Telemedicine is basically the delivery of health services and information via electronic and telecommunication tools. It aids remote and long-distance patients and clinicians to actively consult, advise, care, monitor, and discuss treatments, prevention methods, and medical consultation. The telemedicine sector was already a growing industry amongst the other technological systems. The COVID-19 crisis boosted the speed of this growth. Telemedicine is not only helping in medical consultation during the lockdown but also preventing the health industry from crumbling due to the growing spread of the virus.
Telemedicine or teleconsultation is getting popular among the people wanting medical advice from their quarantines. The fear of touching surfaces, visiting hospitals where the possibility of the presence of coronavirus is higher, people are preferring to reach out to the medical services via messages, video calls, and phone calls. Telemedicine has already largely been used for lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and chronic endocrinological disorders such as hypothyroidism, which require regular checks. But as the pandemic developed, questions about fever, cough, cold, sore throat, and body ache grew.
The most convenient feature of telemedicine is that you just need a smartphone with a good internet connection and camera. In addition, teleconsulting payments are made through multiple gateways such as credit and debit cards, UPI, bank transfer, and e-wallets. Tele-consultations are 10-20% cheaper than in-person, as the people are still grasping the concept.
To help ease telemedicine and medical consultation during the lockdown, Google recently introduced two new features in its Search and Maps section. They announced these features in a recent blog post. This will help people looking for medical care and will immediately show the results of telehealth options available near them. For example, as people search for immediate general treatment (such as “urgent care near me” or “walk-in clinics”), they can also see regional virtual care networks alongside the outcomes. When there are different offices for doctors with options for virtual treatment, those should pop up as people look for them. Some hospitals are ramping up their virtual services to meet the growing demand — and Google will start highlighting those through Maps and Search.
Such initiatives are important for helping the healthcare system all over the world. This will help the already busy and pressurized doctors to manage the patients in a proper way. In such a situation, there should be no barrier between the patients and doctors, and telemedicine helps to accomplish this.