Video Conferencing Why Should Patients Opt for Telehealth? Telehealth has transformed the healthcare system, allowing patients to receive remote synchronous and asynchronous services from the comfort of their offices and homes using technology. It holds promise to significantly impact the treatment strategies for various medical problems and offers additional avenues for administrative meetings, provider training, and continuing medical education. Telehealth is a method of delivering healthcare across the spectrum of medical amenities. Not every in-person visit to the doctor’s office is amenable to telehealth, but it is preferred for the treatment of minor ailments or routine follow-ups. Here are a few reasons why patients should opt for Telehealth: Direct Contact with a Specialist Most Telehealth systems come up with a secure setup for contacting a specialist. The patient does not have to relay information to the doctor or nurse priorly. The specialist conducts a live assessment via video conferencing before prescribing any type of medication. Thus, the patient receives firsthand diagnosis and treatment of his or her symptoms. Patient and Provider Education Telehealth systems have enabled direct health education, patient monitoring, and group therapies akin to traditional in-person means of care. Remote Monitoring Systems Some healthcare professionals use a remote patient monitoring system to regularly check on their patient’s conditions. · Web-based or mobile apps are used for uploading routine information, such a blood glucose reading, to be viewed by their doctor. · Devices are used to measure and transmit information, such as lung function, blood pressure, or blood glucose. · Specific monitoring devices are used for geriatric patients or those suffering from dementia, to stay updated about the changes in their activities such as falls. Access to Personal Health Records Telehealth allows patients to access their personal health records through a personal health record system (PHR system) which consists of detailed information about their health. This system can be accessed from any web-enabled device such as a smartphone, computer, laptop, or tablet. The patient can instantly access personal vital information about medications, drug allergies, current diagnoses, and the doctor’s contact information, in case of any emergency. Online Peer Discussions Telehealth systems allow people to share medical and health information pertaining to one’s own personal experience with a health challenge or difficult situation through digital media. People suffering from common health problems can get involved in online peer discussion groups that might not only help them get helpful information, but also provide them with the moral support and strategies to help them address their challenges. Other Benefits Telehealth can rapidly deploy providers whenever needed, thus facilitating triage and reducing the burden on front-line providers. It provides real-time care to the patients whenever they are unable to visit the doctor due to traveling restrictions or geographic barriers. It cuts down the out-of-pocket costs of medical expenses and reduces the risk of transmission of communicable diseases. Telehealth systems assist in helping astronauts receive their health monitored remotely. Telehealth systems have enabled patients to take ownership of their preventative, acute, and chronic healthcare problems, allowing them to manage their conditions efficiently while staying in the comfort of their homes. Role of Telehealth in Outbreaks Telehealth systems have helped communities stay safe and access essential medical care from their homes amid the COVID-19 outbreak. It is not the first time that telehealth systems have proven necessary and effective in a catastrophe or potential hazard outbreak. It has enabled remote triaging of care and provided instantly accessible information at various times such as: The North Atlantic Treaty Alliance (NATO), which is an intergovernmental military alliance comprising of 29 members belonging to European, and North American countries, initiated a Multinational Telemedicine System in 2000 that was then employed by their military forces at various times. Similarly, many private telemedicine systems help with mental health services, offered to people during COVID-19.