computer with dr and stethascope

How Telemedicine is Changing Healthcare

With more than half of U.S. hospitals treating patients remotely, telemedicine is fast pervading our current healthcare system. From consultation and diagnosis to treatment, telemedicine is being used by medical professionals for almost all stages of healthcare service. As an added bonus, patients are growing increasingly more comfortable with the idea of being treated via telemedicine.

A recent article in USNews.com sheds light on how telemedicine is changing the face of today’s healthcare. Citing the views and experiences shared in the U.S. News Hospital of Tomorrow forum by leading telemedicine professionals, the article brings forth the myriad ways in which telemedicine is impacting lives.

Jonathan Linkous, CEO of the American Telemedicine Association, discussed the extensive reach of telemedicine to rural areas which are not only miles away from world-class healthcare facilities, but which also lack proper healthcare infrastructure. To date, the national telemedicine network numbers in over 100 networks in the country at present, and he predicted that online medical consultations via webcam reached almost 1 million patients this year alone. He also stressed the role of remote monitoring in treating stroke patients, which might pave the way for high quality care at lower cost. Naturally, given both the convenience and the reduced costs, patients are accepting telemedicine as a viable healthcare and treatment solution.

According to Steven Sternberg, deputy rankings editor of U.S.News, the future of patient-doctor relationship will involve a screen. He also noted that screens are already in use in some areas, stating that “in some emergency rooms in San Francisco, you can walk into a kiosk, answer a set of questions and your course of care will be decided by an algorithm in a computer.”

Applauding telemedicine for leading more efficient decision-making in critical healthcare situations, Steven A. Fuhrman, eICU medical director at Sentara Healthcare, has found telemedicine to boost staff efficiency and measures for proactive care. Incidentally, Sentara Healthcare is the first remote critical care clinic in the U.S.

Assistant professor of orthopaedic oncology at The University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Robert L. Satcher Jr., predicted the growth of telemedicine as a viable method for cancer care and treatment, especially in rural areas with limited access to quality healthcare.

As you can see from just the snippets shared above which are discussed at greater length in the full article, with telemedicine growing in leaps and bounds, that time is near when it might replace traditional medicine as the primary choice of healthcare method for professionals and patients alike.

Jim Colquhoun

About Jim Colquhoun

Jim Colquhoun is the Chief Technologist for Avidex. Jim brings an exceptional record of management and operational experience, as well as expertise in the design and integration of communications, AV, and broadcast systems. Jim can be reached at jcolquhoun@avidexav.com

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