their practice, which was true in many cases, they had to adapt quickly and find innovative solutions to stay connected with patients.
On top of this, many physicians were and still are navigating working out of a new environment and figuring out how to perform exams in a remote setting.
At the same time, Lloyd says, “traditional telehealth vendors are experiencing a booming demand for their telehealth platforms and have seen significant increases in volume.” The government has also responded to the increased need for access to telehealth by relaxing certain HIPAA regulations, permitting physicians to use platforms such as FaceTime, Zoom, and Skype to perform patient video visits.
However, these technologies may not be a long-term solution after the public health emergency is lifted, so physicians may want to consider exploring more permanent telemedicine platforms for ongoing use. The AMA’s Telehealth Implementation Playbook was developed with this in mind and provides comprehensive guidance on evaluating, selecting, and contracting with vendors.
The shift to remote health has also uncovered access issues for certain populations. For example, elderly individuals are a demographic that is particularly at risk, but physicians have had issues communicating with their elderly patients and empowering them to perform certain activities such as taking their own blood pressure without in-person training. There are also patients in rural and urban areas who may not have access to the correct technologies for a visit or strong enough internet connection to support a video call.
To read the rest of the article, you can visit this link – https://masschallenge.org/article/present-future-state-telemedicine
This article was published on May 20, 2020 by Mass Challenge and authored by Celia Fox.
We are pleased to announce that New England Low Vision and Blindness is now a proud partner with NuEyes Technologies, Inc. for the representation of the HIPPA-compliant telemedicine platform NuCall. NuCall is an innovative telemedicine software solution and will be offered as a standard feature on the NuEyes e2 AR/VR smart glasses as well as standalone hardware-agnostic software that will connect patients to doctors from anywhere in the world. <Click here to learn more about NuCall.>
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