Telepresence solutions use collaborative software to remotely transmit services to a another location, separate from where the operator is working. In medicine, this is a convenient, low-cost option for patients that cannot otherwise make it to hospitals or a doctor's office. According to Roll Call, the growing telemedicine industry presents several major advantages for patients, but because of current licensure laws that inhibit where a physician can practice, growth in this field is still restricted.
Benefits of telepresence software in medicine
According to the news provider, this solution to medicine has key benefits in Medicare because of the cost effectiveness associated with telepresence. The strategy involved with patient care involves, in most cases, a telemonitoring system that allows patients to take part in their own healthcare. The doctor can then consult with the patient periodically to determine how effective the current course of care is overall without requiring the patient to be taken to a medical facility.
Business 2 Community reported that the cost benefits of telemedicine, and how they relate to Medicare, are in the reduction of in-person visits that must be overseen by a physician. Being able to speak with a doctor remotely reduces the stress on patients who have difficulty traveling and also cuts out the cost of commuting altogether. Medicare patients with chronic diseases that inhibit or severely impede mobility are the greatest beneficiaries to telemedicine, according to the news source.
Another unique way that a telepresence solution can help the healthcare industry is how it utilizes the diminishing pool of physicians who choose family medicine as their specialty. According to Roll Call, only 8 percent of medical students choose to forego higher-paying fields, which ultimately reduces the amount of people who can benefit from a primary care provider. As this form of medicine is the target audience for Medicare patients, who often rely on primary care providers for the management of chronic conditions, the potential for telemedicine to reach more individuals who may not have access to a doctor is important, according to the news source.
Slow progress in telemedicine
Although the potential benefits of this form of care abound, Roll Call reported that laws regulating medical licenses are preventing telemedicine from progressing. A patient who lives in one state, for example, and needs the care of a doctor who can telework from another state but doesn't have a corresponding medical license, is left without care. Slowly, however, the federal government is expanding the definition of these laws to better collaborate with this form of healthcare.
Despite its roadblocks, telemedicine is a form of telepresence that has utilized teleworking effectively, improving the quality of healthcare for people across the nation.