COVID 19 and the Rise of Telemedicine
Telemedicine and telehealth have very rapidly become the standard in order to protect patients and caregivers during the COVID 19 pandemic.
While initially telemedicine and telehealth did not have the success that it had hoped to achieve that has changed dramatically with the COVID 19 scenario. Prior to COVID 19 outbreak. studies showed that less than 15 percent of consumers were using telemedicine services. The problems lie in not enough people understanding the services or how to use them and additionally in not enough people having supportive things such as the internet in the United States.
Sadly, with so much available to people, another issue lies in many people who could benefit from having telemedicine available to them, not having internet and the ability to use it.
In many cases, particularly in ethnic groups and in people over the age of 70, there is plenty of questions about the reliability and effectiveness of telemedicine. The lack of awareness about telemedicine and the usefulness of it makes it suspect to those who would most benefit from it.
That was then–this, fortunately, is now. Enter 2020 and the COVID 19 pandemic where people have grave concerns about going to see a health care practitioner who may have been compromised by the virus and where those in the waiting rooms may also have been exposed or tested positive.
Just a few months in the past, no one would have predicted that today the United States would be locked down from a virus that was raging across the landscape. Entire countries are in lockdown mode seeking to prevent the spread of the virus and the consequential deaths that accompany it.
Digital health and telemedicine are one of the solutions to this problem, providing an adequate response to the circumstances that are preventing people from safely visiting a doctor’s office.
As many companies and schools are adapting to working or schooling from home, remote medicine or telemedicine is becoming a very attractive and very workable solution in our healthcare. Not only is it more secure and safer for patients and for health care providers, in many cases it is cheaper to accomplish and the copays are lower for the patients involved.
COVID 19 has catapulted telemedicine into a new light. As medical professionals need to stay healthy in order to treat pandemics and people are trying to stay disease-free the need for remote technology is skyrocketing.
Both WHO ( the World Health Organization) and CDC (Center for Disease Control) are advocating the use of telemedicine to traverse the pandemic and come out of it with a lower disease process number as well as improved and long-lasting technology to cope with the shortage of healthcare providers.