Modern technology is not only a new iPhone or blockchain. Medical services are also constantly improving. An example of a new generation of medical care are various areas of telemedicine. However, many patients are not familiar with this term and are afraid of online services. For this reason, it is worth understanding in more detail the features of telemedicine and its main advantages.
What is Telemedicine?
Telemedicine (also referred to as telehealth) has nothing to do with your TV or teleshopping. This is a way to provide a wide range of medical services remotely using information and communication technologies. The main idea of telemedicine is the maximum availability of medical care. For the first time this idea was effectively put into practice in Norway. This is due to the complex geography of this country and the presence of many settlements, access to which is difficult, especially in winter.
How Does Telemedicine Help Patients?
One of the most common areas of telemedicine today has become the sale of medicines via the Internet, remote consultation with a doctor and receiving an online prescription. These are far from the only areas of telemedicine, but they are most widespread in Europe and greatly facilitate patients’ access to medicines.
Online platforms offer the possibility to order medicine without leaving home. If this is a legal service, then it acts like this:
• a registered online platform enters into cooperation agreements with pharmacies and qualified doctors;
• a user-friendly interface is created on the website for choosing medicines and getting doctor’s consultation;
• a patient fills in data about his health, backs it up, if necessary, with test results;
• a doctor examines the received data, gives an initial consultation and draws up a prescription;
• this online prescription is sent to a partner pharmacy, which dispenses or ships the medicine to the patient based on it.
This whole process takes place by using a smartphone, tablet or computer. It’s a legal way to buy a drug, even if it’s a prescription drug. However, you should always be careful not to end up on a rogue site. There are unscrupulous sellers who break the law. However, this is typical for any industry of online commerce.
This format of telemedicine is used by patients who do not have the opportunity to visit a doctor, but need a quick purchase of medicine. For example, people with asthma cannot wait in line. They buy Ventolin (salbutamol) online and have it delivered to their home by courier the next business day. Thus, they reduce health risks, save time and energy.
Also, online purchases are preferred by patients who, for some reason, feel psychological discomfort from communicating with a doctor offline or visiting a pharmacy. Therefore, they receive all the same medical services, but get them online.
Other Areas of Telemedicine Use
We have listed far from the most serious areas of telemedicine. If you think that you can get only the most basic services online, then you are wrong.
The qualification of the doctor is very important for making the correct diagnosis. In some difficult cases, the provincial doctor cannot do it on his own. Therefore, he has the opportunity to organize an online consultation, where a group of doctors with sufficient qualifications will decide on possible directions for treating the patient.
Another similar area of telemedicine is the broadcast of operations. A highly qualified surgeon or a group of surgeons can remotely control the process of surgical intervention, give recommendations, and draw additional conclusions about the state of health.
Even if you didn’t receive an online consultation, didn’t buy medicines online, you still, with a high degree of probability, came across telemedicine. During the pandemic, non-contact thermometers began to be used in public places to automatically measure temperature. You could see them at airports, government offices, and other strategic sites. Covert health monitoring is also telemedicine. It allows you to identify a sick person in a timely manner and avoid the spread of the disease.
Telemedicine is becoming an integral part of our daily lives. Sometimes we don’t even notice it. More services will soon be available online and more secure to receive. There is no reason not to use the possibility of getting online consultations or making a purchase online. The main thing is not to forget about the standard precautions for working with personal data on the Internet.