Is Telehealth the Future of Healtcare

Is Telehealth the Future of Healthcare?

How Your Visits to the Doctor Will Change Completely

May 11, 2018, Spencer Phade

The last time you went to the doctor, how long were you stuck sitting in the waiting room? Unfortunately, for many the answer is usually, “Too long!”  You can only read so many 5-year-old magazines before losing patience… However,, thanks to telehealth, this tradition of long wait times might soon come to an end.

Is Telehealth the Future of Healthcare?


The healthcare sector is currently going through widespread digitalization and automation in the areas of monitoring and diagnosis. It is possible the telehealth technologies and services might eliminate the need to physically visit a doctor for a wide variety health related scenarios and procedures.


Health technologies and internet connectivity are starting to change the way that health services are delivered. New monitoring and diagnostic technologies are allowing doctors and other health professionals to monitor, diagnose, and in some cases treat patients from the comfort of your own home.


The three main categories of telemedicine are store and forward, remote monitoring, and real-time interactive.


Store and forward is the digital transmission of medical data to the doctor or medical specialist from the patient for assessment at a convenient time.


Remote monitoring allows the patients to take measurements or tests in which a health professional can then assess. This is becoming increasingly implemented in the monitoring of chronic diseases and specific conditions. 


Real-time interactive is allowing electronic consultations to take place and is applicable in a wide array of services such as management, diagnosis, counselling and monitoring of patients.


Other services such as telenursing as well as even telepharmacy are on the rise. As technology further develops, it might even be possible that telepharmacists are able to send patients medication formulas which are then 3-D printed in their own homes for eliminating the need to visit a traditional pharmacy.


This type of telemedicine will initially have the greatest impact in rural areas and developing nations where special expertise was previously unavailable or too expensive to sustain.


However, there might still be cases where there is a need to physically visit a doctor. In these cases, if a patient is able to prepare and send as all the necessary measurements and case information to the doctor beforehand, the process of visiting a doctor can be streamlined and more efficient.


Many healthcare providers are starting to implement these times of services around the world. For example, one Finnish healthcare provider has created a comprehensive service which includes a 24/7 teledoctor service, an option to see a general practitioner or a specialist without queuing, an automated health assessment, and insurance claims procedure. 


When implemented, these telehealth services have already contributed significantly to lowering wait times to see medical professionals and reducing healthcare costs.


These types of services can have a great impact especially when seeking specialist consultation as the wait times are typically very long and the availability is sometimes limited by the patient’s location.


As these types of health technologies continue to improve, the means by which patients and doctors interact has the possibility to continuously evolve as well. Ideally to the point where healthcare services are more accessible than ever before. 


Are you interested in future trends, developments, and other phenomena? Futures Platform's foresight radar includes all trends in this blog and hundreds more. Check it out here: Futures Platform

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