Telemedicine is simply defined as, “the remote delivery of healthcare services”. There are 3 common types of telemedicine which include but not limited to: Interactive Medicine, which allows patients and physicians to communicate in real-time while maintaining HIPAA compliance; Store and Forward, which permits providers to share patient information with a practitioner in another location; Remote Patient Monitoring, which allows remote caregivers to monitor patients that reside at home by using mobile medical devices to collect data (e.g. blood sugar or blood pressure).
Telemedicine is a tool that makes healthcare more accessible, cost-effective, and that increases patient engagement. Since making its debut in the late 1950’s, advances in telemedicine has contributed to seniors having the choice to age in place. In addition, the patients that reside in rural areas that previously had difficulties accessing a physician, can now reach them virtually.
Physicians and patients can share information in real time from one computer screen to another. And they can even see and capture readings from medical devices at a faraway location. Using telemedicine software, patients can see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment without having to wait for an appointment. Patients can consult a physician at the comfort of their home. The concept of telemedicine and telehealth could be still new to providers and physicians given the especially slow adoption of technology in healthcare.
However, the continue advances in technology and healthcare innovation has greatly expands its usability. Moreover, the demand from new generation of tech savvy population has pushed for its rapid adoption due to convenience, cost saving and intelligent features it brings.
It’s now a matter of time for healthcare system, medical group, providers and even solo practitioner integrate telemedicine as part of their medical services offering.
Because of Covid-19 with a significant portion of the UAE following stay-at-home orders to help flatten the curve, people still need their doctors, and access to telehealth can help make this possible. It is the easiest way to get many different types of medical care. Moreover, because you do not have to leave your house to see a doctor, telehealth is the safest option right now.
As part of its contribution to support the nation combating the spread of Covid-19 and the need for social distancing, GMCClinics has introduced its telemedicine services, which are tailor-made for this moment in time. “It’s often touted as a convenience for patients who are busy or far away, or when travel isn’t feasible due to severe weather or an urgent condition such as a stroke”, explains Nizar Edaili, Group Director, Business Development and Marketing, GMCClinics.
More people are opting to use telemedicine services now because it limits potential exposure to infection. This can be especially useful for those considered high risk. “Telemedicine is the best alternative solution to reach the elderly and patients with pre-existing medical conditions, who are potentially at a higher risk to acquire viral infection”, says Edaili. “They can have access to numerous healthcare services while they are safe and away from multiple risks they might have at clinics or hospitals”.
The benefits about of telemedicine that can help both healthcare providers and patients are: Easy access to healthcare, Quality care, Cost and convenience, Proper medical management, Reinforcing traditional healthcare, Patient involvement in healthcare plan, Confidentiality.
Long viewed as a viable possibility, telemedicine has now become an active reality in the UAE as the country works to limit its coronavirus outbreak.