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How To Benefit The Most From Telemedicine in Times of Coronavirus

The entire world is struggling to control COVID-19 and one of the most pressing issues is the safety of the healthcare workers who are at the maximum risk.

To control the risk of infection, visits to the hospitals need to be reduced. This is where Telemedicine is so powerful.

Telemedicine is the practice of screening patients remotely using technology. During these times when the world is facing lockdown, Telemedicine can prove to be extremely useful for both patients and healthcare workers.

In 2019 alone, 106 hospitals launched telehealth services in the United States. It is predicted that the total number of telemedicine visits will exceed the number of clinic visits by 2024.

Why Telemedicine Will Replace Traditional Clinic Visits?

Today, the majority of healthcare solutions involve a patient and a physician in a clinical office setting.

The primary reason why patients prefer telemedicine is convenience. You can get medical treatment without even stepping out of your home during this pandemic. Besides, you get access to virtual health services 24/7.

Another reason why patients prefer telemedicine is reduced expenses for minor health issues. According to a report published in USNews, the national median cost for virtual healthcare services is $50, compared to $85 for a low-severity treatment at a doctor’s office, $130 for an urgent care facility visit, and $740 for an emergency room visit.

Telemedicine Benefits Both Patients And Medical Practitioners

Although telemedicine is not new and has been around for over 30 years but still the need for this practice has risen recently.

The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in telemedicine is changing healthcare for the better. It helps to improve the patient experience by effectively streamlining the patient’s journey.

Here are a few ways how AI is useful in telemedicine:

  • Examine clinical data in a patient’s electronic health record to help doctors provide better care.
  • Recommend the right treatment options based on symptoms or patient’s health data.
  • Analyze a plethora of data faster than humans and quickly identify health problems before they become catastrophic.
  • Record clinical notes, in case a patient misplaces their prescription.

AI and machine learning can be used to help patients identify their potential ailment and its probable causes. The AI chatbot requests details, like age, gender, prior medical conditions, and current medications, to create health records. The chatbot asks various personalized questions to gauge the patient’s symptoms. It then compares the answers with the doctor’s responses for similar cases in the database to recommend treatment options.

Final Thoughts

Medical practitioners have already started to use telemedicine to help the patients in need. Even Coronavirus tests can be taken without a direct visit to the hospital. A recent report by Wired indicates that patients can take self swabs and ship the sample using the US postal service after consulting with the doctor on video call. This way doctors can focus on more patients and the need to visit the hospital can be avoided.

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