We live in a digital era where nothing is untouched by technology. Everything we see, use, or provide is done through technology, and that is the reason why we had advanced this much. In the past few decades, technology and innovation have played a huge role in the evolution of various industries, and one of the biggest changes we can witness today is in the healthcare industry.
The ways in which the healthcare industry has changed is remarkable, and it has given us various new ways of making healthcare easy to access and affordable. The most recent and significant advancement that technology has brought to healthcare is the introduction of telemedicine.
Telemedicine can be explained as the use of information technology to provide diagnostics, consultation, and treatments via virtual communication. In other words, this solution provides a way of communicating with the concerned healthcare provider without meeting them physically. It has come as a revolution in the industry, and in the present time of pandemic, telemedicine has proven as one the greatest technological achievement of modern-day healthcare.
History of Telemedicine
We may have seen this technology recently, but in reality, the concept was the first can in existence in the 1900s. Documents and researchers show us that this technology can be traced back in 1905 when a Dutch physician named Willem Einthoven used electrocardiograms to send long-distance messages. Then with the evolution of radio, Norway, Italy, and France started providing radio consultation to the people boarding ships and on remote islands. In the 1950s, technology provided the medium of transmission of radiographic images.
The telemedicine we are using right now is quite advanced and capable. With the present technology, we can communicate with the health care provider in real-time with high-quality video communication. We can store and share medical data, reports, files, and images via the internet and cloud platform. And we can even get facilities of virtual diagnostics and medical examination for better consultation and treatment.
Technologies That Made It Possible
- Electronic Medical Record
Electronic medical records or EMR is a type of software that is a significant part of telemedicine solutions. With this software, we get a platform which we can use to save, store, manage, and share our medical data such as files, report, diagnostics, images, and audio files. It helps us to maintain our medical record that is easy to reach and retrieve in case of emergency. With this technology, it has become easier for healthcare providers to study the patient’s medical history and to suggest proper treatment.
- Advanced Diagnostics with AI
The use of artificial intelligence in making clinical decision support tools has also become a mainstream method used in healthcare all over the world. Through AI, healthcare providers can quickly perform diagnostic procedures and analyze the patient and make clinical decisions according to the data. They can even use virtual tools to examine their patient, including the examination of eye, skin, hair, and other virtual examinations. This all has become possible with intelligent algorithms that are used to create a refined search based on a system called Content-Based Image Retrieval or CBIR. The software used in the process is rigged with an AI feature called Derm Engine, which helps it to analyze large scale images.
- Internet and Communication Technology
The most crucial part of telemedicine is the internet and communication technology. These are the two platforms that made it all possible. With fast and secure internet, people can easily access the solution, and with advanced telecommunication technology, they can easily communicate, no matter where they are. These technologies have helped in breaking the barriers that were limiting the reach of healthcare to the people in need.
Advantages of Using Telemedicine
- Increased Access to Healthcare
With telemedicine now we can reach to healthcare providers with simple clicks on our mobile or computer. This has enabled access to healthcare anytime and from anywhere. It has been provided significant help in the present pandemic situation. With this, people living is a high alert zone or at some remote place can also get the appropriate clinical dermatology treatments and healthcare.
- Helped in Reducing Healthcare Cost
The biggest issue of the present healthcare industry is healthcare costs. The cost of transportation, patient caring, and monitoring has got quite high, which makes it difficult for people to get proper healthcare. But with telemedicine, you can reduce these costs. Now patients don’t have to rush to the hospital and can be monitored at home.
- Easy and Fast Treatment
Telemedicine has given us access to healthcare with remote mediums, which has made it very easy for people to reach the healthcare provider. In case of emergency, you can simply take consultation from your doctor and order required medicine at the same time. This has made the treatment process easy and quick.
Technology is making us smart, fast, and opening new doors to the future. Technology is a boon to mankind, and the advancements it provides are the fruits of it. Telemedicine is, without a doubt, a technology that will lead us to the future and with all the benefits and advantages it provides. It will surely become a significant part of our lives.