There has been a decrease in deaths as a result of high risk pregnancies in mothers and their babies in the last forty years. This is due in part to the advancement in technology of telehealth, a term that is also known to be interchangeable with the word telemedicine. This medical procedure has been used to obtain medical data through the use of electronic communication. Telemedicine entails a progressive variety of services and applications utilizing two-way email, smart phones, video, and wireless tools. This phenomenon is responsible for encompassing a wide classification of inaccessible healthcare among women.
The Outer Layers of Telemedicine
Telemedicine is not a separate health domain. The practice began as a way to assist health facilities in extending health care to patients struggling to make regular appointments, especially those residing in rural areas. The use of telemedicine has spread quickly and is currently assimilated within the operational system of hospitals. Other healthcare facilities, to include, home health agencies and private physician offices, have too adopted this idea.
With the extra aid of webcams and unconventional software, the program has been able to successfully launch a secure video connection between the patient and the practitioner. Some researchers even argue that the technology is so advanced that in person consultations are no longer a necessity.
The Inner Layers of Telemedicine
With its growing popularity, it is not uncommon to find that an increasing number of health institutions are faithfully investing in the product and services of telemedicine. Very rarely will an actual distinction be made between the services delivered on site and the services provided directly through telemedicine. Moreover, information technology and clinical care delivery seem to be on the trending end of the investment plans. Then again, coding is not exactly a requirement for billing purposes of the two particular services, so this could certainly be why the two categories are receiving so much attention.
The Result for Patients
More patients are turning to virtual consultations through the use of video conferencing, e-health, patient portals, transmission of still images, wireless applications and nursing call centers. On the patient’s end, the appointment would require her to visit her local hospital or community clinic for an exam. The only difference is the consultation would be held via webcam. The patient would still discuss medical concerns with her local medical team and cover all matters involving her ultrasound image, health status, and overall pregnancy.
What are Physicians Saying?
More physicians today are specialized in telehealth training. This preparation has enabled them to assist women in managing any health issues they may be experiencing while pregnant. They also work diligently with women experiencing high risk pregnancies. These practitioners allow their patients access to resources that may not otherwise be available because of location or the lack of funding.
The reasons for the difficulty patients face with meeting as often as necessary with their doctors are innumerable. Many times it’s child care, time conflict with work, or no transportation. Sometimes it can be distance. A patient may have to travel miles before coming across the nearest health facility. Ideally, doctors would like to have in person consultations with all of their patients, but that is just not possible due to time and high demand.
A high risk pregnancy specialist who can be found on LinkedIn says an increasing number of women in rural areas are now able to connect with specialists who can provide them with proper health care, thanks to advancements in telemedicine. Essentially, over the span of ten years, researchers have observed a positive impact on health and a decrease in costs overall. All in all, telemedicine provides a way for many expecting mothers to get the expertise they need.