A growing number of hospitals are relying on remote ICUs to monitor and evaluate patients virtually, which helps to cope with an unrelenting COVID-19 caseload.
- Simple and convenient to use – See your doctor from anywhere, just click their personalized room link (like doxy.me/YourDrsName) to join them for a video call.
- No downloads or accounts – No need to download software or create an account. Just use a browser on a computer or device with a camera and microphone.
- Private and secure – All data is encrypted, your sessions are anonymous, and none of your information is stored. We adhere to HIPAA, PIPEDA, and GDPR data privacy requirements.
The technology of telemedicine will predictably and steadily get better.
Medical assistants, mostly human at present, are commonplace, notably in specialty offices, and machines using improving voice-to-text transcription are getting better.
Wearable devices are proliferating and hopefully coming down in cost, and platform technology is improving though still glitchy.
Patients generally accept Telemedicine. They like the saving of travel time and infection exposure.
Doctors may drag their feet because the increased effort and legal exposure is not compensated by increase in payment. On the contrary, pre-Covid compensation was LESS for a televisit. Continuing Parity would help.
The politicians at the state level should eventually make licenses valid across state borders.
The big wild card is the Legal Profession. Unless they develop restraint( and litigious patients reform), there could be a feeding Frenzy, which would delay implementation of a very good idea.
Eventually telemedicine deserves to be 50% or more of medical practice.
From a Permanente.org online article (May 11, 2020):
“Our patients are glad we offer telehealth options because they don’t want to come to the medical centers. This allows them to stay home and stay safe,” Dr. Lee says. “Before, telehealth was a choice and convenience, but now it’s one of the ways patients remain healthy with social distancing.”
The majority of telehealth visits are phone appointments, but Dr. Lee says video usage is increasing as more patients become comfortable with the platform.
Telehealth can also include services such as remote patient monitoring, which allows patients to take blood pressure measurements and blood sugar readings at home so that their care teams can monitor ongoing health conditions. In the case of the Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic States region, doctors also use telehealth to do rounds virtually for patients who have suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
Patients at higher risk for complications are given pulse oximeters so their doctor can monitor for signs of severe respiratory infection before other symptoms might indicate a need for additional care, including hospitalization.
TELEHEALTH is HERE TO STAY. It came in with the telephone, and has been gaining in recent decades. The distancing and Patient convenience so characteristic of Telehealth made it a natural fit for Covid 19, which has accelerated its’ adoption.
Your CLINICAL HISTORY, led by the Story of your Present Illness, has since time immemorial been the MOST IMPORTANT ELEMENT leading to accurate DIAGNOSIS. During a TELEMEDICINE VISIT, your doctor must make the MOST out of your clinical history. She can’t do a proper Physical Exam, although she can usually see you, and maybe direct a SELF exam. Teledata, such as EKG,B.P., and blood sugar will become increasingly available.
Your Doctor can usually get enough information to order Lab work and Imaging; and prolix ordering can be tempered, since a good HISTORY of the PRESENT ILLNESS, systems review, past and family history can narrow the diagnostic possibilities considerably. The pressure of time and demanding computer Records may lead the overworked Doctor to use Lab Tests to make up for insufficient Medical History.
Integrated medical systems, such as Kaiser, can also easily access your past medical information, one of the advantages of having everything under one roof.
Informed Patients, SELF-EDUCATING themselves from the vast trove of medical information on the internet (and maybe DWWR) can author their own MEDICAL NARRATIVE, or at least make the Doctors job easier.