Telehealth, also referred to as telemedicine, services have several advantages over in-person care. Whether you’re looking for extra convenience, shorter wait times, or just regular check-ins with your physician, telehealth care is a great option for meeting many of your healthcare needs. In late March 2020, telehealth visits increased by 154% due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Since then, telemedicine in healthcare has improved significantly. 1
Telehealth services are medical visits using virtual healthcare technology, meaning people can meet with their providers from the comfort of their homes. Telehealth technology uses specialized programs to ensure patient communications are completely confidential according to the guidelines of the telehealth model of care.
Using telehealth services is as simple as making a remote appointment with a physician. There are several distinct types of telemedicine services, some of which require specialized programs provided by the patient’s healthcare provider before the visit. Essentially, telehealth consists of phone or video calls between the patient and their doctor to address and discuss various health concerns.
The purpose of telehealth is to provide patients with high-quality healthcare for conditions that do not require a physical examination, including:
Individuals experiencing symptoms of these conditions can seek telehealth care instead of traveling to an outpatient clinic or hospital. Telemedicine in health systems enables people to meet with a physician, receive a diagnosis, and get treatment from their homes.
A variety of healthcare providers use telehealth in their practices. As such, there are several different types of telehealth services:
Remote options still allow people to develop therapeutic relationships with their providers. Trust is an essential component of any healthcare service, including mental healthcare.
Telehealth care extends far beyond treating a single symptom or condition. People with chronic conditions or those who need regular appointments with a provider can do so using telehealth services.
Occupational therapy, telehealth counseling services, and medication management are all possible via a patient telehealth portal. One of the key telehealth benefits is that people who need to meet with a provider regularly can cut out a considerable amount of time spent commuting, waiting in an office, and scheduling in-person appointments.
Some of the reasons people use telehealth services include:
These different telemedicine services make regular appointments and check-ups easier than ever. Additionally, telehealth closes the gap between health care and mental health. For example, Project UPLIFT, a telehealth phone service that helps treat depression in adults with epilepsy, was shown to decrease depression symptoms by 30% compared to treatment as usual (TAU) after six months and 23% after twelve months. 2
Healthcare providers may use telehealth services to deliver routine updates or quick check-ins that do not require patients to visit a clinic in person. They can use telehealth services to:
The purpose of telehealth in these types of care is to increase the convenience of healthcare, making routine appointments more accessible.
Telehealth technology has advanced greatly in the last several years. Telehealth technology in hospitals has become a key component of a greater healthcare system and is only expected to grow in the coming years.
The different types of telehealth technology include:
Telehealth technology in hospitals and outpatient clinics creates a reliable and secure telehealth service.
There are three primary components of telehealth; these will be detailed below.
Live video telehealth services are the primary source of telemedicine in healthcare. Using specialized programs that keep patient information anonymous and secure, these video services allow patients to meet virtually with their providers to discuss their concerns.
If you’ve used Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, or Duo, you’ll find that the live video services in telehealth are very familiar. One national survey conducted in 2021 found that more people attended telehealth visits by video (59.7%) instead of by phone (40.3%). 3
Telemedicine and remote patient monitoring (RPM) often go hand in hand. In 2021, surveys in the United States and Europe showed that in-person visits decreased by 45% to 70%, leaving remote patient monitoring a significant factor in telehealth services. 4
RPM, also known as telemedicine monitoring services, refers to the practice of using certain technologies at home to keep the physician up to date with patients’ current health status. Examples include weight scales, wearable health trackers, blood pressure monitors, and pulse oximeters. The data from these devices automatically uploads to healthcare providers, helping them keep track of their patient’s progress.
The last component of telehealth is mobile healthcare. Mobile health refers to programs on a smartphone or computer that help people stay in contact with their physician about any concerns.
In the case of telehealth counseling services, for instance, you can use mobile health applications to check in with your therapist if you want to discuss mental health symptoms.
Telehealth care carries several advantages for the patient and the providers. Telehealth benefits include:
Whatever your specific medical needs are, telemedicine in health systems can help you see your provider quickly and get the help you need.
With so much information on telehealth, it can be hard to sift through it all on your own. If you’re thinking about getting telehealth help, consider reaching out to the professionals at Genesis Recovery. Our premier drug and alcohol rehabilitation center incorporates the best elements of telemedicine into our extensive treatment program, including mental health telehealth services.
Whether you are looking to start care for the first time or just need an extra source of support to help you stay sober over the long term, Genesis Recovery is here to help you. Don’t delay seeking quality telehealth services any longer. Call our team today.