It’s no exaggeration to state that 2020 has been a troubled year. In fact, the last few months have been the most unusual and confusing for people across the world. The covid-19 pandemic has had an effect on the lives of people of all walks of life, yet it has also opened the eyes of many to new ways of working when the conventional and traditional methods cannot operate.
For example, lockdowns have forced offices, factories, retail outlets and many more businesses to shut down, with workers being forced to work remotely, largely from home. This has put the spotlight on digital communications in more focus than ever before. One industry that has had to continue to operate to full effectiveness is the health industry, and it here that there has been much needed development in the digital work. Telemedicine is not new, but the pandemic has given it a leading place in medicine for now, and for the future. Let’s explain what it’s all about.
Recent years have seen an explosion in telemedicine brands for better health diagnosis and treatment, and the presence of such systems in hospitals and clinics has been exaggerated by the present situation. What is telemedicine? It is any form of communication by telecoms to resolve, discuss or diagnose an issue, or pass on relevant information. For example, during the lockdown periods in many countries patients needing routine doctors appointments were asked to have a telephone consultation rather than attend the surgery.
On first thought this may seem a haphazard method: how can a doctor accurately diagnose a patient without seeing them? For basic ailments there is often little more than a description involved, which can be done across the telephone, and for those where there are marks or indicators on the skin, for example, the patient can take a picture on a mobile phone and forward it to the doctor. When considered as a time-saving method it makes a lot of sense.
That’s just the basic level, but we don’t have to dig too much deeper to discover how effective telemedicine is in helping in more complex diagnosis, in research and analysis, and even in surgery.
More Complex Telemedicine Routines
Let’s say a consultant has a case they feel would benefit from the input of colleagues, who happen to be in a different city or even country. Without the need to travel, they can contact that colleague using one of the many impressive and efficient audio-visual software packages that allow video calls, and also send scans and other details electronically for accurate perusal and analysis. They can even indulge in video calls if more heads are needed, and this is where it becomes very useful indeed.
Research into new medicines can be carried out in different places across the world with simultaneous sharing of information and parallel conduction of experiments and analysis, and the results shared instantly in real time, with no delays. This process could even extend to surgery, with experts from other places directing the surgery via a video link with surprising and reassuring accuracy.
The sheer rate of development of telemedicine techniques in just the past few years has been rapid and quite amazing, and when this area of medicine was required to rise to the occasion early in 2020 it did so in many forms with unrelenting success, confirming the future of telemedicine in the mainstream medical world.
We have a lot to thank computers and the internet for, and there are surgeons, consultants, researchers and doctors across the world who are now seeing the full benefit of digital health procedures.
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