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As the COVID-19 virus keeps on harassing mankind, the healthcare system has turned up with an innovative initiative of telemedicine and online consultation. This is a positive contribution to the vast domain of healthcare management but such technologies have certain limitations too when it comes to personalized patient treatment during a pandemic. Let us discuss the pros and limitations of telemedicine in times of COVID-19.

How telemedicine is being used now?

During this COVID-19 scenario, telehealth has proven to be effective and sustainable for the prevention and treatment of health ailments of patients worldwide as personal visit situations are negligible. These online services are bridging the gap between self-quarantined people and doctors, enabling more patients and caregivers to be safe indoors and communicating virtually. This is, therefore, helping people to receive medical care from home without entering any hospital facility, thus minimizing contamination and infection risk. The CDC has also urged the public and medical staff to use telehealth services in case of non-emergency medical calls to prevent the pressure in clinics and hospital space crowding. This is also taking care of minimizing the risk to the healthcare workers in hospitals and making more medical staff available to take care of coronavirus cases and other serious emergency cases. The primary care doctors are tirelessly working in the frontlines at ground zero and telehealth is efficiently letting them prioritize their work.

Catching up with the telemedicine trend

Currently, healthcare is facing a surge of direct-to-consumer telemedicine services at a large scale to provide patients with care with the safety of social distancing. Patients and caregivers are demanding acute care via teleconsultation and e-medicine services and several companies are trying to cope up with this demand. Moreover, these services are also booming in terms of use-cases which determines whether a patient in the emergency department needs to be issued a bed or some other area can be made available to keep the patient safe from potential exposures. Although telemedicine is gaining due importance, the problem lies in the late realization of the utility of such services. It is only now that policymakers and healthcare providers are looking seriously into telehealth technology for managing healthcare.

Are we equipped with sufficient telemedicine services?

The most significant limitation of telehealth services during this pandemic is the lack of exposure. While some hospitals and large firms are equipped to deliver telecare, most private organizations and hospitals are not. Telemedicine has not been in trend and hasn’t been used sincerely for public health response but the COVID-19 pandemic has surged this technology. Only recently, health companies and policymakers have started promoting telemedicine and the government is encouraging doctors and medical staff to adapt as soon as possible in response to the crisis of COVID-19. A scale-up of these telemedicine services is the need of the hour and we are not yet equipped enough to implement the same. But the future of healthcare management, post-COVID-19, is in the hands of telemedicine and the world is aptly gearing towards it.

Limitations of Telemedicine

The main limitation is a lack of hardware to implement telemedicine within several hospitals globally. Although every healthcare provider doesn’t need state-of-art facilities to initiate telemedicine help for the patients, the right kind of technology is a major turning point for healthcare services to broaden and sustain patient-reliability during and after the COVID-19 times.

Another issue lies with the hiring of certified telemedicine practitioners or experienced people. Telemedicine programs have their own broad network of licensed doctors and medical practitioners to be able to do the work without the hassle of bringing new inexperienced physicians in the game. To make that gap smaller, many training programs are underway to help doctors learn the best and efficient use of telemedicine technology.

Telemedicine is a perfect, ready-made solution to address healthcare during these times of self-quarantine and social distancing and slowly a large number of hospitals and organizations are making extensive efforts to deploy various means of efficiently tackling telemedicine to support healthcare management.

 

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