Telemedicine is becoming more and more popular as technology brings more convenience to our lives. With a few clicks, medical advice can be received anytime and anywhere. No need to schedule an appointment in advance, spend time in traffic jams or sit in a waiting room. This guide analyses the pros and cons of telemedicine and the way it works.
What is telemedicine?
Telemedicine is a new way of interaction between patients and physicians. Communication happens through phone calls, video chats, emails, and text messages eliminating the need to visit the clinic. Usually, telemedicine is used to correspond regarding symptoms, diagnoses, prescriptions and courses of treatment.
Telemedicine can be divided into three main categories. The first, interactive telemedicine, involves communication in real-time. The second is remote patient monitoring which helps caregivers to monitor patients using mobile medical equipment. Lastly, online conferences, where doctors can share expertise and seek advice from more experienced colleagues.
Currently, numerous online platforms and mobile apps offer remote medical consultations like HeyDoctor by GoodRx. However, telemedicine can’t be used for emergency cases like heart attacks or broken bones, though it is a perfect option for minor issues that don’t require immediate care like a sore throat on vacation or a birth control prescription. All you need is a smartphone and internet connection.
Who needs telemedicine?
Telemedicine is suitable for everyone but mainly it is useful for those who live in rural areas where access to medical care is limited. The product is especially great for vulnerable groups such as the elderly. In addition it is an amazing time-saver for working parents. For healthcare providers telemedicine can be beneficial as online visits have lower cancellation rates and they require less time.
The main advantage of telemedicine is expansion of the customer base so that patients can talk to a specialist from another city or country. Telemedicine services also have some disadvantages: lack of emotional contact with the doctor and risk of accidentally leaking information to third parties.
How to integrate telemedicine services to your business?
Firstly, it’s necessary to understand which services you want to utilise. It is prudent to research your state laws that govern remote medical consultations. Evaluate your organization’s telecommunication resources and budget. If necessary, install new software. Choose a platform to work with or hire a software development team if you want your own customized platform.
Create an MVP
Launching an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) helps to introduce your idea to potential customers with minimum effort. MVP is the basic version of the product, however, it can be used to attract your target audience and to save time and money. Must-have features: appointment form, doctor’s choice, payment and video call. Keep in mind that identity verification or facial recognition is necessary prior to a telemedicine session. This is so that patients and medical professionals can be sure they are engaging with the right people and are receiving reliable information, and information can be safeguarded.
Train your team
Make sure your team has the necessary equipment; webcams, microphones, and speakers. Provide telemedicine tutorials. Ensure a good internet connection to communicate with high resolution videos. Observe and collect feedback both from your team and patients. You can get some valuable insights (e.g. what kind of networks your patients use, how do they rate video experience, etc.).
Don’t forget to integrate the telemedicine platform into your website. To do so you may need a web developer. The telemedicine system should consist of a virtual waiting room, scheduling, notes, billing, prescriptions, ability to upload data for patients, and an easy way for doctors to track customer data.
Different Telemedicine products have different requirements depending on the features you need and the complexity of the workflow.
Evercode Lab has created a safe and secure system for online medical consultations where all recommendations from doctors are stored in one place. For patients, Evercode Online Medic provides the ability to quickly and conveniently search for a suitable doctor. For doctors, it boasts wide functionality and detailed medical histories of patients. Online consultations are held via audio call, video, or chat. Additional features can be added based on your requirements. If you are interested in purchasing a telemedicine service for your business or have any questions, please leave your contact information below.