Why Telemedicine Is Growing So Rapidly Around The World
Anyone that reads the news has heard about telemedicine in the past few years and has probably noticed how the field is growing rapidly. If you aren’t familiar with telemedicine, it is basically getting to see a doctor over your computer, tablet or smartphone. The telemedicine field is growing at a rate that is surprising some in the medical field and offering a wider array of services to people who couldn’t access them before.
A Quick Overview of Telemedicine
Telemedicine is seeing a doctor over an internet connection, plain and simple. It offers health services to patients in remote locations and can help those that don’t have insurance pay for quick visits without having to search out someone locally and drive. It also means that people in remote areas of the world can travel to a central place and see a doctor online instead of traveling for days – or just not seeing someone at all.
The Boom of Telemedicine
So why is telemedicine growing so fast? Well, there are actually several reasons for this. The main one is the development of IT infrastructure all over the world, even in areas that had no access before. There are now small villages and towns that have access to the internet, even if it is just in a single building in town, so they can enjoy the benefits that the rest of us take for granted. With internet access, these remote areas can gain a lot of things they had been lacking, from world news to telemedicine services.
Getting Good Doctors Online in Rural Areas
Another perk of telemedicine and why it’s growing so fast is the availability of good doctors. In remote villages, they may have a doctor with very little or no formal training at all. It is great to have someone there, however, when it comes to more serious matters or illnesses that require a lot of evaluation, some rural doctors may not know everything needed to make the correct diagnosis. Telemedicine allows these rural areas to have access to specialists, doctors that are well verses in rare diseases and online testing that has not been available before.
Remote diagnosis has made a tremendous impact on the health of people in these areas. It means that they now know if they are diabetic, they know if they have COPD, they know if they need to make the special trip into a larger town for further testing to see if they have cancer and so on. It means that these diseases that have been running rampant through rural areas due to incorrect diagnosis or no diagnosis at all can now be reined in a bit. It also means they can now be caught before they cause serious harm or can no longer be treated.
Remote Testing in Rural Areas
Another perk to telemedicine is that now remote testing is available in some areas meaning no lengthy and expensive trips for care. With new solutions like tele-radiology, patients don’t have to worry about feeding their families or that two day trip into town. Instead, they can use the telemedicine station in their village or home and never have to worry about coming up with the money to travel for tests.
Education in Rural Areas
One other area of medicine that is making huge waves with telemedicine technology is through education and awareness. Now more people are learning how to live with and treat problems that they have, prolonging their lives. It also means that counseling programs can help those that have conditions like HIV, depression, mental health issues and more. Patients can now see a doctor in the privacy of their own homes without having to worry about the stigmata that can go along with walking into a psychiatrist office.
Outside Rural Areas On top of the perks that remote villages and other rural areas are gaining from telemedicine, those that live in large cities can benefit just as much. For example, if you don’t have insurance, you can pay a much lower price to see a doctor online than you can by going to an office. You also can see someone from the privacy of your own home instead of traveling out in a heat wave or blizzard. The perks for those that have access to better internet or full-time internet is tremendous and only promises to get better.
Will It Grow? After seeing all of the research and information that is come out about the growing number of those that now have access to health care that did not before, I can’t see that telemedicine will slow down anytime soon. As the IT infrastructure grows throughout the world, so will the world of telemedicine and we will see more doctors and health professionals branch out into this field to help those that they cannot physically see in their office. It is a win-win situation for everyone around the world.