In the modern world, using technology has become a way of life. Many industries have already digitized their services, using technology to their advantage to serve their clients as efficiently as possible.
When it comes to the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry, however, the transformation has taken longer to take shape.
In fact, according to Digital Authority Partners, just six percent of healthcare and pharmaceutical companies said they had gone viral in a recent study, compared to 11 percent of companies in other industries.
With that being said, the telemedicine market has exploded in recent years with new technology devices aimed to help people live longer arriving on the market every day.
If you don’t already know what telemedicine is, however, you wouldn’t be alone. Despite having a vast and important history in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry, little is known about this form of medicine outside of the industry.
According to HealthcareWeekly, telemedicine is “a term used to describe the remote diagnosis and treatment of patients via telecommunication channels like the internet and mobile platforms”.
All this really means is that patients can receive treatment for their health conditions, and diagnosis for new conditions, without ever having to see a physician in person.
Originally created to facilitate people with health conditions living in rural areas, telemedicine has become an industry that caters for busy lives. It makes healthcare and pharmaceutical industries more accessible for those who want to continue living their lives while ill, and could change the way we view healthcare in the future.
Making managing health conditions easier for busy people isn’t the only benefit of telemedicine. Research from the University of Missouri-Columbia has found that it can be used effectively, and not only that, but it also helps people to live longer by remotely managing their health conditions.
Many healthcare executives are warming up to the idea of telemedicine. For example, Simon Stertzer, the father of modern cardiology sees telemedicine as: “a useful adjunct to a good deal of patient management and follow up.”
Here are just some of the telemedicine solutions that are helping patients to live longer.
Heart Rate Monitors
Portable heart rate monitors have been a revolutionary telemedicine solution for patients around the globe since they were created.
While people with respiratory and cardiovascular diseases used to find themselves confined to a hospital bed for days at a time to monitor their health condition, they can now go about their usual business with a small device that hardly inconveniences their everyday life at all. This device will then feedback information to their cardiovascular consultant without having to communicate with them at all!
As well as being a revolutionary device for those who may need heart rate monitors in the short term, they also help those with respiratory conditions like heart failure, who may need these devices year round.
One study of over 3000 congestive heart failure patients in Boston found that putting these devices in place reduced readmissions within the participating population by 44 percent.
This was because they were able to receive accurate advice through telecommunication with the nurses assigned to their care, allowing them to handle any discrepancies with their health before things escalated to the point of being admitted to hospital.
South Korean researchers made a recent telemedicine breakthrough with sweat monitors that could replace pinprick tests for measuring blood sugar in individuals with diabetes.
These monitors work by offering a non-invasive way of reading blood sugar levels through the sweat of the individual with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes to determine how much insulin they need and when.
This could help prevent people from experience hypoglycaemic or hyperglycaemic shock which can result in the individual falling into a coma and, in extreme cases, death.
This enables people to live longer as it helps self-management of diabetes without the need of specialist consultations with a professional which could decrease the amount of people suffering from complications from diabetes, like heart disease and amputations.
Online pharmacies work by allowing people to input their prescriptions through a secure phone app or online website so that they can receive their medication to their door when they need it.
Some online pharmacies will also require a confirmation of the prescription from the physician prescribing them to make sure that the prescription isn’t being filled fraudulently.
These online pharmacies are a lifesaver for those with health conditions that leave them housebound, where medication may be needed to perform basic functions and they could be put at risk if they happened to run out of medication or miss a few doses.
When 60 percent of Americans have a chronic condition, some of which are life-threatening, these services are much needed.
It isn’t just people with life-threatening conditions that find these useful, however. Those who have busy lives may also find themselves forgetting when they need medication, but thanks to these online pharmacies, they can book their prescriptions in advance.
Telehealth Counselling Services
In the modern world, more and more people are turning towards online counselling services to help them through mental health illnesses.
Lots of people are too scared to reach out for help with an in-person specialist, so having online services that can step in and take on this role is vital. It can also make the experience more comfortable for the individual as they are in the comfortable surroundings of their own home instead of a strange doctor’s office.
The main way that online counselling services are helping people to live longer is through crisis lines, set up especially for those who are at risk of suicide.
Having someone intervene and talk to you during your time of crisis can really help to change your mindset, providing you with logical explanations to the problems that seem like the end of the world in that moment. This can help to reduce death rates of suicide, and allow more people to seek help and therefore live longer.
Pendant alarms, otherwise known as personal alarms for the elderly, were introduced around four decades ago in western societies like the US and the UK.
They are often worn like a necklace around the neck, and allow individuals to press a panic button for assistance, where a care worker will be immediately alerted to their distress.
This allows elderly people to reach out for help when they have fallen, experienced a stroke, or other complications of their old age that may prevent them from being able to access another form of communication, like a phone.
By having this system in place, care workers can assess the needs of the individual quicker, and make sure that the elderly person receives the help they need as soon as possible.
If an elderly person presses their pendant alarm after falling, for example, the care worker will be able to call for an ambulance and provide them with assistance like turning them onto their side, so they aren’t putting unnecessary pressure on potentially broken bones.
If this wasn’t in place, the elderly person could be lying on their side for days at a time, experiencing pressure sores, and potentially complex broken bones.
There is the potential that, without these alarms, elderly people could die from things that could be easily rectified because so many do not have the same ties to the community that younger people do.
This post comes from JGBilling, a medical billing and coding Chicago company