So, you’ve heard of telemedicine. I’m not one to assume so let’s be sure. Telemedicine is where wireless technology meets the world of healthcare. It beams the trained minds of physicians into one home, or care facilities that care for the elderly and the infirm such as skilled nursing facilities and long term care facilities. Now that we’ve zeroed in on a decent definition, let’s zoom out to examine the emerging, widespread influence that telemedicine is having on our culture.
This technology isn’t that new, you may be thinking. In fact, you have probably already encountered it in some form. You are not wrong. Slowly but surely, entire pharmaceutical transactions are taking place online, from doctor visit to prescription to fulfillment and delivery. Virtual doctor visits will be a service offered in your local Walgreens in the immediate future. Laws have been changed in 29 states and counting, requiring health insurance companies to cover telemedicine. Yet, the term itself has not found its way to the vocabulary of the average citizen. Let’s do some big picture thinking and get a jump on the topic by considering a few more aspects of daily life impacted by telemedicine.
Buy local. Invest in your community. If you live in small town America, you know the movement. You’ve heard the message. Now that blood tests, imaging, prescriptions and so much more can performed at local hospitals and pharmacies, local economies are actually thriving. If you think about it, nothing can encourage the adoption of new technology more than its potential for triggering economic growth.
The advantages of telemedicine may first have been applied to urgent care and specialists. Once it finds its way into the office of your primary care doctor, telemedicine has truly arrived. Rest assured it is occurring rapidly. From the moment he or she makes that diagnosis, the corresponding specialist is readily available. For the physician, the networking possibilities are endless.
We now live in a world where the means to communicate dwarfs our actual ability to communicate. Everyone knows it, at some level. Think about the rather daunting challenge a doctor faces when attempting to translate medical school training in the span of a ten-minute appointment, to a patient that may not have graduated high school. The term ‘bedside manner’ could not be quainter. The interesting question is whether or not being in the same room has ever truly mattered. Enter telemedicine for the even more interesting answer.
Telemedicine allows patients to remain on their home turf. Being in the same room always meant being perched on a metal table, under fluorescent lighting, surrounded by medical equipment. It turns out that being able to remain in one’s home during a doctor’s appointment makes people comfortable. Go figure! Relaxation, in turn, makes one more prone to honesty with their doctor. The patient has access to their medications if they can’t answer a question about them. He or she may even admit mistakes more readily or ask more embarrassing questions.
Communication tends to go two ways, at the very least. It sounds simple but failure to recognize this basic fact is probably what makes us struggle with it. With that in mind, telemedicine seems to equally augment the doctor’s communication with patients. Just think of what Windows did for the desktop computing experience. Now imagine what that same desktop could do in terms of making sense of the important data your doctor has to share with you. Charts and records are not only easily shared but a virtual pen allows your doctor to give you the “play by play” of what’s going on with your body.
At its core, MD Live Care is a union of healthcare professionals who saw the advent of telemedicine early on. Recognizing it as “the future of healthcare”, we did not hesitate for a second in placing those very words directly under the title of our company. Contact us today if you wish to discuss the emerging influence of telemedicine, or even just its immediate benefits to you.