The dissemination of health care services with the help of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) is called Telehealth, or Telemedicine. Consultations with doctors, psychologists, and medical specialists possess the possibility to be conducted in an online format by using the technology. In the last decade, the utilization of Telehealth, or systems that support and encourage protracted clinical treatment, education, and healthcare, has increased (Lurie & Carr, 2018). During the work of Telehealth services, two parties participate in the dialogue: the specialist and the patient. In the end, both parties, having separate objectives and knowledge, will receive different experiences from employing the technology. Telehealth service displayed a breakthrough in medical care, but a personal appointment with a doctor, having the ability to communicate face-to-face, has not lost its importance.
Information technologies act as a useful assistant not only in cases of consultations of patients and doctors. Inpatient care can also benefit from Telehealth, which can assist balance demand and supply for medical services across physical or geographical borders, preserve protective gear, and link isolated patients with family members (Wosik et al., 2020). Personally, the experience of using Telemedicine was gained by me twice: by communicating with the Primary Care Manager by phone and utilizing the Google Teams service while conversing with the school psychologist. As a result of sampling the technology, it can be concluded by me that a traditional personal appointment with the doctor is preferable due to a more substantial involvement. Compared with online communication, face-to-face meetings, when the opportunity to talk to the specialist in private is available, enhance the probability of proper understanding of the issue since the patient is present. Even though Telehealth provides citizens with the feasibility to solve health-related problems, the deficiency of necessary information results in the doctor’s inference that appears incomplete.
Telemedicine sessions are not a perfect replacement for in-person meetings, nor are they appropriate for all individuals or clinical circumstances. For instance, breakdowns occur, the technology does not function as expected, and technological barriers might obstruct care delivery. Furthermore, the limitation of online healthcare applications is the inability to objectively assess the external condition of the patient, as well as his symptoms. However, Telehealth demonstrates its efficiency and effectiveness as it improves medical professionals’ access to continuous education and training (Ren et al., 2020). The service is capable of creating a profit by distributing health-related attainments and propaganda, but it is less beneficial in comparison with face-to-face visits.
Technological progress is actively developing, and it stimulates improvements, including the medical sphere. In order to define the potential of Telemedicine, it is obligatory to separate it from the part of online consultations and consider the field of educating and informing people. In the particular case of disseminating information and knowledge, Telehealth interactions can be synchronous (phone and video), asynchronous (patient portal messaging, electronic consults), or through virtual agents (chatbots) and wearable gadgets (Wosik et al., 2020). So far, no method to remotely examine a person objectively and entirely exists; therefore, total replacement of tete-a-tete meetings is not possible in the near future. It confirms Telemedicine’s full readiness solely as a mediator platform for obtaining additional data and training.
To summarize, Telehealth is considered to be a modern and convenient way of exchanging medical information. With the help of technology, there is a prospect of conducting online consultations with specialists without leaving home. Nevertheless, face-to-face meetings are out of competition for the reason of being more objective and reliable. A combination of the benefits of traditional and modern approaches to medicine contributes to the overall health of people.
Lurie, N., & Carr, B. G. (2018). The role of Telehealth in the medical response to disasters. JAMA Internal Medicine, 178(6), 745–746.
Ren, X., Zhai, Y., Song, X., Wang, Z., Dou, D., & Li, Y. (2020). The application of mobile Telehealth system to facilitate patient information presentation and case discussion. Telemedicine and e-Health, 26(6), 725-733.
Wosik, J., Fudim, M., Cameron, B., Gellad, Z. F., Cho, A., Phinney, D., Curtis, S., Roman, M., Poon, E. G., Ferranti, J., Katz, J. N., & Tcheng, J. (2020). Telehealth transformation: COVID-19 and the rise of virtual care, Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 27(6), 957–962.