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The Doctor is In . . . the Palm of Your Hand: The Power of Telemedicine

Telemedicine Connects Patients in New Ways

When a medical patient in a rural area needs to consult with a specialist, this may cost the individual thousands of dollars in travel expenses, days missed from work and medical bills. But what if there was a way to tremendously reduce the expenses of this much needed treatment. Well now there is, and it’s all done through the power of telemedicine.

Although it is a relatively new term, telemedicine has quickly become a highly talked about area in the broadband industry. Telemedicine introduces new opportunities for individuals and could become a key factor when it comes to lowering healthcare costs. Patients will be able to consult with doctors and specialist in real time and give them instantaneous access to medical records. In order for telemedicine to save lives, it must be supported by a broadband infrastructure.

The power of telemedicine can turn your phone, tablet, or computer into a doctor.

And no, we are talking about some website where you type in your symptoms. In the case of non-emergencies, you can go into a digital waiting room and speak face to face with a real, certified, living breathing doctor. Doing this can save both the patient and hospitals time and money by preventing unnecessary travel for something minor and to open space in the hospital for more serious injuries.

However, telemedicine doesn’t just stay at the home or hospital. There are devices that will monitor your blood pressure, heart rate, activity levels, caloric intake and more already. With so many devices being connected to the internet now, these “wearables” as they have come to be called can automatically add information to your medical records. This can be critical information when every second counts in an accident.

For example, if an individual were to have a heart attack, their heart rate monitor on their wrist could automatically alert paramedics of their location. After arriving at the hospital, doctors can looks at their vitals and other levels to see a trend in their deteriorating health that may have led to this heart attack. Had the patient not been wearing their heart rate monitor, they may have never received the treatment they so desperately needed.

Telemedicine is going to play a huge role in the future of healthcare. Many healthcare systems have already begun the switch to electronic health records which enables a patient’s information to be universally accessible wherever they receive care. Whether you are at home, on the road, or out at the lake, with the power of broadband, you can rest assured that when medical services are needed a doctor is never more than a click or call away.

How do you think telemedicine will be used?

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