The increasing heavy impact of the coronavirus pandemic is slowly making its way to every industry and compelling all the businesses and industries to change their pattern of working so that they can sustain. Cut-off of communication and the need to stay at a distance from people has left everyone with no option other than telecommunication. The major risk lies in the health care setting, where there is a great chance of contracting the virus. So telehealth and telemedicine is an important component of keeping the healthcare facilities secure. Coronavirus pandemic led to rise in telemedicine and telehealth as it is an effective alternative for the unavailability of doctors in many areas at the same time and treating the patient safely.
The providers, states, and payers are being pushed to expand programs, establish secure platforms for connectivity, help patients across disparate locations without having to travel and mobilize the stagnant treatments. Telehealth platforms such as chatbots, video conferencing, secure messages, video visits, telemonitoring have empowered physicians to diagnose, treat and operate patients by reducing the risks of exposure and spread. The birth of rising telehealth and telemedicine took place in China when a 5G powered system was created to enable remote consultations and diagnosis of the virus. Companies based in the U.S. such as Teladoc, AmWell, and Buoy are able to follow China’s lead and provide different screening and video visit services.
Another alternative to improve the health, capability, and productivity of coronavirus testing is to adopt the drive-through testing model of South Korea that has been able to alert patients of results within 24 hours by phone. There are also drive-through research stations in Colorado, Connecticut, Washington and beyond. Secure messaging and monitoring via videos and calls are able to remotely monitor a patient’s temperature and symptoms and determine if a patient can stay at home or seek in-person care. To promote patient use of telehealth services, providers can actively and consistently provide information on how to use the technology to access treatment through patient-facing web pages, social media, and direct outreach.
The rapid growth of telehealth usage may be a barrier for providers, especially those that do not already have telehealth programs. It can take time to develop the required technology infrastructure, hire providers to remotely deliver treatment, deliver training on best practices, educate telehealth patients, and negotiate coverage with payers.
In India, the coronavirus pandemic led to rise in telemedicine and tremendous growth in patient queries and teleconsultation. Companies like mfine, 1MG and Practo said that he had received requests from a large number of hospitals and clinics to make the online consulting services available for them and that he had reached out to a large number of institutions so that they could continue to access their own. Narayana Health founder and 1MG-based chairman Devi Shetty and Gurugram-based 1MG raised concerns that the government needs to do more remotely for the first-time consultation as otherwise, the effect would be minimal. The regulations do not require doctors to prescribe certain medical products for initial consultations. There is an immediate need to implement regulations that would open the telemedicine portal so that patients can access healthcare, and physicians can reach as many people as possible.