World is heading towards a severe worldwide recession with this global pandemic of COVID-19. It has deep rooted occupancy in almost everywhere in the world while affecting and claiming hundreds and thousands of lives of people in each country. Due to its large-scale ramifications globally the world is experiencing a partial lockdown at one end and complete lock-downs in other parts. World over- governments and state agencies are looking to find alternatives so the social, economic and political lives of the people can be controlled after the COVID-19 outbreak. Health care professionals are pondering upon the other options to control the spread of this virus while protecting the lives of themselves and their patients.
Solutions and Risks associated with Global Pandemic
One of the emerging trends that people are considering to control the exponential growth of the virus is Telemedicine solutions. Our world is now a global village and ‘telemedicine can be a very useful option for patients and health care providers to connect with each other remotely and have remote diagnosis and treatments. COVID-19 has deteriorated the world’s health care and even the developed countries has become a hub of this virus epidemic. These countries are helpless to stop the casualties of people claiming by the virus.
Limiting Exposure of Patients and Health Care Professionals
Everyone is at high risk of being exposed to the virus and the only thing to contain the virus is through social distancing. Telemedicine is an effective way to be socially distant from people and avoid interactions among health care professionals and patients. Even doctors, nurses and other staff in hospitals are the front liners and there is a very high chance that they can contact the virus.
By connecting patients with doctors remotely, appointments can be managed online as well and these infectious diseases like flu and corona virus can be contained via early diagnosis. Telemedicine can also help the suspected patients who are self-quarantine to have a routine follow ups with their doctor.
Global Challenges for the Use of Telemedicine in Digital Health Ecosystem
Here, when we are highlighting the positive aspects of Telemedicine, we must not sideline the challenges of it. Our global health care system is not ready or fully equipped to accept the digitization of the healthcare system. When we are addressing the challenges globally it is not to forget that in this global village there are health care systems where services are substandard and it takes an innumerable time to implement it.
Furthermore, people are unaware of the digitalization and proper use of technology. On the other hand, people living in far-off areas have not access to these services.
Reimbursement is the biggest challenge in telemedicine and is also prevalent in the US. The varying reimbursement policies and state-based medical licenses is difficult to cater. Additionally, Telemedicine services coverage is not provided by insurance companies.
Among other challenges maintaining the sufficient data of patients from where he or she has utilized the services is very important. Otherwise it creates disruption for instance; if a patient through telemedicine services has utilized the service from a doctor other than he consulted previously the doctor might lack knowledge of the patient’s history and it’s difficult to treat them accordingly.
With the emergence of infectious diseases like Coronavirus where social distancing is only useful for mutual benefit of patients and people who are not exposed to virus yet, Telemedicine is a desperate need of time. These are the times where all the businesses are operating virtually, need for Telemedicine will be crucial over time.