According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report, 37% of adults in the United States have used telemedicine in the past 12 months. With telehealth technology gaining traction in the post-COVID-19 era, the percentage will steadily rise with more patients and providers benefitting from different telehealth applications.
This tendency shows how healthcare has evolved beyond the traditional doctor-patient interaction. Telemedicine has emerged as a revolutionary tool, enabling healthcare providers to deliver care remotely. This article aims to explore the most common use cases and applications of telehealth for various specific conditions while also demonstrating the limitations and the potential of the phenomenon in its prime.
“At SPsoft, we’re not just coding away behind screens; we’re genuinely excited about the future of telehealth. I’ve seen firsthand how our blend of healthcare knowledge and tech expertise can craft resonating solutions. When you join forces with us, you’re not just getting a vendor; you’re gaining a partner who’s as passionate about revolutionizing healthcare as you are. Let’s make a difference together.”
“In the tech world, getting lost in the jargon and the code is easy. But at SPsoft, we remember the ‘why’ behind every line we write. Telehealth is more than a trend; it’s the future. And we’re here, ready to roll up our sleeves and work side-by-side with you. It is time to craft solutions that work and matter to the people using them.”
Head of Product Management, SPsoft
How Do Different Types of Telehealth Technology Work?
Telehealth technology is a transformative force in the healthcare sector, revolutionizing how medical services are delivered. It leverages digital platforms to facilitate communication between patients and healthcare providers, overcoming geographical barriers and making healthcare more accessible. The technology needed for telehealth operates primarily through three methods:
This method involves collecting medical data and then transmitting this data to a healthcare provider at a convenient time for assessment. It is commonly used in the following departments:
Basically, all the clinical areas where a practitioner can gather and analyze various images as well as other types of data to make an accurate diagnosis. For instance, a dermatologist can review the patient’s skin images and medical history sent through a secure platform and provide a diagnosis and treatment plan. This method is particularly beneficial in areas where access to specialists is limited.
The data collected can range from medical images and bio-signals (like ECGs) to clinical data and reports. This data is then securely stored and forwarded to the healthcare provider using encryption to ensure patient privacy.
Real-Time E-Visits (Synchronous)
That involves live interaction between the patient and healthcare provider through digital platforms. It is akin to a traditional doctor’s appointment but conducted virtually. For example, patients could have a video consultation with their doctor to discuss symptoms or treatment plans. This method is often used for follow-up visits, management of chronic conditions, medication management, and specialist consultation.
This method requires a secure and reliable internet connection, a webcam, microphone, speaker (or a smartphone), and a private, quiet space. The platforms used for these interactions are typically encrypted and HIPAA-compliant to protect patient information.
Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM)
RPM allows healthcare providers to monitor patients’ health data using tech devices remotely. It is mainly beneficial for managing chronic conditions like diabetes or heart disease. For instance, a patient with heart disease could have a heart monitor at home that sends data to their healthcare provider, allowing the latter to track the patient’s heart function in real time and intervene if needed.
RPM utilizes digital technologies to collect medical and other health data from individuals in one location and securely transmit that information to healthcare providers in different areas for assessment and recommendations.
Telehealth technology is a powerful tool that is reshaping the landscape of healthcare delivery. By enabling asynchronous communication, real-time e-visits, and remote patient monitoring, it enhances access to healthcare services, improves patient outcomes, and reduces healthcare costs.
Reach out to access even deeper insights into different variations of telehealth technology to determine the best one for your business.
Some Most Common Telehealth Technology Examples
Telehealth technology applications manifest in various forms, each designed to cater to relevant aspects of healthcare delivery. The following are some of the most common examples of telehealth technologies in action:
Patient portals are secure online websites that give patients 24-hour access to their health data. They offer several features:
- View Medical Records. Patients can view their medical history, test results, and other health information.
- Book Appointments. Patients can schedule appointments with their healthcare providers.
- Renew Prescriptions. Patients can request prescription renewals.
- Communicate with Healthcare Providers. Patients can send secure messages to their healthcare providers.
For instance, the Mayo Clinic’s patient portal provides all these features, making healthcare more accessible and convenient.
Mobile health (mHealth) applications are software programs that offer health-related services on smartphones, tablet PCs, and other mobile devices. These apps offer a variety of features:
- Medication Reminders. The apps remind patients when it is time to take their medication.
- Vital Sign Monitoring. Some apps can monitor vital signs like heart rate and blood pressure.
- Disease Management. These apps provide resources and tools to help patients manage chronic diseases.
For example, SPsoft developed an mHealth app that provides all these features, helping cancer patients manage their health more effectively.
Electronic Health Records (EHR) systems are digital versions of patients’ paper charts containing a patient’s medical history, diagnoses, medications, treatment plans, and more. These systems offer several features:
- Track Data Over Time. Healthcare providers can monitor a patient’s health progress over time.
