- This remote medical attention calms individuals who are worried, while it directs those at high risk of the illness to treatment.
- More and more health clinics are turning to telehealth to monitor and treat people with many conditions during this time.
- Since it’s a means of caring for people who aren’t seriously ill, it keeps them out of the hospital.
Telehealth is expanding by leaps and bounds during the COVID-19 crisis. Due to the critical need for remote treatment, both the public and private sector are working to increase its accessibility. All the benefits it offers are making a big difference in health care, and unquestionably, it will save lives during the outbreak.
Uses of Telehealth in the Pandemic
The driving force behind the increased demand for telehealth is the need for social distancing. With this intent, hospitals are using it to screen people with symptoms of COVID-19, states the New York Times. This remote medical attention calms individuals who are worried, while it directs those at high risk of the illness to treatment. Thus, people who don’t need to be in an emergency room are kept out and protected from unnecessary exposure. Moreover, a hospital that is expecting a person with the virus can prepare ahead of time, making sure the entrance is clear and that the attending nurse and doctor are wearing protective gear.
More and more health clinics are turning to telehealth to monitor and treat people with many conditions during this time. Apps that provide the service, such as PlushCare and Amwell, are showing impressive growth. In fact, since the advent of the outbreak in January 2020, PlushCare appointments have increased by 70 percent, and the use of Amwell has risen by 158 percent across the nation, Quartz reports.
Public and Private Sector Efforts to Boost Telehealth
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Medicare has executed changes to make telehealth more accessible. The agency relaxed its strict guidelines concerning the locations where older adults are allowed to receive it. Medicare has also removed penalties for violations of federal privacy laws, and it’s now permitting health care providers to waive or reduce copays and deductibles, says MarketWatch.
The high load that telehealth is putting on broadband has resulted in technological issues such as website crashes from enormous volumes of visitors. To remedy the problem, the Federal Communications Commission has pledged $200 million for information, telecommunication services, and devices that will update the system to make it more efficient.
Along with help from the federal government, the private sector is working to boost telehealth. Apple, the tech giant, has collaborated with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop a website and app that enables users to screen themselves for COVID-19. Telemedicine companies, such as Doctor on Demand, are updating their infrastructure and hiring more clinicians.
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Benefits of Telehealth
Telehealth offers an array of advantages during the COVID-19 pandemic, reports the Los Angeles Business Journal. Since it’s a means of caring for people who aren’t seriously ill, it keeps them out of the hospital. Consequently, more hospital beds are free for people who have contracted the virus, and the limited protective gear available for health care workers goes further.
Another benefit includes decreasing exposure to the virus for anyone working in a medical clinic. In addition to professionals who deliver patient care, employees who work in billing and coding can perform these duties at home.
Telehealth makes it possible for higher numbers of people to receive medical attention. Wound care is an area that demonstrates how it’s proving beneficial. Because of social distancing requirements, senior adults living in nursing homes are more restricted in their movements, a problem that raises the risk of wound development. Telemedicine allows greater continuity of care, since facilities that use it don’t need to rely on visits from wound-care experts.
While the health advantages are paramount, telehealth also helps offset reduced revenues many clinics are experiencing in the pandemic. Because so many positives are associated with the remote mode of treatment, some experts predict it will remain popular long after the health crisis is over.