The Doctor Will See You Now, Online
Telemedicine Technology has broadened health care’s reach beyond brick-and-mortar offices to virtually anywhere you can use a computer, smart phone or other mobile device.
Not long ago, health care was confined to hospitals, doctors’ offices and the occasional walk-in clinic—but not any longer.
Patients can connect remotely to medical professionals—anytime, anywhere—to diagnose and treat acute health symptoms, such as rashes, earaches, coughs, abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, headaches and flu-like symptoms. If medically necessary, the caregiver can follow the “visit” by sending an electronic prescription to the patient’s pharmacy.
"Algorithms sift through the data to predict oncoming health issues and permit timely intervention."
Doctors can visually check-in on patients following surgery through remote “virtual follow-ups.” Even better, doctors and patients can work together to promote healthier lifestyle choices before problems arise. By tracking, storing and sharing information about a patient’s dietary choices, sleep patterns, exercise, blood pressure, blood glucose, weight and wellness goals, mobile biometrics help raise patients’ awareness of their behaviors while giving their caregivers quantifiable data to guide their care.
The same approach applies to patients with chronic diseases, such as diabetes or heart failure. Doctors use mobile biometrics to monitor a variety of disease-related symptoms—weight, pulse, blood pressure, glucose levels—in real time. Algorithms sift through the data to predict oncoming health issues and permit timely intervention.
The information gained through any of these technological interactions is stored in the patient’s electronic medical record, creating an up-to-date health history that the patient or caregiver can access any time.
New health care technologies are diverse, but they all have common goals: to make health care access easier for patients, to improve patient health, to avoid hospital admission (or re-admission) and to lower health care costs.
Clearly, mobile devices will not replace doctors, nurses or hospitals. Rather, they will add to the caregiver-patient relationship by providing real-time updates and relevant information.