Why Telemedicine is the trend to watch for in 2020
Telemedicine – Need of the hour
One of the recent trends in the world of Technology is Telemedicine. Doctors and Users all over the world are now using more and more Telemedicine visits. May it be because of the unavailability of Specialist Doctors in nearby Hospitals or the ease of connecting to a Doctor from the comfort of your Living Room or the undeniable benefit of Online visits in the Era of Covid-19, Telemedicine has been one of the most trending segments these days.
Needless to say, demand for Telemedicine has been exploding with more and more users asking for the Virtual visits instead of in-person ones.
According to new research telemedicine, the global market expected to be valued at more than 175 billion U.S. dollars by 2026.
So, what exactly is Telemedicine, and why is its demand exploding?
Simply put, Telemedicine means the process of replacing the in-person meetings between the Patients and Doctors with Virtual Meeting using the digital platform like Web or Mobile apps . Telemedicine has resulted in improved outcomes, decreased costs, and increased convenience.
According to a report published by Massachusetts General Hospital (Source - AJMC), Telemedicine has an extremely high satisfaction rate. 79% of respondents of the 2019 survey perceived Telemedicine as more convenient than the traditional visits in terms of scheduling, 83% found it better than in-person visits, and 66% reported that they felt personally connected to the Telehealth practitioner.
Historically speaking, Telemedicine is not exactly a new technology. It has been available since the 1950s, but only the recent innovations in software technology have made it possible to be open to the masses. And according to the experts, the demand is going to increase in the future due to an increase in the costs, shortage of Physicians, and the declining healthcare outcomes.
Video Calling – The backbone of Telemedicine
It might not come as a surprise that the improvement in the Video calling technologies has played a primary role in the recent explosion in demand for Telemedicine tools. Better video calling means better communication. Since it is imperative for any Physician to understand the concerns of the Patients to serve them better, the recent improvement in the Video calling technologies has helped overcome this barrier also, by providing better quality video calling.
Benefits of Telemedicine Applications
For Patients, Telemedicine has been the call of the hour as it decreases the costs of in-person visits and enables them to connect to the best Physicians from around the country, thus removing the geolocation bounds.
Similarly, for Physicians and Hospitals, it has been a blessing since it reduces the operating costs and maximizes their overall reach.
Telemedicine Applications – What it entails
There are some very prominent players in the Telemedicine industry, which are helping Patients and Service providers to connect by providing the much-needed infrastructure.
We will be looking at the features provided by one of the Telemedicine apps, InovCares, to better understand the features provided by the Telemedicine service providers.
Physician Registration and background check
Physicians can register free of any cost, but there is a complete background check to make sure that the integrity of the overall platform is maintained and only the best Physicians are added to the platform. Physicians are asked about their Specialization, History, Certifications.
Ability to update their availability slotsPhysicians, once accepted, can then update their availability in the mobile apps. This provides them the freedom to choose their own working hours. Flexibility is an important feature when it comes to the Telemedicine applications.
Services and hourly ratesJust like in-person visits, Physicians have complete control over what they want to charge. Generally, the hourly rates can be in the range of $25-$80 and more in some cases. Physicians also get to update their services as per their specializations. For instance, a Dentist might choose Root canal but not Cosmetic services, like Whitening.
Bookings managementPhysicians can accept the incoming bookings, and if they want, they can cancel any sessions. All the upcoming as well as past sessions can be viewed and managed easily.
WithdrawalsOnce the session is complete, the money gets automatically credited to the Physician Bank Account. The transactions can be checked within the app in the Finance module, making it easier for the Physicians to keep track of their earnings.
Easy registrationPatients can register easily in the app. While registering, Patients do not require a background check. Once registered, they can explore the available Physicians in their desired category.
CategoriesPatients can check the multiple Specializations and Services that are being provided by the Physicians in the platform. There are 100+ service categories along different specializations, like Allergists, Dentists, Cardiologists, Radiologists and so on.
Available PhysiciansPatients can apply the available filters, like Hourly rates, availability, feedback to get the list of available Physicians to select from. They can then view the complete profile of the Physician and make the decision of whether to book an appointment with them.
Easy Booking and PaymentOnce patients have selected the Physician they want to book a session with, they can then book the appointment easily by paying with their preferred payment method, like Debit or Credit cards.
Video calls and chatVideo call and textual chats are the primary features that ensure the required communication between the Physician and the Patient. As soon as a session has been booked, Patient can reach out to the Physician via Real-time Chat. At the scheduled time slot, the Patient and the Physician can call one another for their Virtual meeting.
Health Tribes – Bringing the communities together!
Health Tribes are a fun and interactive way to connect with fellow community members in the apps. Users can create their virtual communities and invite other users to join them.
Within the community, they can have health goals, like 100 Miles a month walking challenge, where all the community members can partake. It’s a fun way to have user engagement on the platform.
Telemedicine is here to stay for good. Finally, we have a solution that focuses on making visits to the Physicians comfortable and thus contributing to the betterment of society as a whole.
Patients, Physicians, Administrations are all adding in demand for the Telemedicine services and are contributing to the success of Telemedicine services.