Telemedicine is simple the use of technology to improve healthcare quality, as well as, increase the reach of healthcare services to remote areas. While in the beginning, telemedicine was explicitly looked upon as the technology that can help take healthcare services to rural and remote areas that lack basic healthcare infrastructure. However, today, telemedicine has grown to include various fields and serve various purposes including improving the quality of healthcare services for patients. Let’s explore what are three different types of telemedicine?
According to the American Telemedicine Association (ATA), all two-way communication tools and apps, including wireless tools, smartphones, and other telecommunication channels also comes under the scope of telemedicine. Video conferencing is an important part of the telemedicine industry today, whereas, tools to send and receive still images, monitoring of vital signs remotely through tech gadgets, health-related wearables, and various other tools and technology make up the telemedicine and telehealth industry.
What are the Benefits of Telemedicine?
As we discussed above, the telemedicine is powered and driven by digital technologies. The rise of digital technologies has opened up a whole new set of opportunities for healthcare providers, as well as, patients to reimagine the traditional ways of interacting with each other. Check out our detailed blog on telemedicine benefits.
Benefits of Telemedicine
Improves Patient Engagement
The increasing market trend towards value-based reimbursement has forced the healthcare industry to redefine their interaction models with the patients. Today, patients are increasingly looking for personalized, remotely accessible, and value-based reimbursement healthcare models that enable them to interact with clinics and doctors without having to visit hospitals or clinics. Thus, telemedicine not only cuts down on costs related to hospital visits, it also cut down on time to schedule an appointment with doctors. Healthcare services are incorporating digital technologies to enable patients to interact with their doctors and physicians remotely and engage them throughout the journey of health.
Expands healthcare services to more patients
Globally, there is an increasing gap between the number of patients and qualified doctors/physicians. The situation in rural and remote areas is even grimmer with few (if any) qualified healthcare practitioners available to the people. Telemedicine tends to bridge this gap and provide relief not just to patients but also to stretch out healthcare practitioners, by allowing them to increase their access to patients remotely. The technology has been used for decades to reach out to patients in remote and rural areas, compensating for the lack of healthcare facilities in those areas, and reliving the stretched healthcare system.
Increases practice efficiency
The telemedicine technology is fine-tuning the healthcare workflow efficiency. The technology is optimizing the workflow and processes for healthcare institutions, enabling them to increase their efficiency, as well as, quality of services delivered to patients.
Increases practice revenue
From healthcare practitioners and healthcare institutions point of view, the telemedicine technology not only help them to improve their quality of services it also helps them increase their revenue and profitability. The technology enables remote communication with patients, which help them expand the number of patients offered services. Also, by cutting down the time to interact with patients, the technology gives doctors and healthcare institutions the competitive advantage to acquire, treat, and retain more patients.
Cuts patient costs
Doctors and hospitals aren’t the only winners in telemedicine, rather patients also get to reap benefits of the technology. The technology significantly reduces the cost of consultation for patients, since it’s a remote consultation. Add to it the cost-cutting due to no traveling, parking, or childcare involved in the process and we definitely have a healthcare model that’s not just more accessible but also much affordable for patients. The cost-cutting for rural patients is even more significant since most of the time rural patients from remote areas have to travel overnight to access qualified healthcare specialists. However, with telemedicine, they are able to consult specialist consultation right from the comfort of their homes. According to the Oregon Health and Science University, the implementation of telemedicine into their workflow and process help their patients to cut over USD 6 million in travelling cost alone.
What are Three Different Types of Telemedicine in 2020
Now that you know the basics behind the telemedicine industry and its potential benefits of patients as well as healthcare providers, let’s not move on to a common question, “what are three different types of telemedicine?”
While there are various types of telemedicine, the three major types include; store and forward telemedicine, remote monitoring, and real-time interactive services. Below we will be looking at these major telemedicine types in detail, while we will also be discussing the other types of telemedicine in the later part of the blog.
So, what are the three types of telemedicine? Let’s explore the major types in detail…
1) Store-and-Forward Telemedicine
This type is also known as the “asynchronous telemedicine”. And understandably many people ask about the asynchronous form of telemedicine uses which type of technology?
Well, the working of the store and forward telemedicine is much similar to working of email, where patients will share their medical information like lab reports, x-rays and other health-related information with the healthcare providers, who subsequently will share this vital information with specialist consultants like radiologist or physician; located at another location. So, when asked about the asynchronous form of telemedicine uses which type of technology? It’s not much different from what we all are used to sharing our routine emails, however, the major difference, in this case, is that the platforms used to share such vital info come with built-in security features and are HIPAA compliant to ensure confidentiality of patients’ records.
The store and forward telemedicine basically make it easier for patients, healthcare providers, and specialists to interact and collaborate remotely, by allowing easy and secure data sharing feature. The approach enables patients to access the best specialists for their treatment, even when they are located in different geographical locations. The approach is quite widely practiced with certain specialists including radiology, dermatology, ophthalmology, and other specialists.
