What is telehealth and how it works

What is telehealth and how it works?

Telehealth is defined as a platform that facilitates and delivers health care related services. It includes medical care, patient education, self-care tips, and health-related information. Telehealth is a mix of all the services, related to one’s health and diseases. It is a broader term than telemedicine, which is a platform to consult with a doctor. All the telemedicine services come under the telehealth domain. There are many different ways through which telehealth operates, in this article we are going to discuss how does telehealth work.

How does telehealth work?

Live or one to one consultation

In this form of telehealth, the patient and the health care provider talk to each other in real-time. They can interact with each other either through a phone call or a video call. It helps the patient in asking the queries they have to the doctor. Live consultation helps in building the patient’s trust and makes counseling easier for the doctor.

Store-and-forward

Moreover, in this form of telehealth, the patient and the health care provider do not talk one to one. The patient sends their data regarding lab reports, medications, history, signs, and symptoms. The data is then stored in the database and forwarded to the health care provider. They then check and reply whenever it is feasible for them, It does not interrupt the healthcare providers in their daily life schedule. It also does not require many people’s efforts to schedule appointments. Moreover, it is usually done through SMS or a patient’s portal application.

Remote patient monitoring

In remote patient monitoring, the patient or a health care provider enters the lab details and vitals like heart rate, blood pressure, and blood glucose levels in the software. Remote patient monitoring helps in gathering all the data in one place therefore it eases the health care providers in evaluating the progress of their patients. It is valuable for patients suffering from chronic diseases like chronic kidney disease or chronic liver disease etc. This form of telehealth is also vital for those having life long problems like diabetes, heart diseases, hypertension or asthma, etc. Since they need to see their doctor frequently and their vitals indicate their progress.

mHealth

mHealth telehealth works to promote health care facilities with the help of mobile devices or other wireless technologies. By using mHealth, the patient can insert their details regarding medications, vitals, signs, and symptoms. Then the healthcare provider looks over those and replies with a message as advice. In this way, the patient does not have to interact with the doctor one-to-one. The patient checks the blood pressure, blood glucose, or even ECG by connecting with a smart device which is then recorded and updated on their mobile.

Hybrid consultation

This is a combination of live and store-and-forward methods of telehealth. The health care provider can reach the patient’s details, labs, history, and disease progress anytime. They can interact with each other via phone call or a video call. This is usually helpful in dermatology and cardiology related consultations.

Significance of telehealth

Telehealth is a platform that is so helpful for the people who live in rural areas. They do not need to travel long distances frequently for an expert’s advice. Since there is not much well-developed healthcare system there, the people living in rural areas face a lot of difficulty in getting expert’s advice.

It also reduces the transportation costs for patients. They can consult with their doctor from the comfort of their home. It also helps in saving energy and time. They need not wait outside several hours to see their doctor. Especially for those who have to visit their doctor frequently. Moreover, it is also helpful for those patients who have undergone surgery recently and cannot move easily to see their doctor for follow up.

With the help of telehealth, healthcare providers can reduce the patient’s influx to the emergency department and outpatient clinics. They can filter out who really needs to visit the hospital or not. By this, they can manage their schedule and outpatient clinics in a much better way.

Telehealth services have made it much easier to educate patients, raise awareness, and promote healthcare facilities. With its help, the knowledge can spread much easily among many people.

Conclusion

Telehealth services are one of the great development of technology. But it still requires a lot of effort to normalize it. There are many shortcomings that people face to adopt it completely. It is still a problem at places where there are no proper internet connections, no cellular network signals, and a lack of power supply.  We can hope to get it implemented completely soon. If you want to have a live session with a doctor, visit here. For more info, visit Instacare.

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