Essentially, telemedicine refers to using technology to allow medical practitioners to provide remote healthcare.
No matter the distance or time zone difference, telemedicine connects patients with healthcare practitioners as well as allows healthcare practitioners to collaborate with other medical professionals.
As such, telemedicine can greatly enhance your medical practice, allowing you to provide healthcare services for patients that aren’t able to visit a doctor in person due to their remote location, financial situation, or health conditions.
So, if you’re looking to learn about the best types of telemedicine solutions that can help you improve your medical practice, we’ve got you covered!
In this article, we will cover everything about telemedicine solutions, including:
- 5 Types of Telemedicine Solutions
- Features of Telemedicine Solutions
5 Types of Telemedicine Solutions
There are 5 main types of telemedicine solutions, including:
- Store-and-forward telemedicine
- Remote patient monitoring
- Real-time interactive telemedicine
- Mobile health
- Remote medical consultations and training
Let’s take a detailed look at each of them:
#1. Store-and-forward Telemedicine
Also known as asynchronous telemedicine, store-and-forward telemedicine allows both patients and primary care providers to securely share patient medical information, such as images, videos, and laboratory tests, with other medical professionals.
For example, using store-and-forward telemedicine, a primary care provider can send a picture of a patient’s inflamed eyelid to an ophthalmologist to specify a diagnosis and determine the treatment plan.
This way, store-and-forward telemedicine solutions support smooth and effective collaboration between patients, healthcare providers, and specialists.
As such, asynchronous telemedicine allows patients to gain access to a team of medical professionals regardless of their location and time zone difference, which is especially helpful to patients living in remote and rural locations.
Store-and-forward telemedicine solutions are particularly useful and common in medical fields where diagnoses can be determined upon examining pictures or videos, such as dermatology, ophthalmology, pathology, and radiology.
#2. Remote Patient Monitoring
Remote patient monitoring, or telemonitoring, allows medical professionals to monitor patients’ health and medical treatment progress at home with the use of various medical devices.
Particularly, these devices can be used to measure and track a patient's heart rate, blood pressure, glucose levels, weight, and other vital signals from the comfort of the patient’s home.
With remote patient monitoring solutions, this information can then be easily sent to the medical practitioner, allowing healthcare professionals to regularly check in with their patients so that they receive consistent medical support and attention.
For this reason, telemonitoring is especially useful for high-risk and elderly patients, patients recovering after hospital stays, and those with chronic diseases, such as diabetes, asthma, and chronic heart conditions.
#3. Real-time Interactive Telemedicine
As the name suggests, real-time telemedicine allows real-time interaction between patients and medical professionals via chat, phone call, or video conference.
As such, real-time interactive telemedicine is often used instead of a visit to a doctor’s office in primary care, urgent care, chronic disease management, and follow-up visits.
Generally speaking, real-time telemedicine is the closest type of telemedicine to a traditional in-person visit; it allows healthcare providers to see the patient’s medical records, discuss test results, and check other relevant data to effectively provide remote treatment.
In fact, studies show that the effectiveness of video teleconferencing is similar to that of traditional healthcare, with patients also reporting a similar rate of satisfaction.
One thing to keep in mind, however, is that real-time telemedicine should only be provided using professional medical software specifically built to protect patient privacy and ensure confidentiality.
#4. Mobile Health
Mobile health, or mHealth, refers to the use of mobile devices, including smartphones, tablet computers, and smartwatches in healthcare.
Mobile health solutions can be used by healthcare providers to share information and targeted text messages with patients.
Moreover, mobile devices can be used to provide patients with remote patient monitoring and real-time interactive telemedicine.
#5. Remote Medical Consultations And Training
Although telemedicine is typically used in patient care, many medical practitioners are taking advantage of it to also improve their medical practice.
For example, you can use telemedicine software to connect with other specialists and improve your expertise on specific medical conditions, treatments, and other relevant topics.
Essentially, telemedicine solutions offer endless possibilities, including:
- Holding video conferences with other medical professionals.
- Sharing experience, techniques, and knowledge with healthcare professionals in other countries or continents through patient case examinations.
- Implementing healthcare education programs for medical professionals in third-world countries and remote locations.
