Telemedicine in Homoeopathy -The need of the hour

Dr Vivek Gopalakrishnan

Telemedicine is the use of electronic information to communicate technologies to provide and support healthcare when distance separates the participants.“ Tele ” is a Greek word meaning “distance “and “ mederi ” is a Latin word meaning “to heal”. Time magazine called telemedicine “healing by wire”. Although initially considered “futuristic” and “experimental,” telemedicine is today a reality and has come to stay. 

Telemedicine allows Homoeopathic Doctors to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients at a distance using telecommunications technology. The approach has been through a striking evolution in the last decade and it is becoming an increasingly important part of the Indian healthcare infrastructure. 

In the early days, telemedicine was used mostly to connect doctors working with a patient in one location to specialists somewhere else. This was of great benefit to rural or hard to reach populations where specialists aren’t readily available. 

Throughout the next several decades, the equipment necessary to conduct remote visits remained expensive and complex, so the use of the approach, while growing, was limited. 

The rise of the internet age brought with it profound changes for the practice of telemedicine. The proliferation of smart devices, capable of high-quality video transmission, opened up the possibility of delivering remote healthcare to patients in their homes, workplaces or assisted living facilities as an alternative to in-person visits for both primary and specialty care. 

The scope of Telemedicine in Homeopathy is outstanding.Using telemedicine as an 

alternative to in-person visits has a host of benefits for patients and providers alike. 

Patients enjoy:
Less time away from work
No travel expenses or time
Less interference with child or elder care responsibilities Privacy
No exposure to other potentially contagious patients 

Providers enjoy:
Increased revenue
Improved office efficiency
An answer to the competitive threat of retail health clinics and on-line only providers
Better patient follow through and improved health outcomes
Fewer missed appointments and cancellations
Private payer reimbursement 

Here are a few examples of how it is being used today. 

Follow-up visits
Using health software for routine follow-up visits is not only more efficient for providers and patients, but it also increases the likelihood of follow-up, reducing missed appointments and improving patient outcomes. 

Remote chronic disease management
The increasing rate of chronic disease is a major challenge for our health system. It is a prime candidate for the use of telemedicine software because it makes it easier and less expensive for patients to maintain control over their health.This is an ideal area where Homoeopathy can be very much beneficial with chances of future innovation and development. 

Preventative care support
Weight loss and smoking cessation are the keys to reducing heart disease and a host of other conditions. Telemedicine can be a valuable tool in connecting providers with patients to make sure they get the support they need to be successful. 

School based telehealth
When children become ill at school, they might visit a school nurse or be picked up by their parents and taken to an urgent care center. Some innovative districts have teamed up with doctors to conduct remote visits from the school. The provider can assess the urgency of the case and provide instructions or reassurance to parents. 

Assisted living center support
Telemedicine has already proven to be useful in keeping residence of assisted living 

facilities out of the hospital. Problems often occur at night or on weekends, making hospitalization the only option even for less urgent problems. With telemedicine, on-call doctors can conduct an online visit to determine if hospitalization is necessary. 

Privacy and Security
Because patient data will be transmitted when telemedicine is used, it is subject to HIPAA regulations. Consumer video services like Skype and Facetime do not meet this standard. In order to maintain compliance, providers must choose technology solutions that use data encryption to protect patient data. 

So let us all join hands together for the successful integration of Telemedicine in Homoeopathy thus making Homoeopathic care easily accessible & attainable to a larger audience. 

Dr Vivek Gopalakrishnan


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