The terms E- Health, TeleHealth, and Telemedicine define a broad concept of healthcare. To understand how they have grown, we must understand what they are. Everyone has seen it floating around on the internet. The development of TeleHealth, telemedicine, and eHealth started in the early 1960s. It did not seem to form a big economic or social impact then but now has taken up the enormous stand in healthcare.
EHealth - eHealth is the healthcare practice supported by electronic processes. eHealth includes technology such as health records, patient administration systems, and lab systems, which wouldn’t fit within books or mobile devices.
Telemedicine - Telemedicine solely refers to remote clinical services. They introduced this concept to treat patients in remote areas or at a distance.
TeleHealth - TeleHealth is the delivery of health care and health information, and many more services via technologies.
Telemedicine and eHealth come under TeleHealth, but all three of them play significant roles in the healthcare industry. TeleHealth is very often interchanged or confused with telemedicine or eHealth, which are by-parts of TeleHealth.
The History and Evolution of TeleHealth
They may seem like new-age technical terms. It first started in the early 1960s, by few hospitals and medical centers to find ways to share information and images via telephone. The first success of this establishment was two health centers in Pennsylvania. They were able to transmit radiologic images over the phone.
Initially, it was used only to connect doctors working with patients in one location to a specialist in another. This was a great benefit for hard to reach places, where doctors were not available.
The rise of the internet and advanced technologies has bought profound changes to eHealth and telemedicine over the decades.
The Impact of TeleHealth in, patients and the economy of 2020
TeleHealth has been around for a couple of decades now. What is the cause of accelerated growth suddenly? Without a doubt, everyone knows the answer to this. The COVID-19 and technology advancements have accelerated the adoption of it, which present challenges with opportunities for healthcare providers and patients.
The most recent surveys show the rise of TeleHealth by 64.3% in 2020. This survey claims the reason for market growth is the need for social distancing between clinicians and patients which has driven market growth in the USA.
Remote virtual visits and patient monitoring has turned out to be the biggest drivers of the TeleHealth market. Telemedicine has taken up different versions during the pandemic, from mobile health apps and personal emergency systems.
There are a large number of companies that are now initiating the production of user-friendly wearable devices, sensors, and diagnostic equipment for virtual visits as well as artificial intelligence deployed as interactive virtual assistants or Chatbots.
The reasons for the Growth of TeleHealth
- 74% of Millenials prefer telemedicine and eHealth support, giving them a bigger reason to develop and expand
- Up to 89% of patients willingly accept TeleHealth support as a sufficient form of care [inclusive of the baby boomers]
- Implementation of telemedicine increases patient retention by 81.5%
- 60% of clinicians feel TeleHealth is a very effective method
- 93% clinicians believe that TeleHealth is an acceptable method
- Social distancing requirements among clinicians and patients
How TeleHealth is Transforming the Healthcare Industry
Shortage of Doctors
The most important aspect that is redefining healthcare in TeleHealth is the shortage of healthcare providers. TeleHealth has been improving access to care from Americans nationwide. In a crucial healthcare situation, this innovation is proving vital.
The key problem of the USA healthcare industry is a shortage of doctors. Statistics project in the USA to be short of 121,300 doctors by 2030. Extended waiting periods and appointments were hard to get. Healthcare might have been the biggest social and economic market, but it still faces a major problem.
TeleHealth might not solve this problem, but it can address and enhance it. There is 24/7 care through virtual consultations, receiving convenient care at the moment has become better and much sooner.
Medical Cost and Time Reduction on Patients
Patient visits are often expensive. The average cost of treating the normal flu or sore throat ranges from $1,800 or more in primary care settings. Many patients choose TeleHealth assistance over face-to-face treatment, as they receive the same treatment at lower costs.
Patients who need immediate help or the requirement to rush to the ER, irrespective of the distance. Virtual consultations give medical support faster without going the extra mile.
New Technology Advancements
New technology makes it possible to monitor patient health conditions, even if it is a wild range of illnesses. Gone are the days when clinicians found it a challenging task to transmit information through telephone.
Now prompt actions, monitoring abilities, and the effective result is an easier task for clinicians. Through virtual consultations and immediate treatment, they retain patients along with saved time.
Wrapping it up
TeleHealth is growing at an immense rate. The increase in productivity has increased demand globally. Recent Statistics estimate TeleHealth to be the future of the healthcare industry. Despite the current situations, TeleHealth is satisfying the nation’s demand for healthcare requirements. TeleHealth had minimal predictions of coming so far in the industry. But today it takes up an immense role, making the future of the healthcare sector technology and innovation filled.