We all already know telemedicine can substitute and facilitate a range of medical consultations. There are, however, many other advantages and facilitations it brings to the world of medicine and a number of them in the area of health monitoring. It can help us save our time, and even, in some cases, save our lives.
There is no doubt that telehealth services have been rapidly growing in popularity since the COVID-19 outbreak. After all, online consultations are no longer an alternative to traditional medicine, but very often the only possible way to attend a medical appointment. Consultations, however, are not the only option telemedicine has to offer.
Remote health monitoring is mostly preventive, but also serves medical research and helps to gather patient’s data in a practical, regular, and most importantly safe way.
Very often it relies on telehealth devices such as HIGO or Zio, that deliver patient’s information to the physician, saving it in the database at the same time. There, it can be accessed at any time both by doctors who may need patient’s details, and researchers who work on the data in order to develop new medical solutions.
What are the specific cases health monitoring may be useful and convenient for you? When can you use telemedicine to monitor your own health? And finally – how to do it?
Patient data collection
Since COVID-19 practically paralysed the entire world, telemedicine has been helping to reduce the number of people attended face-to-face in healthcare centres and hospitals. It certainly has decreased the level of possible contagion and has helped to remotely diagnose the ones who had already been infected. But their story with telemedicine doesn’t end with the diagnosis itself – via telemedicine, the patients keep being monitored both when the virus is still active, as well as once they are recovered. It helps to collect data about the contagion and its short- and long-term effects, all in a safe, remote way.
Medical data collection, very often anonymised, is one of the most crucial advantages of telemedicine. Not only as it serves for the purpose of medical research and remedy development, but also as a virtual, and easily accessible patient medical record that may be used in different situations.
Remote Second Opinion
Imagine you have a complex disease and you or your physician need a specialist’s opinion to make sure how to proceed with a treatment. Your condition may not let you go anywhere or simply there are no qualified enough specialists in your country. How can this situation be solved?
Virtual consultation with specialists who provide a second opinion and review a patient’s medical record is what became a common solution. Consultations with world-renowned doctors are within everyone’s reach. They are accessible via online platforms both for physicians seeking advice and patients themselves.
The convenience of the Remote Second Option (RSO) and telemedicine in general makes it also a perfect solution for people living in distant areas and the eldery. The latter group benefits from remote health monitoring in many other ways, too.
Limited mobility that many seniors deal with is only one of many obstacles they may be facing. Other important aspects such as living alone and little contact with others may mean slower reaction in case of emergency. Here, too, telehealth comes to assistance – different devices help to remotely monitor detailed health conditions, at the same time sending the results to a corresponding physician or family members. If the device stops receiving vital signs or they are irregular, the notification is sent immediately, saving, very often, someone’s life.
Nevertheless, in spite of the general health monitoring, telemedicine can also be useful for those who need physical therapy or rehabilitation. Being able to monitor the exercises done at home, there may be no need for patients to assist a health centre, which again, in the times of pandemic, may be risky both for seniors, as well as other age groups.
Facilitations for medical workers
As RSO works perfectly in case of online specialist consultations, telemedicine may also serve for consultations during surgeries. In difficult cases, it became common that operations are virtually assisted by specialists who observe and comment on the procedure. Telemedicine helps doctors, but also doctors-to-be – the monitored surgeries (and all the other data obtained via telemedicine) can serve educational purposes, too. Medicine students can analyse each case in their classrooms, or, as it is more frequent during the pandemic, at their homes.
Finally, telemedicine may have a significant meaning when used in an ambulance. Basic patient information that can be gathered during the transport to a hospital, immediately passed on to the emergency department may save both time and lives.
Implementing telemedicine for the purpose of health monitoring is nothing but convenient – both for medical workers and patients themselves. On the back of different telehealth softwares and accessories, every time it becomes easier, more intuitive, and more user-friendly. Devices such as HIGO will only confirm that.