Telehealth or Telemedicine: Advice on why they are Important to Our Health Care System
Technology is changing the way our society works, and the medical industry is certainly not immune to these changes. Telehealth and Telemedicine services are just one way in which the connections of technology and medicine are helping to improve the health services offered to patients while also helping to improve the efficiency of health care providers around the world. Knowing the benefits and advantages that come with telehealth or telemedicine services can help health care professionals make educated decisions on how to best implement these services in their own line of work.
Telehealth and Telemedicine Increase Access to Health Care
According to the World Bank and the World Health Organization, half the population of our world lacks access to basic health care services. Due to poverty, geographical constraints, or simply inefficient health care solutions, billions of people are faced with a lack of access to essential health care needs.
Telehealth and telemedicine services can help to increase access to health care by creating connections with people who live in remote areas. Over two-thirds of our global population has access to a cellphone and over 3.8 billion people, more than half the world´s population has access to an internet connection. This connectivity can allow people in remote, rural areas to apply for and obtain clinical services.
Companies like BetterHelp are on example of health care providers that provide online therapy sessions for people looking for mental health care but who cannot afford to travel long distances into a clinical setting.
Telehealth and Telemedicine Improve Health Care Outcomes
Another benefit of telehealth and telemedicine services is that they can improve overall health outcomes. Through increasing access to basic health care services, telehealth and telemedicine can help people receive a quicker diagnose which in turn can lead to earlier treatment. Waiting until a certain medical condition has dangerously progressed can increase treatment expenses, but early diagnosis with the help of telehealth services can often help to decrease costs, reduce potential disease complications, and even reduce mortality rates.
Telehealth and Telemedicine Can Reduce Health Care Costs
The same World Bank and WHO Study mentioned above also relate that over 800 million people around the world spend at least 10 percent of their household budgets on health expenses for themselves, and over 100 million people are pushed into poverty due to unexpected health care expenses.
Telehealth and telemedicine services can help to reduce the costs of expensive health care interventions through home monitoring programs that detect potential health problems while they are still manageable. This can prevent the onset of chronic diseases which are a major financial burden for families.
Also, through reducing the probability of long-term hospital stays, telehealth and telemedicine services can also help to lower costs for both private and public health care providers.
Telehealth and Telemedicine Can Support Clinical Education Programs
Preventative health care services are an extremely important component of public health. Telehealth and telemedicine services can be a major component of a holistic prevention program. Rural clinicians and health care promoters can use telehealth to continue their education and consult with specialists. Furthermore, health prevention programs can be offered to communities and individuals through the tech platforms that telemedicine and telehealth provide.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, telehealth and telemedicine services can help to empower patients to play an active role in their health care. People who actively seek out information related to their specific health conditions and vulnerabilities are better prepared to maintain their own long-term health.
While centralized clinics and large hospitals obviously have an important role to play in the overall health care industry, decentralized solutions are also important. Telehealth and telemedicine services can bring a number of important benefits both to health care providers and to communities and individuals. From increasing access to health care, improving health care outcomes, reducing health care costs, and supporting clinical education programs, telehealth and telemedicine should continue to grow in the coming years as an important and essential part of a holistic health care strategy.