The concept of telemedicine is made possible through the development of telecommunications technology, which is the means of sending information over a distance in the form of electromagnetic signals. Telemedicine takes telecommunications technology and applies it to health care.
Telemedicine is the use of secure, confidential, two-way interactive communication between a patient and a health care provider at a distant site. Telemedicine isn’t just used via your telephone, because telemedicine can also allow patients to have access to health care through video conferencing technology and connects hospitals to each other to improve health outcomes across Pennsylvania.
If you’ve never heard of telemedicine before, here are a few ways it is saving lives all over the world.
- Telemedicine has proven to be particularly helpful in rural areas. This aspect is especially beneficial to patients in our state, considering a large part of the Pennsylvania landscape is rural
- Through telemedicine, patients can get access to health care more quickly and conveniently. Studies have shown that telemedicine can play a role in reducing hospital readmissions and encouraging more faithful following of medication therapies and other prescribed courses of treatment
- Telemedicine is an increasingly effective way to administer preventive medicine and manage chronic conditions
In addition to the remote patient monitoring abilities providers have, telemedicine is used to create network connections, which link remote clinics to other health care facilities. According to the American Telemedicine Association, there are about 200 networked telemedicine programs in the U.S., granting access to more than 3,000 service sites.
Connections such as these allow hospitals to provide each other support, thereby assisting more patients. By easily sharing their expertise, doctors can offer incredible value to their medical peers and their patients.
Even though there is “tele” in telemedicine, remember that the use of telemedicine is not limited to your phone!