- Identify Patients for Preventive Visits and Screenings. These systems can help identify patients due for preventive visits or screenings.
- Monitor Patients to Improve Quality Care. By tracking the patient’s health data, healthcare providers can provide more personalized and effective care.
For instance, RevenueXL’s EHR system offers all these features and is integrated with a telehealth platform, simplifying the process of implementing telehealth services.
Thus, telehealth technologies have significantly improved the accessibility and delivery of healthcare services. By leveraging patient portals, mHealth apps, and EHR systems, healthcare providers can offer a more patient-centered approach, providing convenient, efficient, and effective care.
Are you considering developing a telehealth solution that delivers value from the get-go? It is vital to know what telehealth features to prioritize!
Real-Life Telehealth Applications for Specific Conditions
From managing chronic conditions to providing mental health support, telemedicine makes healthcare more accessible and efficient. Here are five specific applications of telehealth:
1. Chronic Disease Management
Telehealth technology has been fundamental in managing chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Health Recovery Solutions provides a patient engagement platform that enables remote patient monitoring, video conferencing, and instant messaging. This platform allows healthcare providers to monitor patient’s health data in real time, leading to timely interventions and improved health outcomes. The platform uses Bluetooth-enabled devices to collect health data, which is then transmitted to the healthcare provider’s portal for review and action.
2. Mental Health Support
Telehealth is also revolutionizing mental health support. Philips’ telepsychiatry solution provides a platform for mental health consultations, allowing patients to receive care from the comfort of their homes. That reduces the stigma of seeking mental health support and makes it more convenient for patients. The platform offers a secure video conferencing feature that ensures privacy and confidentiality during consultations.
3. Post-Surgical Follow-ups
Post-surgical follow-ups are crucial in ensuring a successful recovery. Telehealth technologies enable healthcare providers to monitor patients’ recovery progress remotely, reducing the need for hospital visits. That is particularly beneficial for patients living in remote areas. The technology allows for transmitting wound images and vital signs, enabling healthcare providers to assess the patient’s condition and provide appropriate care instructions.
4. Pediatric Care
Telehealth also makes pediatric care more accessible. Philips’ eICU program, for instance, allows doctors to monitor critically ill children from a central hub, ensuring timely interventions and improved patient outcomes. The program uses high-definition cameras and real-time data analytics to monitor patients’ conditions and alert healthcare providers of critical changes.
5. COVID-19 Response
The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of telehealth. Telehealth services have been pivotal in minimizing the risk of transmission, providing continuous care to the community, and reducing morbidity and mortality during the outbreak. Telehealth platforms have enabled virtual consultations, remote patient monitoring, and digital contact tracing, which are crucial in managing the pandemic.
The Limitations of Telehealth Technologies
While telehealth holds immense benefits for dealing with specific conditions, it has limitations. Challenges such as technological barriers, privacy and security concerns, and regulatory restrictions can hinder its full-scale implementation. Here are six healthcare technology limitations or disadvantages and potential solutions:
Not all patients can access the necessary technology or internet connectivity to use telehealth services. That is particularly true for elderly patients and those in rural or underserved areas.
Develop programs that provide the necessary technology and internet access to underserved populations. Additionally, telehealth services could be available at community centers or other public locations with reliable internet access.
Privacy and Security Concerns
Telehealth involves transmitting sensitive patient data, which could be vulnerable to breaches or misuse.
Implement robust data encryption and security measures to protect patient information. Regularly update these measures to address emerging threats.
Telehealth is subject to a complex web of regulations varying by location. These regulations can limit the types of services provided via telehealth and who can provide them.
Advocate for regulatory reform to facilitate the broader use of telehealth. That could involve lobbying efforts, public awareness campaigns, and research demonstrating its effectiveness.
Lack of Personal Interaction
Telehealth lacks the personal touch of in-person visits, which can be essential for building trust and rapport between patients and providers.
Use video conferencing technology to facilitate face-to-face interactions. Providers can also receive training on how to build rapport with patients in a virtual setting.
Limited Examination Capabilities
Specific examinations and procedures cannot be performed remotely, limiting the scope of care provided via telehealth.
Develop and implement innovative techs that allow for more comprehensive remote examinations. For example, patients could use at-home diagnostic tools that transmit data to their doctors.
Patient and Provider Acceptance
Some patients and providers may resist using telehealth due to unfamiliarity or skepticism about its effectiveness.
Conduct education and awareness campaigns to inform patients and providers about the benefits of telehealth and how to use it effectively. Provide training and support to help providers integrate telemedicine into their practice.
