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Types of Telemedicine: What You Need to Know

Types of Telemedicine: What You Need to Know

11 Jan 2022
6 mins

When it comes to healthcare, patients have more options today than ever before. Telemedicine allows patients to consult with a doctor or other medical professional via phone or video chat instead of in person. Let's look a the different types of telemedicine services available.

What Is Telemedicine?

Telemedicine is the remote delivery of healthcare services using telecommunications technology. It allows health professionals to provide patient care from different locations, without having to travel to see patients in person.

There are several different types of telemedicine, each with its own unique benefits.

1. Online Consultations

These are real-time appointments between patients and doctors, conducted over video conferencing platforms like Skype or FaceTime.

2. Store-and-Forward

This type of telemedicine allows healthcare providers to store patient medical data (such as MRIs, X-rays, and test results) and then forward it to another provider via secure email or a HIPAA-compliant file-sharing platform.

This is often used when a specialist is needed to provide a second opinion on a diagnosis or treatment plan.

3. Remote Patient Monitoring

Also known as RPM, this type of telemedicine requires patients to wear tracking devices or in-home monitors to collect a patient’s vital signs such as blood pressure, weight, heart rate, and other health metrics. The data is then sent to a doctor or care team, who can use it to make treatment decisions.

This allows providers to closely monitor their patient's health and make necessary changes to their care plans.

4. Interactive Video Conferencing

This type of telemedicine allows patients and providers to see and talk to each other in real-time using video conferencing technology. This is often used for appointments, such as mental health counseling or physical therapy sessions.

5. Mobile Health

This type of telemedicine uses mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets to deliver healthcare services. This can include everything from appointment reminders to video conferencing.

6. Tele-ICU

Tele-ICU services connect intensive care unit (ICU) patients with off-site doctors and nurses. This type of telemedicine can help improve patient outcomes by providing around-the-clock monitoring and care.

(Telehealth Coverage and Payment)

How to Get Started with Different Types of Telemedicine

There are different types of telemedicine, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

1. Real-Time or Synchronous Telemedicine

This is the most common type of telemedicine. It involves live, two-way audio and video communication between a patient and a healthcare provider.

Advantage:

  • It is the most effective way to diagnose and treat patients. It allows for more personal interaction between the patient and the healthcare provider. It can be used for emergency situations.

Disadvantage:

  • It requires a high-speed internet connection. The quality of the video and audio may be poor if the connection is not good.

2. Store-and-Forward or Asynchronous Telemedicine

This type of telemedicine involves the transmission of medical information (such as X-rays, images, and test results) from a patient to a healthcare provider.

Advantage:

  • It does not require a live connection and can be used with a slower internet connection. It can be used to consult with specialists in other locations.

Disadvantage:

  • It is not suitable for emergency situations. The quality of the images and other medical information may be poor if the connection is not good.

3. Remote Patient Monitoring

This type of telemedicine involves the use of technology to collect and transmit patient data to healthcare providers.

Advantage:

  • It can be used to monitor patients with chronic conditions. It can help to reduce hospital visits and readmissions.

Disadvantage:

  • It requires the patient to have the necessary equipment. The quality of the data may be poor if the connection is not good.

4. Mobile Health

This type of telemedicine uses mobile devices (such as smartphones and tablets) to provide healthcare services.

Advantage:

  • It is convenient for patients. It can be used to provide care in remote areas.

Disadvantage:

  • The quality of the data may be poor if the connection is not good. The security of the data may be a concern.

5. Tele-Homecare

This type of telemedicine involves the use of technology to provide healthcare services to patients in their homes.

Advantage:

  • It is convenient for patients. It can help to reduce hospital visits and readmissions.

Disadvantage:

  • The quality of the data may be poor if the connection is not good. The security of the data may be a concern.
Key Takeaway: Telemedicine can be used for different types of healthcare services. It is important to have a good internet connection and to choose the right type of telemedicine for your needs.

Conclusion

There are many different types of telemedicine services available, so it's important to know what each one offers before you decide which is right for your practice.

Telemedicine can be a great option for those who live in rural areas, have transportation issues, or simply want to save time.

With so many options available, there is sure to be a type of telemedicine platform that meets your patient's needs.

Upvio provides appointment scheduling and telehealth software to streamline your team's operations. Our user-friendly platform allows for efficient schedule creation, appointment reminder sending, virtual waiting room access, and patient visit tracking all in one location. Additionally, our telehealth features enable remote consultations with patients, including vital sign scanning, ultimately saving both time and cost.

So why wait? Get started today!

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