“In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity.”
The true meaning of this quote by Albert Einstein can be witnesses in front of our very eyes in the current climate. During these challenging times, the Telemedicine Industry has seized the opportunity to help people cope with the pandemic.
Telemedicine techniques have made a positive contribution to helping health professionals connect with the patients virtually and combat the public’s general fear of physically stepping out and going to a hospital or medical facility.
What is Telemedicine?
Introduced in the late 1950s, Telemedicine has taken a spotlight during the current pandemic, and people have started to realize its true potential. Telemedicine is a practice of providing remote virtual healthcare when the patient and provider are not present physically with each other.
Through a HIPAA compliant video-conferencing software, doctors can consult and prescribe their patients. All these technological advancements have made healthcare more accessible and cost-effective since there is no need to travel, and you can receive the consultation from the comfort of your homes.
What is HIPAA & Why is it necessary for the technology used to be HIPAA compliant?
The Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is standard for patient’s sensitive data protection. Health Providers that deal with Protected Health Information (PHI) of a patient must ensure that they have the proper physical, network, and security measures to follow HIPAA Compliance.
When it comes to the virtual world, the channel of communication used by the health professional must comply with the following HIPAA Guidelines-
- Only authorized users should have access to ePHI, i.e., electronic Protected Health Information. The ePHI includes patients’ confidential information such as medical records created, stored, transmitted, or received in any electronic format or media.
- Data transmission should be fully encrypted to protect the integrity of ePHI.
- A system of monitoring communications containing ePHI should get implemented to prevent accidental or malicious breaches.
Therefore, before trusting any health provider and providing your data blindly, ask them whether the technology they are using is HIPAA compliant or not.
Types of Telemedicine
Testing times bring out unique solutions, and when modern technology combines with the human brain, nothing is impossible.
To provide remote health services, health professionals from across the world have adopted various modes of Telemedicine which include:
- Telephonic Consultation
- Video Consultation
- Telemedicine apps– using an approved EMR (Electronic Medical Record) where case records, images, investigations, tele consults can be stored, retrieved, and a video camera used for interaction. Peripheral medical devices located remotely can get controlled, and results obtained in real-time.
- AI-Based Chat Bots
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Use of Telemedicine during COVID-19
The impact of COVID-19 has been unparalleled. Businesses and Industries have shut down across the globe, leading to millions of people losing their livelihood.
The number of infected cases has only gone in one direction, i.e., up, which has caused a massive disruption in all the countries’ Healthcare departments. As COVID-19 continues to create chaos in Healthcare systems, Telemedicine has stepped up to become a savior.
Telemedicine is getting used to mitigate the virus’ spread in mass populations and safeguard the medical staff working at the front line.
Not everyone is suffering from COVID-19. Therefore, Telemedicine techniques have allowed patients suffering from other medical ailments to receive proper care from their homes, thus, minimizing the risk of contracting the virus by traveling to a medical facility.
People suffering from COVID-19 are the top priority and should get considered emergency cases, and thus the non-emergency patients can receive remote health care through various Telemedicine modes.
What does the future hold for Telemedicine?
Once the pandemic is over, life will never get back to normal. Social Distancing is and will continue to be the norm. Worldwide, COVID-19 has caused millions of people to explore Telemedicine for the first time. In the post COVID era, patients may never want to step out for a face-to-face health consultation.
Therefore, Telemedicine will only skyrocket, and we will see many technological advancements soon to enhance the functionalities of the software used for Telemedicine.
The growth of Telemedicine will help both the Patients and the Healthcare providers significantly. Patients can avoid the hassle of traveling to the clinic and waiting outside the doctor’s room. On the other hand, medical professionals such as doctors can spend more time with their patients, and the overheads required to build a clinic will get reduced.
Conclusively, we have to keep in mind that Telemedicine practices existed even before the pandemic; it’s just that COVID-19 has shed light and accelerated these practices’ growth.
If you plan to invest in Telemedicine and develop a HIPAA compliant technological software or app, look no further than 6DegreesIT. Our professional developers will leave no stone unturned to create the most secure and reliable product for you, which will yield your desired outcome.
Contact us today!