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.
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 anywhere, such as in your home or car. A virtual visit does not require you to travel.
Telehealth can help you stay at home if you’re sick or find it difficult to travel. You can also use telehealth if you live far from a medical facility. And 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.
Virtual visits can also allow you to meet with specialists who do not live in your area.
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 correctly. It is critical to have a plan with your provider to call them if there is a problem with the virtual visit.
What are the Pros and Cons to telehealth?
How will you approach and perform a telehealth assessment?
What are the limits to telehealth?
What is the difference between the provider’s need for a successful telehealth visit versus the Patient’s perspective?
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