Telemedicine: There’s an App for That

Telemedicine is all about accessibility, and providing patients who seek care dependable medical attention quickly and efficiently. Because of the apparent benefits of telemedicine, this technological healthcare initiative is taking off in a rapid manner. In fact, within the United States, the telehealth market is expected to increase from $240 million in revenue to $1.9 billion by 2018. According to the American Telemedicine Association, the number of telemedicine networks currently in existence in the U.S. is an estimated total of 200. These 200 networks provide connectivity to over 3,000 sites.

With this in mind, it comes as no surprise that telemedicine research has infiltrated the most widely accessible frontier of all: the smartphone.

In a recent CBS News article, titled, “Telemedicine: Medicine Gone Mobile,” the network reports that with telemedicine research and technology on the rise, the United States has seen an advent of telemedicine apps for smartphones. The app in question is called Pager, by using the smartphone as a telemedicine platform, it allows patients to seek medical care with the swipe of a finger. Within two hours, the patient will hear a knock at the door, and will receive quality medical care from a board certified doctor or nurse from the comforts of their home.

With the recent surge in popularity in the utilization of telemedicine research and technology, the technological healthcare innovation has received a great deal of criticism. Critics question the quality of telemedicine care, as well as privacy, and the limitations of this care.

However, Pager app distinguishes itself from other types of telemedicine software by how it facilitates a face to face house call. Like they did in the past, doctors and nurses are able to make house calls and are able to service patients in an individual basis that is convenient to the patient. Pager app is also being proposed as a viable alternative to urgent care and emergency room visits, cutting wait time.

2015 has been a tremendous year for telemedicine. With innovations in telemedicine research and technology, patients are getting the help they need in a timely and efficient manner. Telemedicine’s effect on the climate of healthcare is palpable too, particularly in areas of telepsychiatry. In a recent study, patients who booked sessions with telepsychiatrists as opposed to face to face sessions were less likely to cancel future appointments.

With the mobile frontier officially infiltrated, what’s next for telemental health technologies? Only time will tell.