Use Cases of Telemedicine Solutions
Here are the main features of telemedicine solutions:
#1. Managing Chronic Conditions Remotely
Telemedicine solutions are extremely effective in helping healthcare providers and patients alike to track and manage chronic conditions remotely.
Remote patient monitoring solutions, for example, allow patients to monitor their vital signals and send this information directly to their primary care provider.
For instance, someone with diabetes wouldn’t have to regularly see their doctor in person - instead, they could monitor their glucose levels and receive health check-ups at home.
What’s more, whenever needed, patients with chronic conditions can also use real-time interactive telemedicine to connect with their doctors to discuss their conditions or concerns.
Because of this, telemedicine is a significantly effective and cost-efficient healthcare solution for managing the chronic conditions of patients who can’t regularly visit your practice.
#2. Treating Minor Urgencies
Another useful feature of telemedicine is that it allows healthcare providers to effectively treat minor urgencies.
For instance, if a patient is allergic to pollen, their symptoms might become worse if they leave their home for a trip to a doctor’s office.
Well, there are telemedicine solutions that allow patients to avoid this inconvenience.
By arranging a video conference with their primary healthcare provider, for example, such patients can discuss a treatment plan or get medicine prescriptions without the need to leave their home.
Or, if a patient has a skin rash, the primary health provider can use store-and-forward telemedicine to send a picture of the rash to a dermatologist for a consultation on the diagnosis and the treatment for the specific skin condition.
As such, telemedicine solutions help patients to receive quick, convenient, and effective urgent care.
#3. Doing Routine Follow-Ups Remotely
Telemedicine solutions allow medical professionals to conduct routine follow-ups remotely, which is a time-saving and cost-effective way of tracking treatment progress.
Actually, research shows that on average, patients travel 34 minutes to see a medical professional.
Telemedicine effectively eliminates the need to travel, as patients can contact their healthcare providers via chat, video, or phone call for a routine follow-up instead of regularly going to the doctor’s office.
This way, telemedicine solutions help patients to save time as well as money.
#4. Holding Consultations
The use of telemedicine allows healthcare providers to hold remote consultations with their patients anywhere and anytime, giving them more control over their schedules.
Some medical professionals, for example, may choose to dedicate a day or two weekly specifically for remote consultations with their patients.
This way, they can work from home and focus on providing their patients with high-quality care without having to rush from their office to department meetings or in-home visits.
As such, telemedicine solutions allow doctors to avoid clinician burnout by helping them better manage their schedule, spend more time interacting with patients, and by improving their work-life balance.
#5. Enhancing Your Medical Practice
Telemedicine helps medical practitioners to effectively improve their practice by expanding their expertise.
For example, an ophthalmologist from the United States can use telemedicine solutions to connect with other experts in the field to share and gain medical knowledge.
On the other hand, you can also use telemedicine solutions to provide medical staff training by, say, holding a video conference with other medical professionals and experts to improve your staff’s knowledge on a specific topic.
Choose Medesk PMS for the Best Telemedicine Solution
If you’re looking for the best telemedicine solution for your medical practice, look no further - try Medesk practice management software!
Medesk telemedicine software enhances your practice by allowing you to:
- Conduct online consultations with your patients.
- Provide your patients with remote follow-up appointments.
- Conveniently write repeat prescriptions.
- Effectively manage your schedule by letting your patients book their online appointments using our online booking system.
- Access the telemedicine tool securely from the patient portal.
However, Medesk integrated practice management software is so much more than just a telemedicine solution.
Here are some other features that Medesk PMS offers:
- EHR - conveniently store your patient medical records all in one place.
- Medical billing - automate and manage your medical billing process, produce invoices, and manage claims directly in the Medesk PMS.
- Inventory management - automate your stock operations, generate sales reports, and easily calculate your medical practice’s profitability.
- Reporting and analytics - use 40+ ready-to-use templates to generate reports more effectively than ever before.
- Medical CRM - increase patient satisfaction, reduce appointment cancellations, and more by keeping track of every patient-doctor interaction conveniently on the platform.
And much more!
Try our free trial today to see if Medesk is the best PMS solution for your medical practice!