Telemedicine in Fostering Healthcare

Today, a group of surgeons in one part of the world are performing surgery, guided by a
skilled surgeon from a remote part of the world. Similarly, some undergrads in Germany are
learning from medical professors from New York. This wouldn’t have been possible two
decades ago.

What was seemingly a novice idea since its birth in the 1960s, telemedicine or telehealth pushed further by the new generation of tech-savvy due to its convenience and cost-efficiency. Tele-medicine is a synergy of medical science and information technology. It can be said as the delivery of healthcare services using information technology and communication technology to exchange or transmit information and records for the reason of treatment, diagnosis, and prevention of diseases. The model of telemedicine gives a patient-doctor interaction through internet and video conferences without the physical availability of both the patient and the doctor and the ubiquity of wireless devices makes it feasible. Basically, as a health care service provider, telemedicine gives your institution the convenience of providing services to your patients over long distances, using limited resources available at the comfort of your own house. Since the proliferation of smart tech-devices, it has emerged as big boon today bridging hundreds of kilometer of the geographical barrier which used to pose big hindrances.

Apart from bolstering patient care, it also helps to provide access to healthcare in rural areas. Accessibility has remained a perennial problem in the Nepali health care sector. The skewed ratio of doctors proves to be a major issue affecting rural health care and on many occasions, there is not enough infrastructure to accommodate patients in the remote parts of Nepal. It can be resolved with the assistance of tele-medicine. Similarly, it also helps in reducing mortality rates as it can transfer health records and diagnose earlier on. Especially popular for its cost-efficient modality, we all can agree that home monitoring programs are better than high-cost hospital visits.
Tele-medicine has a strong role in facilitating collaborative care and continuity model. It creates the possibility of monitoring patient health remotely by collecting and sending medical data through electronic means for immediate interpretation. Such remote access/ monitoring is greatly beneficial for homebound critical/emergency patients where constant monitoring is a must.
These are some of the many reasons for preferring tele-medicine over cumbersome hospital checkups. Furthermore, the business research company estimates that the global market valued tele-medicine at $26.6 billion in 2016 and it is expected to reach $77.2 billion by 2022. It implies that the need for installing tele-medicine facilities has grown at a rate of 19.4% during the forecast period of 2017 to 2022. It is evident that all developed and developing countries are introducing this simple yet effective technique.
In the context of Nepal, presently, there are a few platforms that provide tele-medicine services such as Vital Online Doctor (VDO). Despite some of the challenges it entails, especially in a country like Nepal, with high-cost installation and intermittent power supply in most areas, it is at its budding phase. We may be posed with problems such as lack of proper guidelines in addition to legislative muscles, the use of data transfer and safety. Regardless, it has the biggest potential to revolutionize the health care system, enabling people at large to avail accessible and affordable patient care. Wiseyak Inc., through its well-planned robust strategy, is working to ebb all the obstacles in the way of effecting tele-medicine in Nepal.

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