Over the past 15 years or so, we have seen tremendous growth and capability in telecommunications, smart phones, robotics, and sensors. These have become critical to commerce, governance, and the social fabric of every day living. The impact on healthcare is significant and while some may be altruistic about how we are currently trained and how we currently practice, the future of healthcare as finally at the cusp of critical change. Some say this paradigm in a perfect storm and some say not so fast. Well, with the facts can speak for themselves. (1) There is a growing shortage of physicians, nurses, allied health works at all levels (local, regional, national and international. (2) Interconnectivity between communities, regardless of geographical boundaries, culture or language are becoming collaborators. (3) Health systems, moving forward, will integrate the concepts of telemedicine, telehealth, m-Health, and e-Health. There are cost savings in the immediate roll out but most importantly, the cost savings to the system over the long haul will be significant. They question, as I have posited before and to paraphrase others; The question is not why or how but when.
As an individual, you must ask yourself - is there a better way to address our unmet needs. Consumerism will drive change. Technology will replace the old with the new. So simply put, the role will be significant and critical.
With CERTAINTY, Telemedicine will place a huge part not only pf physician care but reimbursed in health plans as it reduces cost of patient care. In rural areas, even seeing a TM doc(specialist) over in person(GP) or none at all can reduce long term costs as demonstrated with CCM programs in Medicare/Medicaid. We have films being read all over the world so EDs don't need a doc there 24x7 so this is no different. We just received a large USDA grant to offer TM in SC, so the investments are coming, give it a few years and this will be very much mainstream.
in our research and clinical practice, the following roles of telemedicine are already being gradually implemented:
- standardization and unification of patient data collection;
- reducing costs and time for receiving a second (or third...) opinion on problematic cases;
- preventing medical misconduct and patient negligence;
- remote vital function monitoring with emergency alarms.
Therefore, I believe the above improvements are feasible and realistic in the nearest future, practically for every health care provider.
For remote future, there are virtually no limits. The following are just a few examples:
- instant transfer of new knowledge from research and learned societies / expert boards into clinical practice;
- freshest reference manuals available online 24/7 for field workers;
- personalized medicine to be made real for everyone;
- paperwork and billing burden reduction.
Technology has brought advancement to the medical field such as telemedicine to enable medical services or information that normally be unavailable. Technology plays a big role in medical domain that doctors regularly look for better ways to treat people. Telemedicine is the exchange of medical information from one site to another through electronic communications. This is done for the purpose of improving a person’s health.