You don’t have only Netflix to thank technology for. Technology is bringing your doctor right into your bedroom – actually virtually. This is what telehealth is all about!
Fundamentally, telehealth leverages two-way telecommunication technologies, allowing you to receive premium and effective medical care remotely.
Sounds like an epic Steven Spielberg sci-fi movie?
No, these technologies include everyday devices like your smartphones and computers, allowing you to virtually collaborate with your health care provider, transferring accurate data in real-time.
Telehealth is also referred to as telemedicine, connected care, or virtual care. They all refer to health care executed over digital systems as opposed to conventional in-person health care.
Ready for a story? Let us tell you how telehealth all began.
The History of Telemedicine
Dr. Kenneth D. Bird, a pulmonary specialist and internist, is renowned as the father of modern telemedicine. Sometime in 1968, Bird proposed a system of investigating patients leveraging two-way, interactive television.
In the first telemedicine model, Dr. Bird connected a medical station situated at Boston’s Logan Airport with the hospital’s doctors responsible for supplying remote healthcare procedures like diagnosis, treatment, and image transmission.
Despite the initial enthusiasm that greeted Dr. Bird’s heroics, by the 1970s, telemedicine has receded from the mainstream, almost being abandoned.
Fast forward to this era, there has been an enormous resurgence in telemedicine. A lot of that resurgence is not unconnected to the profusion in today’s digital technologies.
Statistics have been encouraging so far. According to the American Telemedicine Association, over one-half of U.S. hospitals today have a telehealth program.
What more, the American Medical Association and Wellness Council of America reports that almost 75% of all urgent care, E.R., and doctor visits can be effectively executed over video or phone, making such visits unnecessary.
All these say one thing: telehealth has come to stay!