Telehealth uses digital information and communication technologies to remotely access and manage healthcare services. Computers and mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones are examples of technologies. This could be the technology you use at home. In rural areas, a nurse or other healthcare professional may provide telehealth from a medical office or mobile van. Telehealth can also refer to the use of technology by your health care provider to improve or supplement health care services.
Telehealth, also known as e-health or m-health (mobile health), has the following objectives:
Make health care more accessible to people who live in rural or remote communities.
If you have an infectious disease like COVID-19, keep yourself and others safe.
Provide primary care for a wide range of conditions.
Make services more accessible or convenient for people with limited mobility, time, or transportation.
Make medical specialists available.
Improve communication and care coordination between the healthcare team members and those receiving care.
Guide self-management of health care.
Many people found telehealth beneficial during the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to use it. Telehealth is becoming more popular.
Some clinics may use telemedicine to provide remote care. Clinics, for example, may provide virtual visits. You can use these to communicate with a health care provider, a mental health counselor, or a nurse via online video or phone chats.
Virtual visits can help with migraines, skin conditions, diabetes, depression, anxiety, colds, coughs, and COVID-19. These visits allow you to receive care from a provider when an in-person visit is not required or is not possible.
Your healthcare team may send you information or forms to complete online and return to them before your visit. They may also ensure that you have the necessary technology. They will also check to see if any software or apps need to be updated or installed. They can also show you how to log in and join the video chat for your visit. The healthcare team can also show you how to use the microphone, camera, and text chat. If necessary, enlist the assistance of a family member to help you set up the necessary technology.
To participate in the virtual visit, you only need a smartphone, tablet, or computer with internet access. You can find a comfortable, quiet, and private place to sit during your visit. Your provider also meets in a private location.
Some people may seek medical care or advice through the web or phone-based services. When you log into a web-based service or call a service that provides primary or urgent care, many questions are asked. The provider or a nurse practitioner can prescribe drugs. They may also advise on home care or additional medical care.
While these services are convenient, they have some drawbacks:
Treatment may not be coordinated with your primary care physician.
Important information from your medical history may be overlooked.
If you have a complicated medical history, the computer-driven model used to make decisions may not be appropriate for you.
The service does not make it easy for you to make treatment decisions with your provider.
Many technologies enable your provider or healthcare team to monitor your health remotely. Among these technologies are:
Upload data to your provider or health care team using web-based or mobile apps. For example, if you have diabetes, you can upload food logs, blood sugar levels, and medications for a nurse to review.
Devices that measure and transmit data wirelessly, such as blood pressure, blood sugar, and oxygen levels.
Wearable data collection and transmission devices. The devices may, for example, record data such as heart rate, blood sugar, walking style, posture, tremors, physical activity, or sleep.
Home monitoring devices for the elderly or those suffering from dementia detect changes in daily activities, such as falls.
Devices that send you notifications to remind you to exercise or take medications.
Technology has the potential to improve healthcare quality. Furthermore, technology can make it easier for more people to obtain health care.
Telehealth has the potential to make health care more efficient, coordinated, and accessible. Virtual visits can be made from any location, such as your home or car. A virtual visit does not require you to travel.
Telehealth can help you stay at home if you are sick or find it difficult to travel. You can also use telehealth if you live far from a medical facility. Moreover, during the COVID-19 pandemic, many people could keep their distance from others at home while still receiving care. Furthermore, COVID-19 can be diagnosed and treated remotely.
Telehealth has the potential to improve care coordination. However, there is a risk of care gaps, overuse of medical care, inappropriate drug use, or unnecessary care. Providers cannot perform physical exams in person, which can affect diagnosis.
Other factors, such as cost, may limit the potential benefits of telehealth services. In the United States, insurance reimbursement for telehealth varies by state and type of insurance. However, insurance coverage for telehealth services in the United States continues to grow. Moreover, insurance restrictions changed for a time during the COVID-19 pandemic. Check with your insurance provider to see which providers offer virtual visits.
Furthermore, some people who require improved access to care may be hampered by a lack of internet access or a mobile device. People without internet access may access telehealth services by using public-access wireless internet. Libraries or community centers, for example, may provide wireless internet access for virtual visits in private rooms.
Sometimes technology fails to function properly. It is critical to have a plan with your provider to call them if there is a problem with the virtual visit.
Consider the various types of technology available (e.g. telehealth, Geographic Information systems, mobile devices). Select a type of information technology and summarize how it can be used safely to improve public health.
Effective initial postings to the discussion should be a minimum of 200 words and usually no more than 400 words in length.
one scholarly article