Telemedicine is a new way in the current epidemic situation of interaction between a doctor and a patient. It represents the remote provision of medical services. Telemedicine is the use of modern technologies and means of telecommunications for the remote provision of medical and consulting services. Thanks to videoconferencing, medical workers can not only examine patients remotely, but also hold consultations, collect anamnesis, request and send information about the course of diseases, prescribe treatment and issue sick leaves.
Pros and cons of telemedicine
At the moment, the implementation of online chemist solutions in our country is at a fairly low level. This is due to the distrust of the doctors themselves, who are afraid of new technologies, and the fear on the part of patients who have never encountered such a medical practice. To better understand the issue, we suggest that you familiarize yourself with the main advantages and disadvantages of this technology:
Convenience and time saving
One of the main advantages of telemedicine. Usually, when visiting a medical institution, the patient has to spend a lot of time on the road, and then wait in the corridor if the doctor's appointment is on a first-come, first-served basis. In particular, this causes difficulties for residents of remote settlements, who have to travel tens of kilometers to receive professional advice. Telemedicine, on the other hand, allows you to significantly save time and get medical care right at home.
Like almost all advanced technologies, telemedicine requires modern devices and high-quality Internet. Unfortunately, not all categories of citizens have the necessary equipment. For example, pensioners may simply not understand the complex design of gadgets. Also, in some localities, cable Internet has not yet been installed, and residents use 3G or 4G to access the World Wide Web, which cannot guarantee a reliable connection.
During a visit to any medical facility, there is a chance of catching a disease or a virus. This is especially true for pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems. Telemedicine, on the other hand, avoids unnecessary risks by providing a comfortable examination of patients right at home. Video communication has already shown its effectiveness during the COVID-19 pandemic, when “red zones” operated on the basis of many medical institutions. Physicians working with patients have been in contact with their colleagues remotely, enabling effective care and preventing further spread of the virus.
Possible technical problems
Telemedicine equipment, like any electronic device, requires special care. This is especially true for medical facilities where disinfectants are used during sanitization of the premises, which can damage the surface of the device. Also, to set up and administer the video communication server, you need the help of a qualified IT specialist, who, unfortunately, may not be on the staff of a medical institution. Then this role is assumed by an untrained employee, whose actions can lead to malfunctions in the operation of telemedicine equipment.
Unfortunately, the situation when there is no doctor of the required qualification in a small settlement is very typical, and the patient may need an urgent consultation. In such circumstances, telemedicine appears as the only reliable way for prompt diagnosis. At the same time, the medical staff of the locality itself can maintain online communication with the attending physician or gather a council with their colleagues via video link to discuss further treatment methods.
Not provided by all doctors
As we indicated above, telemedicine allows only a visual examination of the patient, which significantly limits the possibility of correctly determining the diagnosis. Therefore, many doctors prefer not to take risks and conduct a complete examination. It should also be taken into account that not all medical staff have the necessary knowledge to receive patients via video link. Older doctors most often do not trust new technologies and prefer personal consultations with the patient.
When introducing telemedicine, one should always remember that it is an indispensable solution for consultations and initial examination of the patient, but it cannot replace a full-fledged doctor's appointment. For correct treatment, you still have to visit the hospital to take tests or undergo the necessary diagnostics. However, telemedicine could be an essential tool for hundreds of doctors working in remote communities, who can consult with more experienced colleagues via video link.
In telemedicine, it is remote consultations and patient diagnostics that are considered the most common and popular service. With specialized systems videoconferencing between the consultant doctor, his assistant and the patient himself, a full-fledged audiovisual contact is established, during which they can not only see and hear each other, but also exchange graphic and textual data (for example, an x-ray of a patient can be shown to a doctor, and a license doctor to patient).