As health care becomes more integrated with the Internet, it is becoming more possible for telemedicine to gain momentum as a new standard in the lives of patients. The medical community is constantly evolving to include new ways to treat individuals, and with innovative unified communications (UC) technologies, it is becoming easier for physicians to extend their reach to rural communities.
Using telemedicine to treat soldiers
Fox News reported that advances in the technologies that enable telemedicine, such as video cameras and digital monitors, have evolved enough to make telepresence a viable option for the U.S. Army. Now that it is possible to connect physicians to patients anywhere in the world, deployed marines can receive valuable insight from American doctors about complicated health-related issues without having to leave their bases.
For instance, in the event that a soldier contracts an unfamiliar rash and requires medical treatment, a picture can be taken of the ailment and then transmitted to the individuals own doctor's office for evaluation. According to the source, within five hours, a diagnosis can be returned. Additionally, a course of treatment can be provided and then a follow-up scan can be submitted with UC. More complex medical emergencies, such as abnormalities found during electrocardiograms (EKGs), can also be sent abroad for assessment.
"If there are unusual findings on an EKG, and if there's no cardiologist around, then we have to ground that [soldier]," Dr. Ronald Poropatich told the news provider. "But the beauty is I can now send it to a cardiologist and in this particular case we got a turnaround in 40 minutes saying this is normal, this can go back out today and fly."
Privacy achieved through sophisticated UC tools
In addition to providing soldiers with immediate care, telemedicine enables users to privately connect with their physicians. The source reported that as behavioral health concerns soar in this community, such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, the ability to speak comfortably with a care-giver is crucial. With UC, individuals can connect directly with a a doctor without risking exposing their conditions to other soldiers.
Representative Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., recently wrote in the Huffington Post, veterans are also benefiting from telepresence. As privacy is a primary concern for individuals who have served in the military, the ability to conduct important office visits remotely is becoming an essential part of their well-being.
As the medical industry continues to roll out telemedicine solutions, individuals are gaining the ability to take advantage of their options. Access to health care is important, and UC is making it possible for everyone to receive the help they require.