Telemedicine is the use of telecommunications technology to evaluate, diagnose and care for patients at a distance. There are three types of telemedicine such as live video, remote patient monitoring, and store-and-forward.

Live video involves communication with the medical professional, basic visual examinations, and medical history assessments. Remote patient monitoring uses telemedicine equipment to monitor a patient’s condition while the patients are at home. Lastly,  store-and-forward is where medical data or images are transmitted to a specialist over a large distance. An individual can benefit from the branches of telemedicine since they can be assisted financially and be in the comfort of their own home.

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The first concept of telemedicine appeared in the April 1924 issue of Radio News magazine. The magazine portrayed the use of a television and microphone for a patient to communicate with a doctor, including the use of temperature indicators and heart monitor. In 1959, the University of Nebraska used interactive telemedicine to transmit neurological examinations, which is considered the first use of live video conferencing. The beginning of the Internet in the 1990s also brought an explosion of medical information to the public which was more accessible to consumers. With the rise of technology, telemedicine has skyrocketed to another level and has offered medical aid to people in need. In developing countries, doctors are scant and many individuals do not own vehicles, which makes medical treatment hard to reach. For instance, in India, there is a large number of blind people and it’s difficult for patients to meet physicians. Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is an eye disease leading to preventable infant blindness.

Over 8% of nearly 30 million infants a year are vulnerable to this blinding disease. This situation needs a solution to quickly screen the retina of infants, including in rural places. But, the challenge is the screening of roughly 250,000 premature infants a month in the most isolated areas of India.However, a promising solution has arisen. It starts with the accessibility of a portable retinal camera with a special image capture design ideally fit for newborns. This camera lets technicians take pictures and upload them to data card using telePACS software developed by i2i TeleSolutions.

The pictures and data are uploaded to a secluded server, specifically a bomb shelter in Houston, Texas. Once the images are transferred, it can be found on the iPhone, the iPAD, or the PC.  This model is being set up in eighteen medical centers across six rustic districts and is used as part of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) in the country of  India. In destitute countries, such as India, telemedicine has other benefits that can support those in need.

It is accessible in one’s home, which means there is no need to commute to a medical specialist. That is very convenient for individuals who cannot miss their jobs or don’t have expenses for gas. It is cost effective, where “on average, a telehealth visit costs about $79, compared with about $146 for an office visit…”, which can certainly alleviate one who is financially stricken. Also, there is better access to more specialists where they refer patients to the specific physicians they need, regardless of location. Modern day technology integrating with the healthcare field is helping the public in many ways.

This high-tech equipment is setting milestones that will forever change the medical sphere for the best. Machinery such as the  Health-e-chair has a wide array of biosensors to measure vital signs, such as weight, blood pressure,and motion analysis. Plus, there is a communication unit with a remotely controlled camera. It’s so easy the patient just needs to sit in the chair and let the doctor perform the examination.

Health Spot is a platform that involves face-to-face communication and lets patients have simple access to follow-up treatment with their physician. It gives  high-quality medical care to patients whenever they want. This kiosk is actually able to perform total healthcare examinations, wellness checkups and other types of services for the public. The HealthSpot Station is confidential, spacious, and quiet. This platform will soon be found in work and schools allowing one to communicate with a physician and will hopefully grow outside the U.S.

 Elderly people are at a higher risk of falling which can lead to bone fractures where they then end up in the hospital. MobileCare Monitor is a watch-like device that has uninterrupted, real-time monitoring for seniors, individuals with chronic illness and others who whose health and safety are in jeopardy. The watch measures patient gait, detects falls, and has a panic button to call for help. If one falls or if there’s an abnormal reading, the system sends a signal to the designated caregiver through a smartphone or mobile device. Such devices make a difference to those in need of assistance and as years progress the public will soon see more captivating technology that will advance the medical field.With all these new emerging equipment, there is such a transformation in the healthcare field. It’s surprising to see the uses of the inventions being made in the realm of telemedicine to treat the unwell and how it will help all ages with all problems/conditions by alleviating the problems. As technological experts have more ideas on this equipment there will be a rise in healthy, happy people due to the positive effect it brings to one’s life.

 This will strongly be a new revolution of equipment that can change the health field and help the lives of sick, needy individuals. The telemedicine field will be far more popular than it is now and will progress into a successful sphere of medicine. Although telemedicine has plenty to offer, individuals may be concerned with the complications that come along with it such as confidential medical information leaking.

But, there is nothing to worry about.  The Privacy Rule conducts the exposure and use of Protected Health Information (PHI). Providers and their affiliates covered by HIPAA have to execute and adhere to procedures that protect  PHI whenever it is collected, handled, and transmitted.

No difference is made if the information is given away on paper, electronically, or by mouth.Patient confidentiality and secrecy that apply for in-person appointments apply to appointments over a video and have the same requirements. The provider has the same accountability to conserve the patient’s information. Physical documents are treated with the same caution as electronic files, videos, and pictures which makes the exchange of medical data safe. Surely, with this type of protection, it will be very difficult for an intruder or hacker to access the personal files of a patient. With that being said, patients will have peace of mind knowing that all their medical information is safe and secure. Nevertheless, telemedicine regulations are continually changing as medical associations still produce basic guidelines for telemedicine, and states bring out new legislation to pass telemedicine policy.

Telemedicine governance also determine telemedicine reimbursement rules preceded by private payers in that state. With new telemedicine companies arising, the amount of telemedicine associated legislation  at hand is at its highest. Something giving telemedicine the upper hand is the ability to give medical assistance to a patient, regardless of the patient location. Most states in the U.S.  passed new telemedicine regulations, or have a proposed bill pending.Nevertheless, since physicians are licensed to practice in a certain state, they are only permitted to give telemedicine services to people in the same state.

As of now, 49 state medical boards need physicians implementing telemedicine to be licensed in the state in the location of the patient. Cross-state licensing would let providers to give care to a patient in a state closeby, without the need to have a full license to be in operation in that state. A few states are relocating to pass measures to let state medical boards to cooperate and set up cross-licensing qualification.

From observing the perks of telemedicine,  there seems to be a positive correlation between technology and healthcare. It’s  different categories provide patients with the best medical attention through the live webcam and monitoring, along with sending medical information. Through the years,  a huge transformation in medical equipment has helped physicians perform efficiently, even from ancient times when telegraphs were used.

By this occurrence, people have been treated without traveling large distances. Plus, it’s convenience assist those who lack a vehicle or don’t have expenses for gas. As inventors develop new contraptions for health care,  there will be an increase in vigorous patients due to the ingenuity of designers. Poverty-stricken families will be alleviated financially with the cut in cost and fees. Also, people will be treated much quicker with the accessibility of talking to a physician over a webcam. Altogether, these statements are great reasons why telemedicine is such an effectual and economical clinical service that will greatly profit the public.

It provides more physicians to be inc contact with their patients.Allows one to be in control of their appointments due to it being more accessible at home. While, shrinking the waiting time to zero since it’s up to the patient’s to  determine when they want to be checked out.

But, it’s up to society to discover this anomalous service that will change the health field forever.


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