The advancement in technology have had a huge impact on the medical field making its way for use of sophisticated techniques in providing medical aid. One such outcome of this technological advancement is “Telemedicine”.
Telemedicine is nothing but using information technology and telecommunication in order to provide medical assistance. In other words it provides a platform to transfer medical information for consultation, examination and medical support through electronic means like the phone or the internet. By using telemedicine the distance barrier can be eliminated as it provides an easy way to reach out for medical assistance even from remote areas.
Off lately with the concept of telemedicine getting more and more popular it is now being adopted throughout the world. Telemedicine may be considered to be both a simple as well as a complex mechanism. It may be discussing a case over the phone or using the internet to conduct real time consultation.
When it comes to categorizing Telemedicine, it falls under three main categories. They are:
- Remote monitoring
- Store and forward
- Real-time interactive services
Remote monitoring allows the doctor to examine the patients who are located at a distance by means of technology. It is generally used to examine health problems like diabetes, heart disorders etc.
Store and forward Telemedicine comprises of a technique wherein the medical data of the patient in the electronic form is been stored and transmitted (forwarded) to the doctor as and when required.
Real Time interactive Services as the name suggests real time interactive services allows the doctor-patient to have a real time interaction by means of the internet or through the phone and thereby providing apt medical aid accordingly.
Although telemedicine has proved to be extremely beneficial in terms of providing distant medical care and in terms of cost effectiveness, there is a major drawback i.e. the doctor being unable to examine the patient physically. However, with so many pluses, the benefits of telemedicine outweigh the downsides.