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Telehealth: Virtual Healthcare, Remote Patient Monitoring & Remote Patient Management

Telehealth is continuing to expand globally and is seeing widespread adoption in countries that lead the world in healthcare. Canada is one country that has long been recognized for its excellence in healthcare technology, a field that is anticipated to expand by 35% each year. The growth of this industry is due to the numerous advantages telehealth offers for patients, including better access to care, lower prices, and improved patient outcomes.

Traditional face-to-face visits are still necessary in many cases, but telehealth makes it more practical for patients to receive care via remote technology. Through telehealth, healthcare providers can still care for patients, follow up on test results, and schedule appointments to check their condition.

Defining Telehealth

Telehealth refers to the use of communication technology to deliver healthcare services remotely. These technologies include mobile applications, video or audio conferencing platforms, asynchronous videos, and other means that involve the electronic transmission of healthcare services. Telehealth is used to facilitate many traditional health-related services more efficiently, such as consultations, monitoring patients’ progress, and providing treatment instructions or resources. This type of care is particularly useful for those who live in remote or rural areas that cannot access healthcare facilities or those who prefer the convenience of receiving care from their homes.

The Components of Telehealth

Virtual Healthcare

The terms virtual healthcare and telehealth are often confused with one other, however, virtual care is just one component of telehealth. With virtual care, healthcare professionals may use live video, audio, or instant messaging to address patient issues and diagnose their conditions remotely using virtual healthcare platforms. This might include providing medical counsel, guiding them through at-home treatment exercises, or suggesting they see a local provider or facility.

Virtual healthcare has several advantages over traditional in-person healthcare. Perhaps the most obvious is that it increases access to care, especially for patients in rural or underserved areas, as it eliminates the need to travel to and from appointments. It also offers more flexibility in terms of scheduling appointments and helps reduce the spread of infectious diseases by allowing patients to consult with their healthcare providers remotely.

Remote Patient Monitoring

emote patient monitoring is a common healthcare delivery method that uses digital technologies to monitor and gather patients’ data in real-time outside of traditional healthcare settings. Information about a patient’s health is electronically transmitted to healthcare providers for assessment, enabling them to understand changes in a patient’s condition. Individuals with chronic care needs can benefit from remote monitoring as it allows healthcare professionals to collect data and insights daily to prevent exacerbations in their condition.

There are many remote patient monitoring device options on the market, but the most common ones include blood pressure monitors, weight scales, blood glucose meters, and spirometers. Every remote patient monitoring device has specific functions and serves different types of patients. For example, blood pressure monitors are used to help patients with hypertension, whereas, blood glucose meters are most helpful for diabetic patients.

Remote Patient Management

Remote patient management is a type of telehealth service that uses technology to proactively manage all aspects of a patient’s care. Remote patient management can be used to monitor a patient’s health status, provide educational resources and support, and coordinate care to empower self-education and management. In the same way that virtual care and remote monitoring are components of telehealth, virtual care, and remote monitoring are also parts of remote patient management. Essentially, remote patient management incorporates various telehealth elements to aid in the process of fully managing patients’ care remotely.

Remote patient management involves more than simply gathering information and data about a patient’s symptoms. It includes providing resources to patients, assisting in goal setting, establishing a team of clinicians with clear roles and responsibilities, and continuously tracking and monitoring patients’ health progress. Patients can use remote patient management applications, such as aTouchAway, to access their treatment process and educational materials, and connect with healthcare providers and care teams. The system is easy to use and improves the quality of care for patients by remotely monitoring their vital signs, sending reminders, and educating patients on how to manage their condition.

Importance of Telehealth

Each component of telehealth has its advantages and disadvantages. Virtual healthcare is the most basic but can be useful for patients who require quick advice or need a prescription refilled. Remote monitoring is slightly more complex and can be used to monitor a patient’s health more closely. However, if patients require care or treatment on a regular basis, remote patient management should be a top choice as it allows care providers to connect with patients virtually, monitor all aspects of their health, and provide continuous guidance and care.

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