An Overview of Telehealth and Telemedicine Technologies

Telehealth and Telemedicine are medical concepts that emerged as a means to address the rising costs and shortages in medical practitioners and facilities.

There was a time when the only option available to minimize medical costs is to receive health care services on an outpatient basis. However in some cases where outpatient treatments include using home medical devices, such arrangements required home users to have sufficient knowledge, training and ongoing support of the hospital. More often than not, medical devices used outside of hospitals were not as efficient since they were not optimized for home use.

Thankfully, scientists and researchers were able to arrive at solutions that give patients the ability to seek medical attention by remotely communicating with primary care professionals on an as-needed basis.

Understanding Telehealth and Telemedicine

Telehealth is the broad concept of providing health care through telecommunications, usually in homes, office environments and other institutions that need to communicate medical information when needed. Telecommunication is made through use of simple or advanced digital communication technologies that basically allow sending of clear audio, video and data, even those located in remote areas.

Current Telehealth technologies can provide support for compliance of treatment regimens, or in facilitating self-care, as well as in providing patient education. Monitoring is made possible by sensors and cameras that allow tracking of patient behaviors and movements that transpire outside of a hospital facility. It involves collecting and transmitting a broad range of medical data to eliminate the need for patients to visit a clinic.

Telehealth technologies, particularly in its smaller subset known as Telemedicine can measure blood pressures, send reminders to take medications or to perform physical therapy.

What is Telemedicine?

Telemedicine specifically refers to a complex integration of medical technologies harnessed by hospitals, home-based patients, private physician clinics and other healthcare facilities. It provides the tools for convenient specialized medical care to connected patients, since they do not want to waste time in waiting rooms just to receive medical attention from a specific type of doctor.

Telemedicine is carried out by way of a mobile app or software that lets doctors examine and treat patients remotely via video-chat and by sending images of visible symptoms like rash, bruise or mole for quick diagnosis.

That being the case, a telemedicine system requires equipment for collecting medical data in a home environment, which will be transmitted to a remote medical site to facilitate clinical interactions. It mainly works on the idea of bringing a specialist to where a specific medical service is needed.

It makes use of consumer-friendly mobile medical devices that can take vitals, monitor glucose levels, or diagnose infections, just to name a few. Data will then be sent directly to the attending physician.

The advent of telehealth also introduced telemedicine companies that offer patients 24/7 connection to an on-call doctor. The telemedicine company contracts with specialists or on-call doctors to provide remote medical care. Some telemedicine companies offer direct access to hospitals or larger health centers that can provide extra clinical staff and specialists for treatment and care of special medical cases.

Similarity of Telehealth and Telemedicine Technology to the Controversial Security Services Offered by Ring Doorbells

Reading about Telehealth and Telemedicine technology makes us realize that they are somewhat similar to the controversial security service being offered by Ring Doorbells. Through an application called the Neighbors App, Ring Doorbell users gain direct connection to local police departments. The app also allows neighbors and the local police force to monitor anyone or any activity occurring outside of properties outfitted with a Ring Doorbell.

Although consumers still contemplate on buying the more affordable but older version by comparing Ring vs Ring 2 models, the clincher for decisions to buy the Ring 2 type is the Neighbors App feature, After all, it enables them to instantly receive police assistance when needed.