Telemedicine: Pros and Cons

Telemedicine: Pros and Cons

Thanks to advancing technology, we can now do many things from home: we can play casino slot machines or order something from a country on the other side of the globe. But perhaps the most impressive example of technological advances is the telemedicine applications: some of them are so advanced that they resemble science fiction movies. So, what is telemedicine. and what does it cover? What are the benefits, and are there any downsides? Below, we will answer all these questions for you.

Let's Start with Basics: What Is Telemedicine?

This technology, also known as telehealth, simply means the distribution of health-related services and information via telecommunication tools and electronic means. As a simple example, we can show a doctor connecting to the patient's home remotely and talking to him through a camera. Using this method, for example, you can ask questions to the doctor without having to go to the clinic.

Some researchers argue that "telehealth" and "telemedicine" are different from each other. For these people, telehealth is simply preventive and promotive healthcare, and telemedicine is the term for remote diagnosis and monitoring. But no matter what name you use, this technology can bring healthcare providers and patients together without having to be in the same room.

Telemedicine is a service recognized and provided by WHO. It can be used anywhere in the world as long as there is a 4G speed connection. It includes:

* Transmission of Medical Data: Data such as medical images and bio scans can be sent by the patient to the doctor, and the doctor can see them as soon as he goes online. So patients and doctors do not have to be online at the same time.
* Remote Monitoring: The doctor can monitor the patient remotely using various medical devices. This is a method used especially in chronic diseases. For example, the patient's blood pressure or blood sugar can be remotely monitored in real time.
* Interactive Interactions: This is the most common use of telemedicine: the patient and the doctor can talk in real time via video conference. This is a feature that can also be used for diagnostic purposes.

Pros of Telemedicine

It is not difficult to understand what the advantages of such technology are: telemedicine enables, above all, even rural areas without access to a real doctor to get medical services. Even if you live in a mountain village, you can even reach a professor directly, as long as you have an internet connection and a mobile phone. This technology makes it particularly easy to obtain clinical support. Your doctor can diagnose and even start treatment without having to be physically next to you. Moreover, he/she can regularly check how the treatment is progressing: both parties (doctor and patient) do not have to leave their locations to do all this.

Telemedicine also makes transfer, organization and analysis of medical data very easy. An MRI image taken in hospitals can reach the doctor too late due to bureaucratic obstacles. You may also have to go to the hospital multiple times just because your blood tests are not completed. However, in telemedicine technology, these data are supplied by the patient himself and sent to the doctor. Thus, doctors can access all the data they need to make a diagnosis without waiting.

Cons of Telemedicine

Unfortunately, telemedicine has some drawbacks. We have stated above that the most beneficial aspect is that it can provide quality medical services to third-world countries and rural regions. The problem is that this technology is hardly ever used in these regions. Statistics show that telemedicine technology is used the most in the United Kingdom, Scandinavia, North America and Australia. These are the countries that already have access to quality medical services. Third-world countries are not included in this list.

One of the reasons for this is that some devices required for telemedicine (such as blood glucose meters that can connect to the internet) are very expensive. So, in order to benefit from telemedicine technology, you must live in a country that can offer advanced technology at affordable prices. Otherwise, you are just videoconferencing with a doctor, and the benefit you can get from it is very limited.

Telemedicine also has some diagnostic difficulties. Some diseases can only be diagnosed with a physical examination. So the doctor has to touch you to understand the problem - it isn't enough just to listen to you. Likewise, it is not possible for the doctor to admit you to the hospital and follow up: you have to do what the hospital should do yourself.

Despite these disadvantages, telemedicine is an impressive and exciting technology. As technology develops, becomes widespread and cheaper, it will begin to be used in all countries of the world. Fast connections such as 5G will even make it possible for doctors who control robotic devices remotely to perform surgery from their homes. In other words, we may be witnessing a medical revolution right now. Telemedicine is a technology with a bright future.