Nowadays, telemedicine, which is defined as using of telecommunicationtechnologyto provide clinical care to individuals at distant sites and the transmission of medical and surgical information and images needed to provide that care (Mosby’s Medical dictionary, 8th edition, 2009), has become a powerful tool in the world to enhance betterhealthcare due to widespread of modern technology.
In developing countries, remote areas seem to be isolated and lack of qualified doctors or physicians as well as equipments, that’s why telemedicine will be provided a potential benefits to them. This essay will highlight prodigious benefits of telemedicine. The most important advantages of telemedicine is allowing long-distant people to access advanced healthcare services and cost efficiencies.
Scottish Centre for Telehealth had claimed that 99 percent of patients were more convenience with remote care and 95 percent of them widely felt acceptable with services (Jose, 2009, Internet). It also added that it can provided physicians and long distance patients interact in a clinical consultation. For example, the indigenous people who live in Ratanakiri 2004 had health problems because they rarely got treatment and often die due to lack of medical facilities and doctors.
However, telemedicine nowadays can help them to receive conventional healthcare services and offer the possibility to consult with professional doctors over video link. Also, at the health centre needs nurses to conduct medical checkup by interviewing, examination and taking photographs and then send all these information via solar powered computer to physicians at Sihanouk Hospital Center of Hope in Phnom Penh or partners in Massachusetts to confirm diagnosis, recommend drugs and treatment procedure to the clinic (Hopebuilding Wiki, 2011, Internet).
Furthermore, patients no longer need to travel long distance for healthcare because they not only can access these services in their communities but also gain effective treatment with accurate diagnosis of their illness. Therefore, healthcare cost could significantly decrease due to deducing travel expense, accommodation and hospital services fee (Sharma, 2000. 1529). More notably, over long term period, telemedicine can save billions of dollars for healthcare services (Premiere Telemedicine, 2008, Internet).
Secondly, telemedicine provides a great opportunity to improve medical knowledge and practices. It is designed to help local healthcare practitioners and physicians broaden their knowledge and they can be trained and guided by local and international specialists to practice in the real work. In Cambodia, 2 telemedicine clinic projects in Robib village and Ratanakiri Referral Hospital were cooperated not only withHarvardassociated medical doctors and Sihanouk Hospital Centre of Hope but also partner in Massachusetts.
If medical staffs or doctors face difficulties whether in dealing with health problems or cannot confirm diagnosis of patient’s illness, they can access through email based telemedicine program to discuss with expertise or physicians (Heinzelman, 2011, Internet). In addition, India’s telemedicine also provides an opportunity to doctors to build up theireducationand skill through interaction with expert via satellite based tele-link and linking with Medical Institution with Specialty Hospitals and Research Centres (ISRO, 2005, Internet).
As a result, medical staffs can dramatically improve their education and training through the telemedicine process. The last but not least, telemedicine enables home healthcare services. Patients can recently be inspected through mobile phone, Bluetooth wireless sensors and other hi-tech systems to check their health condition, upload and update data to their doctors.
Consequently, these devices can be helped patients who are old or have some diseases such as cardiac disorders as well asdiabetesto receive self routine check-up and especially they need to visit clinic only in emergency case or absolutely necessary. For instant, according to Honeywell, an American industrial giant, doctors can monitor and manage health condition of patients who have lung diseases and heart problems by measuring peak lung flow, ECG, oxygen saturation and blood pressure.
Thus, they can analyze the data to find some problems or changing dose of medication (Harben et al, 2008). In conclusion, there are tremendous positive aspects of telemedicine such as enhancing health care services to rural areas or isolated areas, cost efficiencies, improving medical knowledge and practices as well as providing home healthcare. In mypersonality, I absolutely agree with positive aspects of telemedicine. Even though it needs to spend muchmoneyto establish this service initially, it will provide a huge long-term benefits to our country.