Telemedicine is the ability to provide interactive healthcare utilizing modern technology and telecommunications.” Basically, Telemedicine allows patients to visit with physicians live over video for immediate care or capture video/still images and patient data are stored and sent to physicians for diagnosis and follow-up treatment at a later time. Whether you live in the center of Los Angeles or deep in the Brazilian Amazon, Telemedicine is an invaluable tool in Healthcare.
Here’s an example of how Telemedicine works everyday. Say you have a horrible sore throat and visit your healthcare provider (could be a general practice physician, nurse practitioner, or unlicensed health worker in a village depending where you live), who does an examination and is concerned with what he sees. Your provider recommends a referral to an ENT specialist for a follow up diagnosis and treatment plan. Well, instead of traveling to the nearest specialist, which depending where you live could be anywhere from a 45-minute drive or an 18-hour boat ride up the Amazon River, your provider connects you directly to the ENT specialist via Telemedicine.
Here are some of the major benefits of a Telemedicine Consultation:
The specialist actually hears your medical history and current condition directly from you and your provider instead of the specialist receiving a dictated note in the mail.
With the use of ENT medical peripherals such as a nasopharyngoscope, your provider can pass this medical peripheral into your nasal passage which will allow your provider and the ENT specialist simultaneous crystal clear video of your throat and vocal cords. The specialist may ask you to cough, pronounce letters, etc. in order to get the best outcome for the diagnosis.
The specialist can diagnose and recommend treatment immediately.
• Your provider has the opportunity throughout the examination to ask questions and learn from each and every consultation. The continual education of your provider via medical consultations is an immeasurable benefit to all his patients.