Lack of access and hard-to-reach populations at a distant site are concepts of telehealth innovations. Given the shortage of some medical specialists, this capability enables patients to receive care from wherever they are without traveling long distances. At Axon Health Associates, we proudly offer telehealth services in the comfort of your location and time.
What Is Telehealth?
Telehealth is also referred to as telemedicine, telecare, or virtual health. It facilitates and delivers health and health-related services remotely using telecommunications and digital communication technologies. This provision of health services includes:
- Medical care
- Health information services
- Provider and patient education
Telecommunications technologies used in telehealth services include:
- Mobile apps (such as m-Health)
- Remote patient monitoring (RPM)
- Store and forward technologies
- Video conferencing
- The Internet
- Terrestrial and wireless communications
- Streaming media
Telehealth can be delivered in the following ways:
- Synchronous: This is where the doctor communicates with the patient in real-time through a phone call or video chat
- Asynchronous: It involves recording data, messages, and images to share with your doctor at a different time.
- Remote patient monitoring: Is when the measurements such as weight are sent to the doctor
In addition to clinical services that are covered by telemedicine, telehealth offers remote non-clinical services such as administrative meetings, clinician training, and continuous medical education.
Telehealth utilizes the following technologies and applications:
Remote Patient Monitoring
This involves collecting, reporting, transmitting, and evaluating patients’ health data through electronic devices like mobile devices, smartphone apps, wearables, and internet-enabled computers.
Patients use RPM technologies and other wearables electronic monitoring devices to collect and transmit information such as weight and measurements, vital signs like blood pressure, oxygen level, respiratory rate, and cardiac stats to their physician.
Mobile device applications and programs are vital in accessing and promoting healthcare using smartphones, tablets, or laptops. They help patients share information with clinicians, set appointment reminders, set medications, and track health measurements. Users can also access other m-Health applications, including diabetes and asthma tools, and communicate with care providers via text messages and video conferencing.
Video Conferencing, Video-Scope, and High-resolution Cameras
Patients can utilize real-time video communications platforms to get health care by remotely conducting virtual appointments using video/audio communication applications. Video scopes and high-resolution cameras are used to diagnose and treat patients in remote areas like correctional facilities, the defense department, and the department of veteran affairs.
Store and Forward
This refers to the collection or capture, storage, and transmittal of health information for asynchronous healthcare delivery using data storage and transmission technology. This information which may include photos, videos, text patient data, X-rays, CAT scans, and MRIs, are gathered and sent to specialists and other care team members to evaluate patients and assist in their treatment.
Benefits of Telehealth
Telehealth has proved to be beneficial to both patients and doctors. The following are telehealth benefits:
- Increased access to different healthcare providers
- Convenience of care
- Less time in the waiting room
- Improved worker productivity
- No transportation time or costs
- Medical access for people without health insurance
- Aids Patients with Limited Mobility
- Clinician time saving
- No need to take time off from work
- Better communication and coordination between health care providers and their patients
- Less chance of catching a new illness
- Medical access for people in underserved urban areas
- Lower cost, since virtual visits may be cheaper than in-person visits
- Middle-of-the-night care for babies and children
- Supervised physical therapy at home
- Reduced anxiety for those patients who do not like visiting hospitals
- More support for people who are managing their health conditions, especially chronic conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure
Types of Care Using Telehealth
There are various types of care telehealth offers, including:
- Lab tests or imaging test results such as blood work or X-rays
- Mental health counseling
- Dermatology (skincare) and skin conditions
- Prescription management
- Urgent care issues like colds, coughs, and stomach aches
- Eye exams
- Post-surgical follow-up
- Prescriptions for medicine
- Nutrition counseling
- General health care, like wellness visits
- Physical therapy and occupational therapy
- Recurring conditions such as migraines or urinary tract infections
- Treatment and follow-up appointments for attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Remote monitoring services that help you track your health and manage chronic conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol
- Mental health treatment, including online therapy, counseling, and medication management
- Urgent care for conditions such as sinusitis, urinary tract infections, common rashes, etc.
Types of Medical Professionals Who Use Telehealth
Health practitioners use telehealth for initial diagnosis, ongoing treatment, and follow-up. The following healthcare professionals use telemedicine to care for their patients:
- Mental Health Practitioners
- Reproductive Endocrinologists
- General Practitioners
If you are interested in a telehealth appointment, Contact Axon Health Associates today for the options available at your convenience.