One of the best things about living in the 21st century is the ability to connect with friends and family even when they are far away. Inexpensive phones and data plans as well as numerous software makes it easy for people like me who live apart from extended family. Without email, instant messaging, and Facebook, I'd never know what was going on halfway around the world!
The ability to communicate over long distances doesn't just help families stay together. It helps businesses and educational institutions collaborate with partners to share knowledge and information. And when applies to the field of medicine, it even helps save lives! There's even a term for it: Telemedicine.
Telemedicine, or the use of telecommunications and information technology to provide healthcare from a distance, is a growing phenomenon. There are so many areas in the world where doctors are scarce, so what better use is there for modern tech than to bring more medical expertise to rural communities and other disadvantaged areas? For example, a community may have trained midwives to deliver babies, which is adequate in 99% of all birthing situations, but for rare medical emergencies I can totally see midwives using telemedicine to consult with neonatal experts. As another example, many patients travel hundreds of miles to see specialists and have procedures done. In many cases, the specialists could monitor the patients as they recuperate from home, eliminating the need for them to travel back to the doctor for a routine follow-up visit.
Telemedicine doesn't just help patients in developing countries or rural communities. Even suburban moms will find that telemedicine helps streamline their busy lives! I can't tell you how many times my kids have had a cough or a rash and I've had to make room in my schedule for a doctor's visit, only to have the doctor say it's just a viral rash/common cold/postnasal drip due to allergies, then prescribe rest and fluids. You don't want to ignore the problem, but you don't want to waste everyone's time either -- and consulting Dr. Google is definitely not a viable option! Having an option of videoconferencing with a qualified doctor would be so much easier and more efficient for everyone involved.
Click on the infographic above to see how women feel about combining technology and health management!
That's where telemedicine companies like Live Health Online come in. LiveHealth Online uses two way video to connect you with U.S. based board certified doctors. And since it’s an online experience, it’s quick, easy and always on your terms. But convenience also comes with excellent service. Doctors using LiveHealth Online can answer your questions, assess your condition and even provide prescriptions, if needed. For more information, check out Live Health Online's Facebook Page and Twitter feed.
Of course, telemedicine needs to be used carefully. Sometimes a doctor needs to be physically present. Data connections need to be impeccable, otherwise information can be transmitted inaccurately (i.e. blurry images due to poor lighting or grainy cameras). Safeguards need to be in place so that information does not get lost or stolen. However, I firmly believe the pros outweigh the cons. We live in a global, connected world, and telemedicine is just another manifestation of that fact. Telemedicine has the potential to save many lives and spread information all around the world.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.