Telehealth: Technological innovation satisfies overall health treatment

See how technological innovation can enhance your overall health treatment.

By Mayo Clinic Workers

How quite a few periods have you heard it mentioned that the web has reworked contemporary lifestyle? In truth it really is likely modified how you continue to be in touch with loved ones and good friends, obtain goods and companies, and even lookup for information and facts about overall health complications.

A wide variety of telehealth tools are available to help you take care of your overall health treatment and acquire the companies you will need. Are you taking gain of them?

What is telehealth?

Telehealth is the use of electronic information and facts and interaction technologies, this sort of as computer systems and cellular gadgets, to access overall health treatment companies remotely and take care of your overall health treatment. These may possibly be technologies you use from residence or that your medical professional utilizes to enhance or aid overall health treatment companies.

Look at, for illustration, the approaches telehealth could help you if you have diabetes. You could do some or all of the next:

  • Use a cellular cell phone or other device to add meals logs, drugs, dosing and blood sugar levels for evaluation by a nurse who responds electronically.
  • Watch a movie on carbohydrate counting and down load an app for it to your cell phone.
  • Use an app to estimate, based on your diet program and exercising degree, how considerably insulin you will need.
  • Use an on the net individual portal to see your test outcomes, plan appointments, ask for prescription refills or email your medical professional.
  • Buy screening materials and drugs on the net.
  • Get a cellular retinal picture screening at your doctor’s place of work rather than scheduling an appointment with a expert.
  • Get email, textual content or cell phone reminders when you will need a flu shot, foot test or other preventive treatment.

The goals of telehealth, also termed e-overall health or m-overall health (cellular overall health), include the next:

  • Make overall health treatment available to people today who dwell in rural or isolated communities.
  • Make companies additional commonly available or practical for people today with confined mobility, time or transportation options.
  • Supply access to medical experts.
  • Boost interaction and coordination of treatment amid members of a overall health treatment team and a individual.
  • Supply aid for self-administration of overall health treatment.

The next examples of telehealth companies may possibly be useful for your overall health treatment.

Client portal

Your primary treatment clinic may possibly have an on the net individual portal. These portals supply an choice to email, which is a usually insecure signifies to communicate about non-public medical information and facts. A portal presents a additional protected on the net instrument to do the next:

  • Talk with your medical professional or a nurse.
  • Request prescription refills.
  • Critique test outcomes and summaries of earlier visits.
  • Schedule appointments or ask for appointment reminders.

If your medical professional is in a large overall health treatment procedure, the portal also may possibly present a solitary stage of interaction for any experts you may possibly see.

Digital appointments

Some clinics may possibly present virtual appointments that allow you to see your medical professional or a nurse through on the net videoconferencing. These appointments allow you to acquire ongoing treatment from your typical medical professional when an in-person check out just isn’t demanded or doable.

Other virtual appointments include world-wide-web-based “visits” with a medical professional or nurse practitioner. These companies are usually for minimal sicknesses, identical to the companies available at a drop-in clinic. Some large corporations present access to virtual doctors’ places of work as a aspect of their overall health treatment offerings.

When you log into a world-wide-web-based service, you are guided as a result of a series of concerns. The medical professional or nurse practitioner can prescribe drugs, propose residence treatment strategies or advise further medical treatment.

Equally, a nursing connect with heart is staffed with nurses who use a concern-and-remedy structure to present guidance for treatment at residence. A nursing connect with heart won’t diagnose an health issues or prescribe drugs.

When these companies are practical, they have negatives:

  • Therapy may possibly not be coordinated with your typical medical professional.
  • Essential information and facts from your medical historical past may possibly not be regarded as.
  • The computer-pushed choice-producing design may possibly not be optimal if you have a sophisticated medical historical past.
  • The virtual check out lacks an in-person analysis, which may possibly hamper exact prognosis.
  • The service won’t very easily make it possible for for shared medical professional-individual choice-producing about treatment plans or producing a plan B if an preliminary procedure won’t work.

Distant monitoring

A wide variety of technologies allow your medical professional or overall health treatment team to monitor your overall health remotely. These technologies include:

  • Website-based or cellular applications for uploading information and facts, this sort of as blood glucose readings, to your medical professional or overall health treatment team
  • Products that measure and wirelessly transmit information and facts, this sort of as blood stress, blood glucose or lung functionality
  • Wearable gadgets that immediately record and transmit information and facts, this sort of as heart charge, blood glucose, gait, posture command, tremors, bodily action or rest patterns
  • Household monitoring gadgets for more mature people today or people today with dementia that detect adjustments in ordinary actions this sort of as falls

Health professionals chatting to doctors

Health professionals can also consider gain of technological innovation to present superior treatment for their individuals. One particular illustration is a virtual session that permits primary treatment doctors to get input from experts when they have concerns about your prognosis or procedure.

The primary treatment medical professional sends test notes, historical past, test outcomes, X-rays or other images to the expert to evaluation. The expert may possibly answer electronically, conduct a virtual appointment with you at your doctor’s place of work, or ask for a face-to-face assembly.

These virtual consultations may possibly avert pointless in-person referrals to a expert, reduce wait around periods for expert input and eradicate pointless journey.

Individual overall health records

An digital private overall health record procedure — typically termed a PHR procedure — is a collection of information and facts about your overall health that you command and maintain. A PHR app is available to you whenever through a world-wide-web-enabled device, this sort of as your computer, laptop computer, pill or smartphone.

In an emergency, a private overall health record can promptly give emergency personnel essential information and facts, this sort of as recent diagnoses, drugs, drug allergies and your doctor’s make contact with information and facts.

Individual overall health applications

A multitude of applications have been made to help customers superior manage their medical information and facts in 1 protected place. These electronic tools may possibly help you:

  • Retail store private overall health information and facts.
  • History essential signals.
  • Work out and observe caloric intake.
  • Schedule reminders for taking medication.
  • History bodily action, this sort of as your day-to-day move count.

The potential of telehealth

Technological innovation has the potential to enhance the quality of overall health treatment and to make it available to additional people today. Telehealth may possibly present alternatives to make overall health treatment additional successful, superior coordinated and closer to residence.

Investigation about telehealth is nevertheless relatively new, but it really is developing. For illustration, studies have demonstrated that both equally phone-based aid and telemonitoring of essential signals of people today with heart failure reduced the danger of dying and hospitalization for heart failure and enhanced quality of lifestyle.

The limitations of telehealth

When telehealth has potential for superior coordinated treatment, it also runs the danger of fragmenting overall health treatment. Fragmented treatment may possibly direct to gaps in treatment, overuse of medical treatment, inappropriate use of drugs, or pointless or overlapping treatment.

The potential added benefits of telehealth companies may possibly be confined by other factors, this sort of as the skill to pay back for them. Insurance policies reimbursement for telehealth nevertheless differs by condition and variety of insurance policies. Also, some people today who would reward most from enhanced access to treatment may possibly be confined because of regional web availability or the price tag of cellular gadgets.