Is a basic Telemedicine tool enough to expand access to essential health?

COVID-19 has wreaked havoc in the healthcare system infecting around 31,726,507 people and more than 425,228 deaths in India. In response to the pandemic, technology adaptation in the healthcare sector has elevated, especially for telemedicine. Inclined to enhance patient engagement & to reach patients in remote locations, healthcare professionals are now expecting more than just a video calling solution.

Basic telemedicine applications have limitations of their own. Furthermore, in the long haul, even if the care is delivered virtually, the results of just an online consultation may not be satisfactory enough!

An OPD consultation involves diagnosing patients while compiling their visit data recorded on paper or digitally. The patient’s medical record may as well include radiology or laboratory reports, doctor’s personal notes and prescription details. During a video consultation, doctors must have an access to health records at their fingertips without waiting around for the clinic secretary to dig through mounds of paper files. Therefore, installing an EMR & Telemedicine integrated platform will enable medicos to retrieve patient data within seconds, thereby speeding up the virtual medical consultations.

The Rise of Telemedicine 2020 report suggested that the pandemic has seen a decline in In-person appointments by 32%, treating home restricted patients virtually to soften the blow of the outbreak. However, the rise in COVID -19 infection rates has force triggered care facility priorities to COVID patients.

But are the COVID cases, our only health crisis?

Raising concerns for the non- patients with chronic, neonatal & psychiatric issues, the COVID caseload has restricted other patients to rely on the prescriptions from their previous follow-ups!

Having said that, a robust telemedicine solution along with an integrated home-care module will promise, optimum health monitoring for continued patient care. These systems can remotely collect, transmit and store information about a patient’s physiological parameters, while enhancing patient care experience and amplifying their connectivity to doctors in multi-folds.

Telemedicine is not just a “Technology” but an advanced medical approach capable of solving time-old issues.

But, with technology, there comes a question of its ability to penetrate deeply and acutely, especially for those living in rural or remote locations. Rural area residents are still struggling to adapt to technology and solve network barriers. As a result, they travel for treatment, risking their health.

By integrating doctors, patients, diagnostics and other healthcare stakeholders on a single platform while operating on a basic network, healthcare practitioners can treat the huge rural population efficiently. Contributing to better future care practices!

For healthcare professionals, it’s difficult to escape the significant care coordination gaps existing due to the lack of data interoperability within the care facility departments. Integrated ecosystems can de-clutter these complex healthcare scenarios bringing a one-stop solution while managing ops from anywhere.

An EMR, Diagnostics, Home-care and Telemedicine integrated healthTech platform can reduce multiple OPD visits. A built-in doctor-centric telemedicine feature will be a cherry on top of such an integrated ecosystem & will help successfully set up virtual waiting rooms while assisting medicos with the ability to pre-book telemedicine appointments.

So, it’s time for medicos to update their Telemedicine services!

HArbor Says: It’s mid-2021, and millions of Indians—now restricted to their homes are still dependent on the services of half-cooked telemedicine tools with minimum care satisfaction. In a pandemic, that’s a public health crisis! Having said that, an integrated healthcare platform is the best fit for the age-old healthcare system issues.

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