While telehealth offers a promising avenue for healthcare delivery, it is crucial to acknowledge and address the disadvantages of technology in healthcare to ensure its effective and widespread adoption. And as we have explored these challenges, the following sections delve into telehealth’s profound impact and promising future in reshaping the industry.
Ready to get a comprehensive understanding of the pros and cons of telehealth? Witness all you need to know in this crafted-with-care article!
Telehealth’s potential to reshape healthcare delivery is immense, promising to make healthcare more accessible, efficient, and patient-centered. Here are some examples of how it works out:
1. Increased Acceptance and Utilization
Telemedicine has significantly increased acceptance and utilization during the COVID-19 pandemic. The sudden mass adoption of telehealth was driven by clinic closures, overflowing emergency rooms, disruptions to routine care, doctor shortages, and the entire industry being stretched thin.
That, combined with social distancing and lockdowns, has established telehealth as a viable option for care. For instance, over 36% of adults have used a telemedicine service during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recent Prosper Insights & Analytics Survey.
UniDoc Health has created the H3 Cube, a standalone remote health clinic housed in a private kiosk that enables lower-cost, real-time, remote doctor visits with a full suite of diagnostic tools and secure video conferencing technology housed inside. That allows patients to undergo full consultations as if they were in a physician’s office.
2. Technological Advancements
The advancement of technology has outpaced our medical system, making it possible for doctors to diagnose patients remotely. It means the doctor no longer needs to be in the same location as their diagnostic tools to get the patient data they need. Teladoc Health is a fully-compliant and secure platform with fully integrated diagnostic tools rather than the patient’s devices. That ensures secure data transmission that can connect directly with the EHR.
3. Impact on Patient Health Data Management
Telehealth has drawn criticism for being less secure than a traditional doctor visit. However, when a patient is present with a doctor in a clinic, the doctor can manually update the patient’s health record during or after the visit to the approved, compliant EHR system. For telehealth that takes place over the phone or a personal computer, the doctor still updates the EHR. Still, there is a potentially severe issue with how the data is transmitted.
Epic Systems is an EHR solution that brings telehealth closer to patient health data management. The platform has been on the market for decades and has managed to work out software ensuring top-notch data transmission within the scope of real-time patient-doctor interaction.
4. Continuity of Care
The integration of telehealth can enhance the continuity of care. Telehealth enables you to keep your family doctor when relocating. For instance, Doctor on Demand is a telehealth solution you can use to get continuity of care regardless of the geographical location. Moreover, they also adhere to accessibility standards issued under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to accommodate patients with various disabilities.
5. Future Developments
Telehealth is moving towards a reality where patients can be proactive about their health. Governments around the world are working to integrate technology-enabled care into legislation. Telehealth can act as a tool to improve the efficiency of health services as it can enable the more efficient deployment and sharing of medical resources that are geographically dispersed.
On the one hand, UniDoc Health is currently working on bringing their H3 Cubes to a network of pharmacies in Canada for low-income patients and veterans throughout Tucson, Arizona. They aim to be a part of building a future where everyone has access to quality care. On the other hand, there are telehealth solutions like HealthTap, experimenting with AI and trying to couple telehealth with personalized medicine.
Ultimately, as we navigate the digital age, it is crucial to harness the potential of telehealth and continue to innovate, ensuring that it is used to its fullest potential to benefit patients worldwide.
Trying to locate valuable insights on telehealth software development? Look no further. We have gathered a year’s worth of insights in this detailed piece.
Telehealth technology is a powerful tool that brings healthcare services to patients’ fingertips, breaking down geographical barriers and making healthcare more accessible. However, like any technology, it is not without its challenges.
By understanding its workings, examples, and applications, we can better harness its potential and address its limitations. It is crucial to continue the conversation about telehealth, exploring innovative solutions to its limitations and ensuring it is used to its fullest potential to benefit patients worldwide.
Contact us to see how telehealth application examples bring value in real-life settings. It is better to see it once with your eyes than hear it a thousand times across the Web.
Telemedicine works by using digital technology to deliver healthcare services remotely. That can involve consultations via video call, remote monitoring of vital signs, and digital transmission of medical images or data. It allows healthcare providers to evaluate, diagnose, and treat patients without needing an in-person visit.
Telehealth technologies are digital tools and systems used to provide healthcare services remotely. That includes video consultation software, remote patient monitoring devices, and platforms for sharing medical data. It is a broad field covering various techs aiming to improve healthcare access.
Telehealth works by using digital platforms and devices to facilitate remote healthcare. For instance, a patient and doctor can connect via a secure video conferencing platform for a consultation. Similarly, a patient with a chronic condition might use a device at home to monitor their vital signs, with the data being transmitted in real time to their healthcare provider. That allows for timely interventions and continuous care, even when the patient and provider are not in the same location.