Healthcare industry is constantly evolving and technology has played a vital role in spurring it to new heights. As doctors keep seeking better ways to treat patients, telemedicine has come like a blessing for the healthcare industry.
According to a recent survey conducted by Healthcare executives, 90% of surveyed professionals in the US have already begun implementing a telemedicine program.
Many professionals consider telemedicine a strategy to reduce healthcare costs and improve patient outcomes. However, some are still doubtful if adding telemedicine to their practice is worth the time and effort. Whether you are a healthcare professional uncertain about implementing telemedicine or an enthusiast eager to know telemedicine; we have summarized some Pros and Cons of telemedicine for you.
Pros Of Telemedicine
1. Cost-Effective For Both Patients and Doctors
Integration of telemedicine has proved to be a win-win situation for both patients and doctors. While an in-office visit for patients costs around $146, a telehealth visit costs just $79. Moreover, you don’t have to travel to the clinic eliminating transportation costs. Thereby, saving you a good chunk of money.
Doctors can attend to more patients without hiring additional staff and increasing office space. Doctors can use Custom telemedicine apps to have a better work-life balance as it can help them keep their availability flexible.
2. Eliminating Geographic Barriers
Removing geological barriers is one of the major pros of telemedicine. It improves access to medical services in distant remote areas that would not be possible otherwise. Telemedicine has made it possible to get a consultation from more specialized doctors present in some different cities.
With technology becoming more robust, we can expect the future of telemedicine could also include international collaborations.
3. Offers Convenience To Patients
The other major benefit of telemedicine is its ability to access healthcare services anywhere, anytime. Using telemedicine eliminates the long waiting hours, transportation time, and long queues at the hospital. Furthermore, persons who have to take time off or other responsibilities for an in-office visit can now access healthcare virtually.
4. Significant Increase In Survival Rate
Telemedicine plays a significant role in detecting major ailments in early stages. With the help of DICOM viewers, doctors can get access to patient’s reports such as MRIs, X-rays, and mammograms. Keeping a check on a patient’s condition becomes easy, leading to early detection of diseases thus increasing the survival rate.
Cons Of Telemedicine
1. Not Advisable For All Cases
Telemedicine is the most suitable option when you have a straightforward complaint such as cold, sprain, allergies, joint pain, etc. But it still has limitations when it comes to emergencies and chronic diseases.
For stance, let’s say if you require a strep throat test that needs a swab, a remote consultation won’t be sufficient. For such cases have to make an in-office appointment that requires further investigation.
2. Possible Technical Glitches
Technology is backbone of telemedicine and you are dependent on your internet connection, outdated softwares, or loss of power. Thus, a person without basic computer/ smartphone knowledge might find it hard to use telemedicine apps effectively.
3. Regulatory & Licensing issue
Physicians require a valid license to practice in a particular state or a country. As regulation laws vary from state to state it could become hard for doctors to practice if the patient lives in another state.
At present telemedicine is $41.4 billion industry, which is expected to reach $ 155.1 billion by 2027, expanding at CAGR of 15.1% in the forecast period.
These stats make it evident that telemedicine is an industry with huge potential. While it has some limitations, many healthcare providers are working on finding ways to enhance patient care in the coming years.
It’s advisable for patients to take extra care while transmitting information such as audio, videos, and images.
You must opt for a HIPAA compliant telemedicine provider as they are considered to be most trusted by patients and doctors.
Also, it would be a smart move to consult with your insurance company to learn about the reimbursement policies while using telemedicine platforms.
I hope this article will assist you in making a better decision on whether to implement/ use telemedicine in your daily life.