People living in rural areas have always had a difficult time getting to their healthcare providers, and poor rural people who have serious health problems can find it almost impossible to access the services and professionals they need. These problems are increasingly becoming a thing of the past, however, thanks to telemedicine (also called telehealth and eHealth). Modern technology has made it possible for patients to remain in their own homes and receive expert medical care without the need or expense of home healthcare visits. This radical approach to providing healthcare services will quite likely change the entire industry.
Telemedicine technology allows specialists from anywhere in the world to examine and interview patients, and for them to conference with each other. Detailed pictures of injuries and disease symptoms can easily be sent to professionals for rapid analysis. These specialists can then create personalized treatment programs, write needed prescriptions, and even arrange to have the prescriptions delivered to the most remote locations via drone.
More importantly, patients with acute medical needs can be monitored while they remain in the comfort of their own homes. This monitoring solution is also much cheaper than paying for lengthy hospital stays. This service is of inestimable value to elderly people with dementia, who often become disoriented, and whose situation is worsened by sudden changes of environment, making the idea of entering a nursing home almost unthinkable.Telemedicine technology allows dementia patients to remain in familiar surroundings, safely and as long as possible. With telemedicine tools, rural general practitioners who encounter unfamiliar conditions can easily give their patients the specialist treatment they need, without having to regularly uproot that patient and send him elsewhere.
Telemedicine can also advance the medical profession by providing certain non-clinical services. Health care professionals can now easily access in-services and training opportunities wherever they are. Virtual administrative conferences can be held with ease, at the drop of a hat. Telemedicine also makes the updating and transfer of medical records easy, which further simplifies health care practices and saves money.
Thanks to telemedicine, the nature of healthcare and the health services industry is changing. Not that long ago, cities were the centers of specialized medical services, and anybody in need of such services had to travel to one. This created a highly stratified healthcare system, giving rural residents significantly less access to specialist medical care and modern resources. Now that access will be available anywhere anytime, the healthcare system will become a lot more egalitarian, with the same high-quality services available to everyone. Medical clinics forced to operate on a shoestring budget will save a lot of money in administrative duties, in-service training, and more, while providing the same level of care that once was the sole domain of big hospitals.
Telemedicine is wonderful for preventative care and minor ailments. However if you are experiencing an emergency please dial 911 or head to your nearest emergency room. SignatureCare Emergency Centers have the ability to check-in online, allowing you to get through the door and into an observation room in record time.
We have 24-hour emergency centers in Houston (Montrose, Heights, Memorial City, Copperfield, Bellaire, Cypress/FM 1960, and Westchase), Spring, Stafford, Mission Bend/Sugar Land, College Station/Bryan, Midland, Odessa, Texarkana, Pflugerville, Atascocita/Humble, Lewisville, Paris, Killeen and Austin, TX.
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