Long touted as the future of healthcare, telemedicine is now front and centre in the face of the global COVID-19 health emergency with telehealth now being used as a key weapon to fight the spread.
Telehealth a key weapon to fight COVID-19 pandemic
Supported by unified communications, Telemedicine is becoming a reality at local hospitals and medical centres, nationwide. Forget about remote surgeries with high-tech robots for the time being. Telehealth amid the coronavirus pandemic is all about healthcare practitioners being able to see patients through a video conference on their computer.
Expanding the consultation services available by telehealth, the Federal Government is now allowing all GPs and specialists to bulk bill phone or video consultations with patients. In one move, telehealth is being used to slow the spread of infection, prevent doctors from being inundated by anxious patients, and to effectively manage the surging demands being placed on the medical sector.
Taking pressure off hospitals and emergency departments
Wherever treatment can be safely delivered by phone or videoconferencing, telehealth services enable a new era of:
Now more than ever, patients are questioning the need to go to the doctor’s office for a mainstream consultation and risk picking up another infection in the waiting room. Access to the internet, and to a healthcare professional via the cloud, is more convenient and efficient.
With medical resources stretched, telehealth enables the healthcare industry to use its resources more efficiently. Doctors and specialists can collaborate using electronic, cloud-based medical information systems, minimising the need for unnecessary appointments and lengthy delays.
Whole of population telehealth allows people to access essential health services in their home and supports self-isolation and quarantine policies designed to limit the risk of exposure and spread of COVID-19.
Enabling remote care for patients
Of course, this level of remote care is made possible thanks to the internet and cloud-based communications. Using any smartphone, desktop, laptop or tablet, patients and healthcare professionals can create better clinical outcomes via unified communications.
UCC platforms and endpoints support video capabilities that enable remote patient care. Taking advantage of telemedicine tools, doctors can make quick evaluations and diagnose common ailments, utilising IM and video conversations. This technology saves time for both healthcare professionals and patients and simplifies follow-up appointments for simple check-ups. Integration with electronic patient records, medical device data, and more, practitioners are equipped to make virtual consultations as effective as physical ones.
Of course, central to these communications is the ability to send and share medical information securely. Patient information must be protected, so a unified communications system is vital in hospitals and healthcare centres. By putting all communications on a cloud-based platform, everything can be audited and protected.
Storing data-rich files like MRIs, X-rays, photos, video and other patient data in the cloud, allows practitioners to access the information securely, at their convenience.
With UCC, all these tools are available on mobile devices, increasing the availability of medical staff to provide quality care.
To make this all work and reap the benefits of telemedicine, you’ll need a robust solution. imei can help your healthcare practice take this cloud-based approach and securely leverage unified communications to deliver telemedicine at scale. If this is something that is on your agenda, please get in touch with our team.