Today telemedicine has acquired a better technological base for development
Telemedicine is not a new phenomenon as it seems at first glance. Despite the fact that traditional medicine involves personal contact, the need for remote assistance existed in the days of Hippocrates.
The elderly and infirm, those who could not visit the temples for medical advice, sent representatives to provide information about the symptoms and obtain treatment recommendations. In Africa, villagers used smoke alarms to alert neighboring villages of the outbreak of the disease, and with the development of the press, doctors began to provide services through newspaper publications.
Why is it important?
Today telemedicine has acquired a better technological base for development than before. It is not only about the consultation of “doctor-patient” with the help of online tools, but also about the exchange of information and discussion of patients’ problems, improving their own practice and knowledge on Earth For medical personnel in different corners of the world.
Telemedicine is also used to improve physicians’ administrative work, distance education, and health research. For example, British scientists staged the world’s largest study in the field of telemedicine – 6 thousand patients participated. The results were quite clear: emergency hospitalization of patients dropped to 20% and mortality rate – up to 45%.
Online communication with a doctor significantly reduces the time and money spent on medical staff (on average, a doctor spends 2.5 hours traveling a patient at home). In addition, the role of distance medicine is invaluable for patients in different communities and remote areas who can receive specialist assistance without the need to visit them.
Norway was a pioneer in integrating telemedicine into the public health system. The population density in this country is quite small, many live in inaccessible places in difficult climatic conditions. In 1993, Norway started two new directions simultaneously: for remote communication between doctors and for equal communication with patients.
In addition, telemedicine implementation projects were initiated in neighboring Denmark, Finland and Sweden. Germany, Estonia and Italy – followed. As a result, today 8 out of 10 treat doctor appointments with the help of European online consultations.
One of the most successful is the launch of telemedicine in Canada, where doctors from the Ontario Telemedicine Network conduct approximately 1 million online consultations per year, saving the provincial budget approximately $ 70 million Canadian dollars. If a Canadian with a chronic illness suddenly feels unwell, he will make the first call on the network to a doctor, and only in the event of an emergency will he go to the clinic full-time. Doctors working remotely in Canada are by no means uncommon.
Telemedicine is also becoming increasingly popular in the United States. Analysts at Tractica are forecasting an increase in distance consulting by 158.4 million in 2020. For Americans, it is primarily a profitable market, with volume estimated at $ 90 million for 2023. This is why telemedicine service companies receive serious investment: American Well ($ 59 million), Doctor on Demand ($ 74 million), Tito Care ($ 25 million)), Simple Liaison ($ 16 million).
In Ukraine, legislation on the introduction of telemedicine at the state level was adopted in 2017, almost immediately after it was presented to Parliament. The system is designed largely for rural residents and works on a free basis – for this, visionary points are equipped with specialized equipment for remote diagnosis, and first-level doctors have to consult with narrow specialists. Is an opportunity
In addition, Ukraine has electronic prescriptions for remote medical care medications and referrals for additional examinations. All patient information cards are also digitized and maintained as a part of the digital e-health electronic system.
In addition, Ukrainian telemedicine provides telephone or video calls for remote consultation, remote training of patients with chronic diseases, online medical monitoring and exchange of diagnostic parameters through the network (we analyze, radiograph, etc. Talking about the consequences of).
Currently, Ukraine has three telemedicine services, designed to develop and develop innovative solutions for the e-health sector: the Medinet network of IT4Medicine, the telemedicine module from Medstar Solutions LLC, and the telemedicine project from DTEK.
Many online consulting services and an electronic appointment with a doctor have been successfully launched in the country, more and more pharmacies are connecting to electronic delivery systems, and doctors have the opportunity to use specialized medical planner applications. But the main merit of Ukrainian telemedicine is the simplification of communication within the medical community.
Of course, telemedicine is not the strongest direction yet in the country. The field has yet to be seriously revised, with doctors and patients not accustomed to using online tools in many ways, and many are not even aware of this possibility. But it is certainly one of the most important and promising areas for the development of a modern and high-quality institution of medical services.
Read: Telemedicine in action: top services for online consultation with a doctor.