How Telemedicine has Led to New Specialties
Telemedicine has been developing since the 1960s, first through radio and telephone-based consulting, then video, and now to where it is today. Technology has made the world more connected than ever before, and has helped the evolution of telemedicine. With easier access to mobile devices, computers, and other communication technologies, healthcare can be just a click away. In recent years, telemedicine has become a bigger part of healthcare worldwide, with utilization stabilizing at 38 times higher than before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020.
During this increase in usage and acceptance of telemedicine as a viable option to provide more access to healthcare, many specialties have incorporated a new branch of sub-specialization in telemedicine. Below, we cover some of these up-and-coming telemedicine specialties and why they are becoming increasingly utilized.
Endocrinologists treat disorders such as arthritis, osteoporosis, and more disease related to hormones or endocrine glands. Telemedicine is still not used widely in the specialty but that is changing. Diabetes is a widespread disease, with over 100 million estimated to have it in the US alone, and many who have it don’t know they do. With higher rates in rural areas, there is a lack of necessary care and knowledge of the disease. Tele-endocrinology changes that. By providing care remotely, more patients are able to be reached. It was also found in a study that virtual consultations for endocrinological issues had the same rates of improvement in health as in-person consultations.
Teleneurologists are able to diagnose and treat various neurological conditions remotely. More often than not, they work together with on-site physicians to provide their specialized knowledge. Neurological problems may often be time sensitive, such as in situations of strokes. Since not all places have a neurologist ready on call to deal with the post-emergency treatment, telemedicine provides that convenience. Furthermore, with an aging population worldwide, incidences of neurological issues such as Alzheimer’s and dementia, are putting a burden on many healthcare institutions with the number of neurologists not being able to keep up.
Teleradiology is unique in that it is one of the few specializations that rarely deal directly with patients. Teleradiologists are often in communication and providing support for hospitals and other on-site practitioners. Like the lack of neurologists, many smaller clinics or hospitals in rural areas lack the resources to have an on-call in-person radiologist, so telemedicine provides a cheaper and more viable solution to this problem.
Telemedicine provides gynecologists with an array of tools that can help to improve patient care. Particularly when it comes to pre- and post-pregnancy care. This includes dealing with mental health issues such as post-partum depression, or the physical complications of pregnancy including pre-eclampsia, hypertension, gestational diabetes and more. These conditions often require frequent observation and quick communication, which telemedicine can provide. Telemedicine is also being used for easier family planning services.
The American Medical Association conducted a survey regarding telemedicine and found that the third largest group of specialists to use it are cardiologists at 24%. With new developments in at-home medical devices such as easy to use ECGs, digital stethoscopes, and more, telecardiology has more and easier access to real time digital health data compared to most other specialties. The onsite aspect of telecardiology can be helpful for GPs in not just treatment, but diagnosis of cardiological issues as well, considering that even in the UK, 75% of these problems reported by GPs turn out to be non-cardiac issues.
Global Telehealth Exchange (GTHE) is a state-of-the-art telehealth solution that encompasses many aspects of the healthcare journey. It is HIPAA-compliant, secure, and provides worldwide access to healthcare. With access to healthcare professionals globally, and the ability to securely share information, patients using GTHE will have no problems in getting the help they need from anywhere in the world. Meanwhile, healthcare providers have greater access to other specialties for referrals if the need arises. And, as many specialties require better or quicker communication channels, having easy access to full medical records with the permission of the patient, can help healthcare providers to diagnose and advise treatment options more efficiently. General practitioners and specialists using GTHE can easily make referrals or share documentation when needed.
GTHE offers many benefits to healthcare providers including:
- Instant reimbursement
- Top level data security
- Cross-border treatments
- No additional paperwork, and in most cases eliminates it all together
- Full control over your rates, availability, and schedule
- No monthly or annual subscription fee
- No contract commitments
With GTHE, healthcare providers can connect with their patients seamlessly and provide a better remote standard of care. If you want to expand your medical practice without investing in expensive software, visit the GTHE website and sign up now.