The Changing of the Medical Industry: Telehealth Services

Telehealth is the distribution of health services and health-related information to patients via telecommunication technology. Both telehealth and telemental health allolong-distance doctors to provide patient contact for care, advice, education, monitoring, and various other important health services.

“My son who works for NASA is going to be amazed by this,” said Ellen McGowen who received medical treatment through telehealth software systems in Alabama. According to Science Daily, McGowen talked with Eric Wallace, M.D., a nephrologist and assistant professor of medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham who lives more than 115 miles away.

Wallace remotely operated a high-definition camera to inspect McGowen’s mouth for signs of dehydration, her legs for bruising and swelling, and her dialysis catheter for infections. Wallace can even listen to her heartbeat and lungs thanks to the camera’s Bluetooth technology.

This is the first time the state of Alabama is able to use this telehealth technology for medical assistance. The U.S. is the first country to use telehealth and telemental health services in place of conventional face-to-face medical visits.

“This pilot program, funded by Baxter Healthcare Corp, is really three years in the making,” said Wallace. “If I can provide a fully comprehensive telehealth visit for a home dialysis patient, which is one of the most complicated visits to do, then I can do this for any patient and virtually any disease.”

With various diseases, the driving to and from medical clinics can often worsen the symptoms and cause even more problems. One of the benefits of telehealth is that patients do not have to drive all over the place to seek medical attention.

“My hope,” Wallace added, “is that telehealth will provide the patient less time caring for their disease and in turn will improve their quality of life.”

The global telemedicine market is projected to increase to more than $27 billion this year and could end up reliving more than $6 billion in savings for U.S. company healthcare. More and more healthcare professionals are planning on implementing this technology for medical treatment, as 89% of healthcare executives expect telemedicine to completely transform the U.S. healthcare system over the next two years.

If you want to learn more about how you can implement telehealth and telemental health services, contact WeCounsel today!