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Innovative Ways to Improve and Expand the Telemedicine Experience

Telemedicine has seen a rapid growth in recent years, with constant augmentation to technologies used, and the application of these technologies in creative ways, creates new pathways in the practice of health care. While there are advantages and disadvantages of using this method, it also reflects on the versatility of the physicians and the health care community who are able to adapt to new changes, which ultimately have a real world impact, in terms of greater number of patients covered.

Telemedicine can act as a sentinel, a system of prospective triage in which patients can consult with health care practitioners whether they require hospital services or not. With the increased health awareness, increased availability of basic medical equipment at home, and a communication device, interactions between the patients and physicians have grown in many creative ways. We take a look at some ways these creative ventures can be explored, to the benefit of all.

In the future, it can be estimated that telemedicine can eclipse the physical visits in number, and in patient preference. This is further backed by a study done by Powell et al. in which patients were asked what type of visit they would prefer.

Now, a question arises of, how can we utilize the resources available, the technological advances of the internet and cellular devices to deliver a new standard of care? This brings us to the concept of using our senses creatively, and using new standards of doctor-patient communication to deliver health care.

Now, we have two distinct approaches to the practice of Medicine. One being the mainstream, good old tried-and-tested physical visits and the other being telemedicine, where healthcare professionals and patients, both are apprehensive about how to approach them. However, what we propose is not a sharp delineation, but rather a new ‘hybrid’ approach, that is a bilateral approach involving telemedicine and physical visits in combination, to deliver a new standard of healthcare.

It is also worth noting that Telemedicine is not here to replace the traditional methods of Medicine involving examination of the patient, but a new pathway to practice healthcare. We are witnessing this concept in its infancy stage, and it is expected that there are certain barriers and roadblocks along the way, but so many great technologies, such as the internet and e-mail, did face similar challenges.


Nirmay Sonar and Dominic Gaziano

Abstract | Full-Text | PDF

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