Telehealth, telemedicine, and remote medical care – these are the names of modern technology-based methods of treatment. Although these concepts are slightly different, their essence is the same: they imply medical care with the help of various apps and wearables. In this article, we’ll consider the benefits of telemedicine software solutions for both doctors and patients.
The difference between telehealth and telemedicine
Telemedicine technologies are used for remote clinical services. Doctors remotely monitor their patients with the help of special applications, IoT sensors, and devices. Healthcare professionals get in touch with patients via video calls or messengers. Thus, specialists monitor chronic diseases, control treatment regimens, and carry out consultations remotely.
Telehealth integrates digital and telecommunication technologies to improve healthcare services. It is used not only for remote monitoring of patients. Innovations in this field help to develop medical education, train providers and optimize laboratory research.
Remote medical care is a telemedical service providing regular patient monitoring outside the hospital.
The popularity of telemedicine apps
Since 2019, the telemedicine market has drastically grown. At that time, it was estimated at $49 billion; by 2023 the figures will have risen to $194 billion.
There are several reasons for this almost fourfold growth:
- organizations are trying to cut expenses on healthcare;
- people have become interested in remote methods of treatment;
- businessmen have increased investments in telemedicine technologies.
But the COVID-19 pandemic that broke out at the end of 2019 became an even more powerful catalyst. The 2021 US Telehealth Satisfaction Study confirms the data provided by Statista. The number of telemedicine uses has increased from 9% in 2020 to 36% in 2021. This transition from traditional medicine to telehealth illustrates the importance of digital help in the fight against coronavirus.
Telemedicine is becoming a priority service. The latest McKinsey survey has shown that 40-60% of patients will keep on using apps for remote healthcare.
Advantages of telemedicine software solutions for patients
Telemedicine gives mobility and safety that patients lack in traditional medical care:
It saves time
Sometimes, visiting a doctor is extremely tiresome. For a patient, it means wasting time on going to a clinic, check-in at the reception, and waiting in line. Moreover, it is necessary to obtain permission to leave if your appointment is due on a working day. Telehealth software allows patients to visit doctors online without being distracted from a busy schedule. According to Forbes, telemedicine saves a client 100 minutes on average.
It ensures safe treatment
Patients with minor illnesses avoid visiting doctors in person so as not to catch coronavirus in a healthcare facility. Telemedicine applications help them to get medical care without the risk of contracting COVID-19.
It makes medical services affordable
Remote treatment is convenient for the elderly and people with disabilities or mental disorders. Digital service is convenient for residents of remote areas where there are no clinics and hospitals nearby. For such patients it is difficult to arrive at medical institutions, thus, telemedicine becomes real salvation for them.
It prevents serious illnesses and complications
Since telemedicine software solutions are always at hand, patients do not neglect illnesses. They turn for help in proper time and obtain the necessary treatment. This measure helps to reduce the number of hospitalizations by at least 20%.
Advantages of telemedicine software development for doctors
Telemedicine technologies have received a warm welcome from doctors. With their help, healthcare professionals communicate with patients more actively. Telemedicine has freed them from loads of paperwork and reduced the risk of seasonal infections. There are even more benefits of telemedicine for medical workers:
Clinics increase revenue
Online appointments take less time than offline visits. As a result, doctors see more clients a day, which helps to increase the income of this or that medical institution. Also, clinics can introduce new digital services, for example, transcriptions of laboratory tests. For an additional fee, a patient can ask more questions concerning his/her state of health.
Slowing down the spread of COVID-19
Telemedicine helps to fight the pandemic. Patients with mild diseases can be taken care of at home which is less risky for others. Social distancing restrains the spread of COVID-19 and reduces the pressure on doctors.
Doctors show flexibility
Telemedicine prevents doctors from overworking. They can deliver online consultations from their working places or homes, at weekends, or while they are on duty.
Software solutions help to communicate with patients more efficiently
Since a doctor is regularly online, a patient turns for help when his/her state is starting to deteriorate. It is easy to get advice or recommendations on treatment, get an electronic prescription, or a referral for tests. One can clarify all these issues without visiting the clinic in person.
Lower no-show rates
US healthcare annually loses about $150 billion due to no-shows. Mobile health apps will help to reduce this expense. Online visits are much more convenient. People are less likely to miss their visits as they always have their mobile phones at hand. Thus, one pediatric clinic decreased the no-show rate from 36% to 8-18% per month. Another example is when a Canadian company increased revenue by 30% with the help of the Telecare tool.
Telemedicine opens great opportunities for doctors and patients. It is a safe and efficient way of providing medical services. There is strong demand for remote assistance in modern society, and hospitals and clinics shouldn’t ignore this fact. For a healthcare facility, it is necessary to enter a partnership with an experienced IT company developing healthcare software solutions. An outsourcing company will explore the needs of this medical institution and the target audience and develop efficient software, useful for both doctors and patients.