2) Remote Monitoring
Remote monitoring is yet another useful and widely practised type of telemedicine that basically enables patients to self-monitor their health using various technological devices, which can be used to measure and record vital signs. This approach is especially popular with patients dealing with chronic diseases like diabetes, asthma, cardiovascular diseases, and others. Such patients need regular monitoring of vital signs, and by using advanced telemedicine technologies, they are able to record, monitor, and share their vitals with the healthcare providers, when required.
Not only remote monitoring is a much affordable way to manage chronic diseases, but it’s also much reliable and improves the quality of healthcare services for patients.
3) Real-Time Interactive Services
Last in line for our major type of telemedicine is the real-time interactive services. Interestingly, this is also one of the most popular types of telemedicine (in fact for most people this is the only approach of telemedicine). Nonetheless, during the real-time interactive services approach, patients get to consult doctors and specialists one-on-one through video conferencing (that’s where real-time interactive comes from).
This approach enables patients to access doctors directly for consultations, just like traditional in-person visits. Here patients can ask doctors their concerns, whereas, doctors are also able to monitor directly any symptoms of diseases. The approach uses specific HIPAA compliant video conferencing software that ensures the security and confidentiality of patients’ data.
What are Three Different Types of Telemedicine – Summarizing
As discussed above, these are the three major types of telemedicine, which is to say there are also other types of telemedicine solutions, which we will be covering in the latter part of the blog. It is important to remember that each solution is meant to give patients and healthcare patients a new opportunity to interact with each other and improve the quality of healthcare services they need.
What are Examples of Telehealth?
Telemedicine as an Alternative to Dog Sleds in Alaska
Alaska is one of the best examples of remote areas with large uninhabited areas and small populations. For most Alaskan living in small villages, access to even qualified nurses is a difficult task, not to speak about qualified doctors and physicians. In any case of emergency, locals would have to take patients through dog sled to the nearest healthcare center which can be as much as a 30-day journey.
However, the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium has been for many years offering villagers across the state telemedicine services. HIPAA compliant telemedicine apps like Cliniclive enable villagers to get connected to the best doctors, physicians, and specialists for consultation and treatment of diseases right from their homes and treat their patients then and there.
High-Speed Internet Connect Patients with Doctors in Vanuatu
Vanuatu is a small island nation with scarce healthcare facilities. However, since the arrival of high-speed internet in 2016, the island nation is now able to connect its population through the telemedicine system, which helps its residents to get access to physicians and specialists from remote areas, thus greatly improving the healthcare quality.
The Havasupai tribe needs telemedicine
The Havasupai tribe lives in one of the most remote areas of the country – the floor of the Grand Canyon, making it almost impossible to access qualified healthcare services without having to travel for days.
Recently, the tribe has been able to secure a 30MBPS internet connection that is now used to telemedicine and tele-education services. Thus ensuring real-time and fast qualified healthcare services to the tribe.
What are Other Three Different Types Of Telemedicine?
As can be taken from name, it’s a type of telemedicine that is specifically meant to offer neuropsychological consultation to patients remotely (through telemedicine software like Cliniclive or phone). The doctors are able to conduct standard evaluation tests thorough video-conferencing, diagnose, treat and follow-up with the patients remotely.
Telenursing is yet another type of telemedicine that offers remote nursing services to patients. Telenursing is fast gaining popularity among chronic patients and healthcare givers, as it’s affordable and accessible.
Telepharmacy is used to advise patients for the pharmaceutical recommendations, in cases where it’s not possible to get in touch with pharmacists. This ensures continued medication for the patients, as well as, recommendations over the phone.
What are Three Different Features of Cliniclive?
Cliniclive is one of the leading HIPAA compliant telemedicine software developed by Folio3 that offers patients and doctors with various features and functionalities to help improve the quality of healthcare services. Some of the features of the Cliniclive app includes:
- Create your customized brand
- HIPPA Compliant and secure
- Reduce patients waiting time
Powerful Patient App
- HD quality video conferencing
- Flexible appointment schedule
- Secure video conferencing with doctors and healthcare practitioners
Extensive Practice Portal
- Secure and reliable
- User-friendly and intuitive interface
- Detailed and interactive reporting
What are The Three Different Benefits of HIPAA Compliant Video Conferencing Software
Patient Data Handling
HIPPA compliant Video Conferencing Software is a necessity for all telemedicine services, which is meant for secure handling of sensitive data. A HIPPA compliant software will maintain strong measures to ensure data security, thereby, healthcare services can be sure of maintaining the sanctity of sensitive data and not falling for massive penalties due to data theft.
Cybersecurity is a common and existential problem related to all technological tools. However, this is a much bigger and potent threat when the data is about patients’ medical history and records. HIPAA compliant software comes with robust and advanced security features to protect the data at all costs, thereby, patients can trust these platforms to share their medical records.
Preemptive Data Protection
HIPPA compliance allows healthcare institutions to design and implement a detailed patients’ data security risk management strategy. This means that healthcare organizations are in better positions to not only manage today’s cybersecurity threats but also be prepared for future threats.
Some of the vital equipment required by practitioners to deliver telemedicine services include:
A Good Webcam
Reliable High-Speed Internet
A Failover Line
Optional Optimization Tool: SD-WAN
Digital Medical Scopes and Accessories