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Is Video Call the Future of Telehealth?

Video call is already considered to be a significant part of telemedicine and electronic healthcare, video conferencing or video calls between patients and medical professionals is set to become even more common in coming years. This is due to technological advances including faster internet connections, smartphones, tablets and better video calling software. Read on for our guide as to why video calls are becoming so important in healthcare today, how they’re used and what challenges need to be overcome.

What Is Telemedicine Video Conference?

Telemedicine is the delivery of healthcare across distance via electronic communication. Telemedicine is used in both clinical and non-clinical settings. Telemedicine is also known as telehealth and can be done via video conferencing, email, phone or other devices such as smartphones, portable computers or laptops. These devices allow patients to seek medical advice from health professionals outside their immediate area while staying at home or avoiding travel altogether.

It can often be cheaper than regular consultations with a doctor in person, and it also means that people living in remote areas without local access to doctors can still get treatment for urgent ailments. The use of telemedicine has expanded rapidly over recent years due to improved technology including HD cameras on monitors, secure data connections and high speed internet services across Australia and around the world.

 While regular home visits by doctors are still important for patients with complex health needs, it’s expected that video conferences will become a common form of medical treatment in more and more areas as time goes on. The potential benefits include that patients can be seen by a doctor immediately without needing to book an appointment first. It also means patients don’t need to travel so far if they live in an area where there are no local specialists available.

Does Video Call Replace In-Person Treatment?

telehealth video calls are a good alternative for patients who live far away from healthcare providers, or who want to avoid spending time in busy waiting rooms. Doctors can make a diagnosis by simply observing their patients via webcam—no intrusive tests or procedures are necessary. But are video calls always better than in-person treatment?

There are cases where seeing your doctor face-to-face is ideal; it’s more cost-effective and convenient to go over routine check-ups online, but when it comes to serious issues, you may feel more comfortable with in-person care instead.

 A related, but equally important question is whether video conferencing can replace in-person treatment for people who live nearby. In some cases, yes—it might be easier to stay home and video conference than to get on a bus or drive to your doctor’s office.

But there are downsides to telemedicine, too: long waits on hold before you speak with an operator, slow connections that make videoconferencing uncomfortable, poor image quality that makes it difficult for doctors to make a proper diagnosis…these issues mean that video calls aren’t ready to fully replace face-to-face treatments just yet.

Therefore, it’s probably best to consider video calls as a supplement to in-person care, rather than a replacement. If you know that your health requires immediate attention, then by all means go see your doctor in person. But if you can handle things online, video calls are a great option that many people—particularly those who live far away from their doctors—will find extremely useful.

The Benefits of Telehealth Video Calls

The age of telemedicine has become a reality. But with new advances in technology comes more options than ever for patients and providers to connect. We’ve already seen video calls and remote doctor consultations become popular tools for primary care doctors, but now they’re also making waves in many specialties such as ophthalmology, dermatology, cardiology, ENT, women’s health, and many others.

With all these advancements being made, we can’t help but wonder: is video call going to be the future of telehealth? Well, yes! Here are some benefits of telehealth video calls

They allow for more thorough consultations. As I mentioned above, it’s becoming common to see video calls and remote doctor consultations in many specialties. The reason is that providers can access a lot more information about their patients through these video calls than they could by just talking on the phone or over Skype.

They are especially helpful for patients who live far away from their providers. Patients don’t have to live close to providers to see them now.

They provide new forms of treatment options that can benefit both doctors and patients. For example, ophthalmologists can use video calls when treating glaucoma or macular degeneration so they can examine a patient’s eyes without having them come into their office every time.

They allow you to see your provider at any time. You don’t have to wait for a consultation or face-to-face appointment with your provider anymore. Now, you can get video calls and remote doctor consultations that fit into your schedule, so you don’t have to worry about finding time during an office visit.

They offer convenience for providers who work in underserved areas and for patients in these areas as well.  Providers can help more people even if they don’t have an office in an area because they can connect with patients over video calls. At the same time, patients will have access to someone who can help them without having to drive very far or travel long distances, which can sometimes be difficult or cost-prohibitive.

They are better suited for treating chronic conditions than one-off visits. If you have a health condition that needs to be monitored regularly, it makes more sense to do so with video calls and remote doctor consultations because they can keep track of your progress regularly.

Patients who have busy schedules may also benefit from video calls and remote doctor consultations if their schedules don’t allow them to take time off during office hours.

The Challenges

The medical industry hasn’t fully embraced video calls as a replacement for traditional in-person visits. There are several reasons for that.

Some doctors and patients aren’t comfortable with video calls, while others don’t want to trade in face-to-face interactions.

The overhead costs of video conferencing can also present a problem since doctors must invest in equipment, software and technical training.

Most insurance companies don’t cover services provided via telemedicine, which means patients have to foot these additional expenses out-of-pocket unless they have a high-deductible health plan.

Hospitals aren’t exactly incentivized to promote remote patient visits – for one thing, it cuts into their profit margins. Insurance pay-outs are typically lower for doctor appointments than for hospital stays.

Doctors may be reluctant to give up control over clinical decisions – including diagnoses and prescriptions – by delegating those responsibilities to medical assistants who provide video-call services.

Are We Ready for This New Trend in Healthcare?

Let’s face it: for people living with chronic illnesses and their caregivers, taking time off work to visit a doctor can be burdensome and inconvenient. But when we’re sick, we can’t just wait until we feel better we need an actual diagnosis. With telemedicine and remote video conferencing services, being stuck at home is no longer an excuse not to see a doctor.

And it gets even better you don’t even have to leave your own house. Are We Ready for This New Trend in video conferencing telemedicine? Well, if early adopters are any indication, it seems like video calls may make healthcare more accessible than ever before.

Conclusion

Telehealth video calls have been evolving rapidly in recent years.  With technology making virtual meetings more convenient and cost-effective, we’re likely to see an increase in use by patients, doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies. The days of having to take time off work and travel long distances just to see a doctor is becoming a thing of the past thanks to new developments, it’s easier than ever before for people with chronic diseases or injuries to receive advice and answers from medical professionals right at home.

FAQs

1. Is Video call the future of telehealth?

The short answer is yes, but only when done right. The goal of any telemedicine meeting should be to provide quality care and treatment to patients in their homes and communities

2. How can Telemedicine help patients?

An estimated 40 per cent of all medical visits are due to symptoms that are most easily identified by simple procedures and tests which do not require in-person physician consultation or ongoing care. Eliminating unnecessary trips to a doctor’s office could result in substantial savings.

3. Will insurance companies cover this as a medical necessity?

While some organizations are starting to offer reimbursements for virtual visits, there is no legislation in place that requires health insurers to provide coverage for these services.

4. How affordable are they in the first place?

Fees vary, but usually, telemedicine can be a much more affordable option and enables patients to receive care when they otherwise wouldn’t have access at all.

5. How will Health care providers adapt to this new technology?

Telemedicine doesn’t need a lot of adaptation from current medical practices, and most doctors are familiar with how it works. It can also be used alongside other forms of online video conferencing like Skype making it easier for them to integrate into their existing health care protocol.

References

  1. https://health-policy-systems.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12961-021-00812-z
  2. https://www.quora.com/Can-video-calls-replace-the-real-face-to-face-interaction
  3. https://www1.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/e-health-telehealth#:~:text=Video%2Dconferencing%20is%20one%20of,patients%20are%20using%20video%2Dconferencing.
  4. https://www.ringcentral.com/us/en/blog/video-conferencing-telehealth/
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