The word “telemedicine” literally translates to ‘healing at a distance’. It often is used as the umbrella term to encompass health care delivery in addition to other activities such as education, research, health surveillance, and public health promotion.
According to American Telemedicine Association (ATA),” Telemedicine is the natural evolution of healthcare in the digital world”. World Health Organization (WHO) has defined telemedicine as, “the delivery of healthcare services, where distance is a critical factor, by all healthcare professionals using information and communication technologies for the exchange of valid information for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease and injuries, research and evaluation, and for the continuing education of healthcare providers, all in the interests of advancing the health of individuals and their communities.
Earliest published record of telemedicine was in the first half of the 20th century when ECG was transmitted over telephone lines. Inventions like electrical telegraph and telephone played a vital role in kick starting the modern telemedicine as we know it. Telemedicine found its role in disaster management when NASA first used telemedicine services during the 1985 Mexico City earthquake, and in 1988, during the Soviet Armenia earthquake, where the estimated casualties were more than 50,000.Over the past several decades, as the use of wireless broadband technology has become more advanced and cell phone and internet use has become nearly ubiquitous. Patient education with images and videos, transfer of medical images like X-rays and scans, and real-time audio and video consultations became a reality. Improvement in internet infrastructure such as bandwidth communication speeds, information storage databases, web service backups, standard formats for data transmission, encryption, password protection, HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) guidelines, digitalizing information and establishment of EMRs (electronic medical records) made e-health and telemedicine stress-free and cost effective and definitely useful.
Interactive services can provide immediate advice to patients who require medical attention. There are several different mediums utilized for this purpose, including phone, online and home visits. A medical history and consultation about presenting symptoms can be undertaken, followed by assessment like those usually conducted in face-to-face appointments What we should not expect Is that This is only a "preliminary" interactive session with the doctor and is not an alternative to direct medical consultation. Tele-consultation portal does not diagnose, cure or prevent any disease but is used only for providing medical advice. Usually the Hospital or the Doctor is not responsible for any type of effects or loss or damage created by the transmitted data
Telemedicine cannot be the answer to all problems, but it can be very important in addressing a vast range of problems. Despite having so much potential still telemedicine has not attained the ‘boom’ which it was meant to create. Lack of awareness and acceptance of new technology both by the public and the professionals are holding it back. Governments are now starting to take a keen interest in developing telemedicine practices resulting in a slow but steady rise in its utilization in public health. Hopefully in a few years, telemedicine practices will reach their true potential.
In the present situation of COVID 19 pandemic where practically in the period of lockdown we are not able to get medical advice especially for our ongoing medical treatment. I think Telemedicine will help us all and especially those at greatest risk are over 60 or have underlying health conditions or a compromised immune system. The number one job for all of us is to avoid becoming a carrier and distributor of the virus. By using virtual care for much regular, necessary medical care. Additionally, by not congregating in small spaces like waiting rooms, we thwart the ability of the virus to hop from one person to another. Keeping people apart is called “social distancing.” Keeping healthcare providers apart from patients and other providers is “medical distancing.” Telehealth can be one strategy to help us accomplish this.
Telemedicine refers to the use of information technologies and electronic communications to provide remote clinical services to patients. The digital transmission of medical imaging, remote medical diagnosis and evaluations, and video consultations with specialists are all examples of telemedicine
The digital transmission of medical imaging, remote medical diagnosis and evaluations, and video consultations with specialists are all examples of telemedicine
Interactive services can provide immediate advice to patients who require medical attention. There are several different mediums utilized for this purpose, including phone, online and home visits. A medical history and consultation about presenting symptoms can be undertaken, followed by assessment like those usually conducted in face-to-face appointments
Telehealth, the virtual care platforms that allow health care professionals and patients to meet by phone or video chat, seems tailor-made for this moment in time. Also known as telemedicine or digital health, it’s often touted as a convenience for patients who are busy or far away, or when travel isn’t feasible due to severe weather or an urgent condition like a stroke. The current crisis makes virtual care solutions like telehealth an indispensable tool as COVID-19 spreads across the world.