As the world becomes increasingly digitized, the medical industry is making transformative moves to accommodate patients with much greater efficiency and convenience. This is why in the past couple of years, remote healthcare has increased significantly to offer a broader range of services that meet the rising demands of patients. Stat News reports that telehealth saw a dramatic increase from less than 1% to over 80% in certain places.
Today, remote health services continue to be a widely offered option for patients. Since many may be limited in terms of transport, mobility, or access to healthcare professionals and services or immediate attention, being able to opt for care remotely is a great advantage. If you haven’t yet explored the full scope of available healthcare online, then here are different types of remote healthcare and how they can be useful to you.
Telehealth allows a vast range of medical services and specialized care to be delivered to patients remotely. This is especially useful for patients who require emergency assessment and evaluation or are unable to physically reach the hospital or clinic. Some services covered by telehealth include but are not limited to urgent care issues, clinical assessment, post-surgical follow-ups, and remote monitoring services to track progress and health goals.
As its applications continue to heighten the efficiency in hospitals and clinics, telehealth continues to evolve to enhance its quality of care and range of services. For example, medical institutions like Sesame Care and PlushCare are finding even more expansive applications for telehealth, such as digital check-ins, assistive intensive care teams, and digital screening. There is a telehealth option for most check-ups and treatments.
Being able to access guidance and increased supervision for patients needing more hands-on care at home can result in better patient adherence to their treatments. Telepharmacy allows pharmacists to provide pharmaceutical care and services through telecommunications technology. These include patient counseling and monitoring, medication selection, order review, refill authorization, and clinical services.
While intending to solve geographical limitations, telepharmacy services, like TelepharmRx, are provided by pharmacy teams near the patient’s location. This is to ensure the speed and preservation of the quality of drugs delivered while in transit. If you wish to avail of telepharmacy services, make sure the medical institution or drug store is one that’s at least within your county or city.
Mental health care is now seen as a top priority for many people. In our post on the ‘Top 8 Reasons to Care About Your Mental Health’ we outlined how poor mental health affects the quality of your life. The good news for those suffering from mental health issues is that help is much more accessible. Remote therapy allows you to meet your therapist online for psychotherapy or counseling. These platforms also get rid of barriers that could impede mental health treatment such as the discomfort of physically showing up. Moreover, in the U.S., most places have different therapist requirements, like a license from the local Board of Behavioral Health Examiners. Another point to note is that in the U.S. licensed therapists can only treat clients in the state they are in. Remote LCSWs workers in Arizona would only be able to treat patients from that state, and the same applies to all other states. This is particularly important to be aware of if you are moving state during your therapy.
Those who work as work-from-home therapists perform the same duties as professionals who work onsite. Remote therapists can guide patients through most treatments (like cognitive-behavioral therapy) just as effectively as on-site workers. An overwhelming 91% of Americans who are currently in online therapy even endorse it as an “effective” way of looking after their mental health. According to them, remote therapists are more accessible, especially in times when they need support. After all, patients and therapists are usually only a phone call or chat away.
Telerehabilitation allows for the remote administration of rehabilitation services in the patient’s own home. These services can come in the form of therapeutic interventions, remote monitoring, consultation, training, and education. Most hospitals offer it, but you’ll find organizations such as Jintronix, Conversa Health, and American Well offers this service as well.
Despite limitations in terms of “hands-on” therapies, such as physiotherapy or occupational therapy, the overwhelming advantage is being able to provide greater convenience and comfort to patients. This includes mobile apps to assist patients at home, as well as infrastructural improvements within clinics to incorporate further changes — such as hybrid treatments mixing in-person and remote treatments — that could better accommodate patients’ needs.
Remote healthcare can be a gateway for more universally accessible and affordable healthcare. Although there are still many limitations that need to be addressed, patients can benefit greatly from a broad range of convenient and affordable services.