Different forms of telehealth technology have existed for decades. With the first radiological images being sent in 1948 to doctor visits through video chat in 2020, telehealth has evolved into an attainable option for medical practice. As a result of the recent stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19, telehealth is now not only part of everyday life, it is necessary!
Telehealth technology has advanced at a time when we need it the most. Despite not being able to visit doctor’s offices, patients are still getting the medical attention they need. Simply transitioning to telehealth can help contain the spread of COVID-19 by allowing potentially infected individuals to get help without visiting offices or hospitals and preventing noninfected individuals from exposing themselves. Telehealth eases the anxiety of COVID-19 positive patients, noninfected citizens, and heavily populated hospitals and medical care centers.
According to mHealthIntelligence there are, of course, many barriers that come with telehealth. Some patients may be reluctant to see a new physician through telehealth. Many people create relationships with their primary care physician so trusting someone they do not know, especially through a screen, could feel impersonal and nerve-wracking. Additionally, some medical procedures cannot be done without being able to touch a patient.
Despite these challenges, telehealth continues to be an ideal option for healthcare during this pandemic. Developments in technology have also allowed telehealth to run even smoother. For example, the ability to use live video chatting systems allows a physician and patient to speak face-to-face about any concerns and issues. Although through a screen, these interactions are still extremely valuable for conducting routine check-ups while still following the necessary stay-at-home orders. mHealthIntelligence explains that symptom trackers and chatbots are extremely beneficial during this time as well. These technologies use artificial intelligence to perform virtual examinations, make recommendations, and determine whether a patient needs to see a medical professional in person.
Thanks to amazing innovations in technology, healthcare workers can continue to provide the essential care we need while keeping themselves and others safe!
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