June 24th 2020
Founder @ NowSourcing. Contributor @ Hackernoon, Advisor @GoogleSmallBiz, Podcaster, infographics
Soon after COVID-19 hit the world, hospitals across the country started quickly filling up with new patients and forcing some of the long-term care patients out of hospitals. Most of those long-term care patients now can’t go to hospitals due to how vulnerable they are to getting COVID-19. In order to still receive the attention and care that they need, many have turned to telemedicine. Technologies like video conferencing, data monitoring, and smartphone apps that are used to help keep and eye on and treat patients have all seen usage start to spike. CareClix, a virtual health company which has over 20 million users, saw a 50% rise in usage in March alone and Zipnosis, another virtual health company, reported a 3,600% increase in virtual visits over the course of just 11 days in February. The idea of telehealth is not a new concept – as early as 1924, Radio New Magazine featured an illustration of a physician attending to his patient via video. In 1967, the University of Miami’s medical school worked with the local fire department to help set up a system where emergency patient info could be transferred remotely.
Modern telemedicine provides medical services via virtual visits and with the use of diagnostic tools. Telemedicine has many benefits for both the patient and the doctor. It can prevent unneeded emergency room visits, decrease possible hospital re-admissions, improves physician access with 24/7 coverage, and promotes early treatments and intervention, and can help improve quality of life. But even with all these extra benefits, some healthcare providers are skittish about adding telemedicine to their plans and are slow to utilize the virtual tech that is growing in popularity. Only 2 out of every 10 doctors plan to implement virtual visits and of those who do, a third are concerned about keeping patient data secure.