The Rise of Telemedicine Will Improve Public Health

Telemedicine is one of the most important healthcare digital trends facing the industry today, and the rapid adoption of telehealth technologies is changing the way that patients and healthcare practitioners interact in an unprecedented way.

One of the biggest issues facing public health in the many developed countries is the lack of primary care physicians available relative to the overall population. As a result, many patients are rushed through hurried appointments, which prevents them from getting proper care and potentially discourages them from seeking out consistent care.

The lack of adequate primary health care is most keenly felt in underserved populations in both rural and urban communities. While both groups face high proportions of uninsured people, rural residents have less access to specialists and poor communities in urban areas often made up of minority populations often lack healthcare facilities with adequate capacity and resources.

How Telemedicine Is Making Healthcare More Accessible

As mobile apps offering video appointments have become integrating into healthcare delivery, patients that previously couldn’t access reliable healthcare have been able to get medical attention through virtual appointments. This means rural patients can see previously unreachable specialists without the burden and expense of distant travel.

Additionally, having a wider range of doctors and other health care professionals available virtually frees up time and space for physical appointments, allowing those resources to be better used on appointments that can’t be handled over video or phone.

In the long run, these advances mean better preventive care, more consistent follow-up between patients and physicians, and higher chances of treating and resolving illness and disease before preventable damage or injury occur. When those impacts are added up across the millions of lives that telemedicine is improving, the public health benefits are likely to be very significant.

How Telemedicine May Ease Costly Public Health Issues

The adoption of telemedicine offers a potential benefit to public health crises facing many countries today, including the rising societal costs of treating disease and illness related to obesity, Type II diabetes, heart disease, and respiratory diseases.

Chronic illnesses such as these threaten to cost global economies trillions of dollars in medical expenses and lost productivity, and telemedicine may offer one of the only feasible methods of mitigating these costs in the future. By providing accessible means of communication between patients and healthcare teams, telemedicine provides a potential avenue to promote long term health recovery in chronically ill patients.

In the past, long term chronic illness management has seen limited success due to poor communication efficacy, patient drop-out rates, and high levels of inefficiency. As a result, insurance companies, hospitals, and other healthcare organizations may have routed resources away from potentially life-saving programs that never seemed to work on a mass scale.

With the help of telemedicine apps design with the healthcare providers and patients’ usability in mind, however, these kinds of programs have become much less of a hassle for all involved, eliminating the need for synchronous communication just to follow up on a patient’s treatment plan.

With more successful case management, healthcare teams and organizations can also use data analytics, case studies, and industry research to more rapidly uncover what kinds of chronic illness management programs work. Over time, this will result in lower population-level disease rates, medical costs, and productivity loss, benefiting entire families, communities, and societies.