A Guide to Better Understanding Telemedicine
In a world where practically everything is now done on the Internet, medicine is certainly no exception. Simply put, telemedicine is the application and delivery of healthcare services and medical information using telecommunication. Telemedicine with the advent of the Internet, can now be performed using wireless communication such as cell phones, satellites, and regular landline telephone service to connect patients and doctors through video chat for fast access to face-to-face medical advice.
Beneficial for not only those in remote locations, telemedicine is a modern convenience that is growing quickly. There are roughly 200 telemedicine systems in place nationwide, and over 1 million Americans benefit from this alternative means of receiving medical care.
With over half of the hospitals in the US now using some sort of telemedicine module, it is a system that many are beginning to embrace. Not only does it reduce the likelihood of disease transfer to other patients and hospital staff, but is also excellent for those who feel awkward in a medical setting.
Doctor on Demand is one popular telemedicine service that allows patients to speak face-to-face via video chat with either a medical doctor or psychologist over a video conference call. Truly embracing the popularity of Internet use, Doctor on Demand is not only available on a desktop or laptop computer, but also through it’s mobile app for both Apple and Android devices.
Services like Doctor on Demand allow for patients to speak with doctors in the comfort of their own home. With the average wait time to see a physician a person around 3 weeks, telemedicine offers a way for patients to be “seen” immediately for whatever their medical needs may be.
Does Insurance Cover Telemedicine?
In a perfect world all states would allow insurance to cover this growing way to receive medical coverage. Currently however, there are only 22 states and the District of Columbia that allow patients to receive telemedicine and have it be covered by insurance.
For the states that don’t require insurance to offer full coverage of telemedicine costs, there are some states that do allow at least some things to be covered. Just because they aren’t doing it now, doesn’t mean they won’t be in the near future.
There are many insurance providers who have expressed interest in allowing telemedical services to be covered, and hopefully it’s just a matter of time before more states jump on board.
Is Telemedicine the Future of Healthcare?
As we continue to move forward in a technology driven world, many believe that telemedicine is the future of healthcare itself. As more and more insurance providers allow telemedicine to be covered under medical policies, we will surely see more and more people embracing this convenient form of healthcare.
Telemedicine goes way beyond things like the common cold and checkups. Many medical professionals believe that it could be the next step in treating things as serious as cancer and diabetes. With doctor’s offices and hospitals that are already vastly overcrowded, telemedicine makes room for those who need to be seen. With telemedicine your doctor could literally be in another state and you could be seen sooner than you would if you went to your local doctor’s office.
As more insurance companies and doctors take steps to adopt telemedicine as an integral part of modern medicine, we will surely see it rise to be one of the most popular ways to be diagnosed for a variety of different medical conditions.