As a recent Forbes.com article ascertained “The pandemic has been very good for telemedicine. With medical offices closed, providers report massive growth in virtual appointments.”
With the Forbes article observing that “as recently as 2018 only 2.5% of patients reporting having telemedicine appointments,” it’s certainly true that the global impact of COVID-19 has led to a massive uptick in the number of doctor-to-patient live video consultations. While the Zooming (pun intended) expansion of virtual visits in the first two quarters of 2020 may be something novel to patients — it’s quite surprising that many providers and see telehealth as something “new.”
Written for healthcare providers and insurers, a June 22, 2020 HCPLIve/MDMag.com article titled “When Telemedicine Began in the US” went so far as to suggest that the we can “date the moment that US healthcare converted to telemedicine” to the first COVID spike in March 2020, as the number of virtual patient encounters increased “from 2,600 in February, to an average of 60,000 weekly by late May 2020.”
Sure, the rapid adoption of telehealth services like Doxy.me, Teladoc, Sesame, and the use of generic video conferencing apps like Zoom, and FaceTime have transformed how primary care physicians and clinicians can communicate in real-time with home-bound patients, but...
Telemedicine is SO MUCH MORE than just doctor-patient video chats!
In particular – beyond facilitating doctor-patient video dialogues, proven technologies for live remote medical video and audio are enabling a wide new range of current and future applications that are fostering valuable communications and interactions between medical professionals themselves.
Through our “Telemedicine Reimagined” series of forthcoming articles, I’ll give an overview of deployments of live remote video and audio currently in use at world-class medical centers, teaching hospitals, and other facilities that are embracing and reimagining telemedicine to do the following:
- Connect and remotely diagnose
- Consult and collaborate
- Co-Operate through telesurgery
- Communicate for improved medical education
- Collect medical images and share with PACS and DICOM systems
- Document compliance and concordance
Drawn from our company’s more than 20 years’ experience, and the installation of more than 4,000 medical imaging systems in hospitals across the U.S. and elsewhere, the follow-on articles will describe these (and other) procedural use-cases:
- Ultrasound and Interventional Radiology
- Pathology Boards
- Robotic and Endoscopic Surgery
Stay tuned, I look forward to sharing our experiences and lessons learned with you.
This article "Telemedicine: Much more than Doctor-Patient Video Visits" is the first in a series of “Telemedicine Reimagined” articles published by TIMS Medical, Inc.
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