How Telemedicine is Helping People and Healthcare Workers During COVID-19

As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, telemedicine has proved to be a great instrument in preventing and treating this virus as well as providing information on it. Telemedicine achieves these goals by making it easy for patients to get medical assistance at home via virtual consultations away from the danger of getting infected at healthcare facilities.

The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) has also urged both medical personnel and the public to use telemedicine to reduce pressure on the healthcare system.

Keeping healthcare workers and the public safe

Primary healthcare workers worldwide are working tirelessly at the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is why protecting and making their job easier is important. Telemedicine helps with this as many service providers in this field make it possible to assess a patient’s risk level remotely.

Assessing a patient’s risk level makes putting up effective protective measures easier as someone who has COVID-19 won’t pose an immediate danger to medical personnel and the public. People with long-standing illnesses can also limit their exposure to COVID-19 through telemedicine by avoiding visits to hospitals and doctors’ offices.

More telemedicine services are available

As per industry experts, the number of service providers is rising in this sector. With more telemedicine providers that cater directly to consumers, seasoned insurance industry expert Russell Noga of Medisupps can advise you on the plan covering telemedicine services in Medicare supplement plans 2021.

A rise in the number of telehealth service providers has helped mitigate the surge in people who suspect that they have COVID-19 who could’ve clogged healthcare facilities. The surge in telemedicine service providers has helped with triages too, as patients can be assessed remotely if they can get treated somewhere with fewer chances of COVID-19 infection. 

Telemedicine awareness rising

The rise of telemedicine has made many healthcare service providers and policymakers realize the importance of keeping people who may have COVID-19 out of hospitals. 

The owner of a telemedicine technology company called DrFirst says telehealth services are also gaining recognition because they slow the COVID-19 infection rate wherever they’re used. 

Telemedicine services slow the infection rate mainly by offering screening services remotely and triaging patients with flu-like symptoms. When doctors see that a patient’s symptoms don’t signal a COVID infection, they can treat that individual at home to keep both parties safe from being exposed to the virus.

Opportunity for service providers

John Nosta, the president of a digital health think tank called NostaLab, says while telemedicine is a great COVID-19 management tool, there is room for improvement. The area that Nosta says still needs to be improved in telemedicine is widespread testing as many services struggle with that. 

According to him, telemedicine service providers can still do a lot more to create a “crisis-centered” approach. Telemedicine has more potential than standard healthcare to fill needs like helping people find testing centers and controlling the number of people tested according to need.

Can telemedicine overwhelm hospitals?

Many hospitals view telemedicine as a burden as they believe it will mean extra work for their staff as those services were reserved for post-acute care and ambulatory patients. These sentiments are unfounded, though, as patients (especially during a pandemic) would still stream to their facilities where there would now be forced to see them in person.

Even though hospitals can use telemedicine to varying degrees, utilizing this technology for even the smallest tasks can help minimize the infection rate of COVID-19. For example, some hospitals reduce infection rates by using online waiting rooms.

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