In today’s time of coronavirus outbreak, which has now become a pandemic, there is a heavy workload on healthcare professionals. They are at great risk of catching the infection. In Italy, out of 67,814 reported cases of coronavirus, 6205 cases are of health care workers according to the 25th march report. These statistics show that even after the lock-down of the whole country, our health care professionals are at a huge risk of getting the coronavirus infection. This risk can be minimized if the patients consult the doctors via telemedicine. This would save them from getting the infection. In this article, we will talk about how the telemedicine applications are helping the doctors in this coronavirus outbreak and how can they cope with it?
WHAT IS TELEMEDICINE?
Telemedicine is becoming the first line of defense and the most useful tool for doctors nowadays. This helps them to consult with the patient over the phone or computer and let them prescribe the medicines as well. It is the platform where doctors can interact with their patients through a video-conference. Telemedicine helps the doctors to prescribe, diagnose, educate and monitor the patient remotely, with no physical interaction.
Telemedicine lets the doctor ask relevant questions to the patient about the disease, they can discuss the signs, symptoms, and history through a virtual visit. If the patient’s health concerns the doctor, they first send them to get their chest x-ray and blood tests done. After that, they can rule out the final diagnosis. They can then make a further decision of either letting them stay at home or to get them admitted to the hospital.
HOW IS TELEMEDICINE BENEFICIAL?
If health care workers like the doctors and the nurses would get sick, there would be a rapid, unbearable impact that will affect everybody. Health care workers who keep working at hospitals while infected from coronavirus can transmit it to more people. If these workers go home to recover, they would eventually infect their family members. This would also put an immense load on their coworkers. If they are critically ill and need to get hospitalized, then there will be fewer resources available to treat the public.
Eventually, if this keeps going on, we will have to face a shortage of doctors after this coronavirus pandemic. So to save the doctors it is necessary to shift on telemedicine. The hospitals can not manage the heavy volume of patients in this state of panic. They can manage it with the help of telemedicine applications. The telemedicine can protect the doctors because it will reduce their exposure to the patients. No physical contact would be there, by which there would be no chance of catching the infection.
Hospitals’ waiting areas are already busy and so overloaded with people that anyone can catch an infection. The doctors are also at high risk when examining the patient suffering from COVID-19. Remote consultation by the doctor, therefore, reduces the risk of getting exposure and infection. Telemedicine applications like InstaCare help in keeping the patient and the doctor isolated.
How does telemedicine works?
The telemedicine works by assessing the person remotely who is facing the symptoms of coronavirus and monitoring their progress. If deteriorated, the doctors advise them to shift to the hospitals. This technique helps in only shifting the patients who are having any complications. This also decreases the high volume of patients coming to the hospital’s emergency. The doctors and nurses also feel less stressed and can cope easily with the situation.
It can be a solution for many, specially coronavirus, a highly contagious disease. But doctors need to examine the patient properly. Telemedicine can only help when the patient can tell the symptoms bothering them. They can discuss those symptoms with the doctors to have an expert opinion. The doctors can then make a further decision about what to do next.
The doctors can replace some of their patients to telemedicine who are not critically ill. Still, they have to work day in and day out at the intensive care units and emergencies of the hospital where they can oversee the critically ill patients.