Change Your Life Technology – September 17 – Show #2
Telemedicine: Treatment of the Future
Telemedicine is a type of delivery system that doctors use to reach patients who are unable to come into the doctor’s office. The doctor and patient communicate through electronic means, including two-way video (like Skype), email, smart phones, and other forms of telecommunication technologies. Telemedicine is not a separate discipline within the medical field; any physician has the ability to utilize telemedicine.
There is a large range of services that can be rendered through telemedicine. First of all, a physician can conduct a consultation with the patient. This comes in handy when a patient is in a rural area, or across the country, but wants to meet with a specific physician. (When it comes to rural areas – meeting with any physician can be a challenge). The patient will be able to avoid a long commute for the consultation, and the doctor is able to reach more patients.
There are currently 3,500 service sites in the United States and 200 telemedicine network systems – and the numbers are only growing. Physicians are also able to check up on their patients through telemedicine. Nearly one million American’s use remote cardiac monitors, and can send desired results to their physician either from the service site – or even their home, depending on the type of telemedicine devices they are using.
Telemedicine is also making a large breakthrough in the surgical field. This technology allows for long distance surgery through the use of telemedicine networks and surgical robots like the DaVinci System and other emerging surgical robots. The use of telemedicine in the surgical field could allow a patient to have their surgery performed by a world-renowned surgeon – even if they are hundreds of miles away!
Sometimes there is no time to wait for a surgeon to travel to the patient, and in those cases, telemedicine could be the difference between life and death.
As is true with a lot of new technologies, telemedicine adds costs to the medical procedures, but with time and more service sites – it will become more accessible to the general public.