Upcoming Advancements in TeleMedicine

October 17, 2017 Hunter Zahedi

The world of health care continues to evolve quickly thanks to advancing technology, and one of the fastest areas where this occurred is in telemedicine. Yet, it's amazing some medical clinics still use older methods of communicating with patients and in storing information. Just a few years ago, far too many of them still used paper-based systems for their medical files.

Telemedicine evolved as fast as EHR technologies have in removing the need for paper. For patients who can't physically visit a clinic, being diagnosed from afar is another good reason telemedicine has become so essential.

Take a look at the most recent advancements in this field and what's still on the horizon as health care burdens increase.

Wearables to Monitor Health Issues

The wearables market took a while to grow, and it's the same in the health care field. Now, though, wearables are a big part of telemedicine. With ability to communicate using wearables now, it makes it easier to relay a particular health problem any patient experiences.

However, the most significant development in wearables for healthcare is in how they've integrated so effectively with EHR systems. Health tracking ability has become more detailed thanks to this new integration.

All wearables can track your heart rate, your caloric intake, glucose levels, and even provide pain relief using electrotherapy. We've only seen the latter become a reality within the last couple of years, providing a new way to control pain without a prescription for pain medication.

Smartphones

There isn't any better tool than using smartphones for telemedicine, mainly because of real-time video capability to scope out medical problems with medical staff. 

A lot of patients even use smartphones now for self-diagnosis, which saves time having to visit a doctor and paying a fee. It's even evolved to a point where smartphone cameras and other diagnosis tools can discover signs of Alzheimer's Disease in many people.

Part of the above occurs through monitoring speech in the patient as they talk on their smartphones. Smartphones have also become a major part of diagnosing CTE in athletes, especially football players. Much of this also comes through analyzing speech and how the disease affects vocabulary.

The Rise in Health Informatics

More people wanting to work in health care have gone into health informatics, which requires certification. This career aids in the design, development, adoption, and application of IT-based innovations for healthcare. In other words, it's the technological backbone of where telemedicine comes from.

Anyone who moves into health informatics can expect to work on the latest innovations in helping improve patient communication. However, don't confuse this with Health IT. It's actually the science behind Health IT to make it work more efficiently in communicating with patients.

Therapy Apps

Another great advancement in telemedicine is the use of apps to provide therapy. Similar to self-diagnosis above on smartphones, many therapy apps give tips on how to take care of a health problem on one's own.

One good example of this is speech therapy apps allowing patients to gain instant feedback and using a vast library of different exercises.

In addition, we're seeing artificial intelligence being applied to many of these apps. A company called Wellframe helps use machine learning to understand the patient's needs. The app gives the patient therapeutic exercises or health advice to prevent the person from having to visit a doctor.

Mental health care has also become a big part of this to advance telemedicine. Some apps help U.S. veterans in dealing with their own mental health issues.

Contact us at MedXM to learn more about technology in healthcare and today's most pressing issues in the healthcare industry.

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