Almost one hundred years ago, a multi-talented inventor and writer by the name of Hugo Gernsback predicted a technology that would allow a physician to diagnose a patient using video. Today, that technology is known as Telehealth.
The concept of Telehealth dates as far back as the invention of the telephone with healthcare professionals consulting and advising one another at a distance. References to the use of telecommunication appear as early as 1879 and live video communication as early as 1925, however the face-to-face video portion was just a concept. Now Telehealth has grown and evolved drastically, allowing physicians to provide confidential services to patients around the world with care.
While still in the early stages of implementation, Telehealth promises to revolutionize healthcare worldwide.
Using two-way audiovisual technology, a physician can interact with a patient (or several at once) remotely. Any of the parties can be remote and the connection is instant. It’s reliable, easy to use and goes a long way in preventing late appointments and no-shows.
What areas of healthcare can be used by Telehealth?
The better question is “What sector can’t be used by Telehealth?” The technology has shown to be useful in countless specialties. To name a few:
|Hospitals||Urgent Care||First Responders|
|Behavioral Health||Nursing Facilities||Hospice Care|
|Chronic Care||Remote Patient Monitoring||Dermatology|
In addition to being able to see and hear the patient in real time, there are peripheral medical instruments that can be used for further interaction.
Ditching traditional doctor visits
The current push is moving strongly towards Telehealth and it’s being fueled by Millennials, here’s why.
- It’s convenient. Smart phones are ubiquitous and nearly no millennials would be caught without one. Being able to meet with your doctor without having to walk, bike or drive over makes all the difference.
- Not missing work. Whether work ethic, team dependency, or financial motivations, millennials don’t want to miss work either. Telehealth visits really cut the time down to what’s necessary.
- Scheduling is easy. It can be done online with zero fuss and zero wait time. All availability is listed so there’s no back and forth. Oh, and you can add it directly to your calendar afterwards.
- See someone right away. Sometimes you need an appointment right away, and with an internet full of online doctors the world is your oyster. And you can read through reviews before meeting with them, just to make sure it’s a good fit.
- It’s so efficient. This is probably the biggest motivation. No matter how we choose to spend our time, we can likely all agree that spending it in the waiting room is a waste. Travelling a distance when we don’t have to is a waste, and waste is bad.
All in all, the versatility shown by Telehealth technology in supporting many diverse use cases has made it an incredible and desirable tool. In conjunction with the support of a booming millennial population, Telehealth is taking off as the new face of healthcare.