The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally shifted the way that Americans work, socialize, and generally go about their lives. Access to healthcare has been impacted by the pandemic as hospitals are dealing with huge numbers of cases across the country and stay at home and social distancing orders prevent many Americans from being able to get the medical care that they need. Fortunately, Telehealth has had more than a moment in the spotlight helping both healthcare workers and patients provide and have access to healthcare in these turbulent times.
Telehealth Is A Great Answer To Limited Access
The COVID-19 pandemic has flipped the world on its head and one of the major issues it has caused is a lack of access to treatment for patients. Unless medically necessary, many states have put a hold on medical appointments during the lockdown as hospitals are inundated with new cases of the virus and need to devote as many resources as possible in order to stem the tide. However, Telehealth has done quite well in helping to solve the problem of supply versus demand when it comes to quality healthcare during this crisis.
Telehealth has already been a popular trend in the medical field for some time now, and the advent of COVID-19 has proved telehealth to be a vital resource in times of uncertainty and limited access. Even when there isn’t a pandemic putting a huge amount of strain on hospitals and clinics Telehealth helps those living in remote, inaccessible areas receive the healthcare that they need and deserve. It just so happens that at this point in time, the number of people who are unable to physically head into a doctor’s office has increased by millions.
While Telehealth providers cannot treat nor diagnose the Corona virus, the technology still provides a vital boost in the fight against COVID-19. Aside from reducing the burden on hospitals around the nation, Telehealth allows doctors and nurses to continue providing healthcare services and education on proper social distancing and self-care practices. Telehealth allows healthcare professionals to write prescriptions and provide treatment remotely, and while there are certain conditions and diagnoses that require in-person appointments, a great deal of medical practice can be conducted at a distance with no sacrifice to quality.
It Helps To Protect Those In High-Risk Groups
Efforts to flatten the curve of COVID-19 infections in the United States have relied heavily on social distancing, the use of masks, and sanitation measures to reduce the likelihood that any given person might spread the virus, especially if they are an asymptomatic carrier. These measures are vital for those individuals that fall into high-risk categories such as those with compromised immune systems that cannot afford the risk of exposure to the novel Corona virus.
There is ample evidence that the Corona virus can be easily spread through children to adults or from adults to infants due to the often asymptomatic nature of COVID-19. While children and infants infected with COVID-19 generally have far less severe symptoms than adults, it is still important that new mothers in postpartum recovery take extra steps to help in preventing infection for both their health and the health of their newborn. Telehealth provides a lifeline in this situation, helping new mothers to effectively socially distance themselves while receiving postpartum care from the comfort of their own homes.
Chronically ill patients benefit from Telehealth in much the same way. Those suffering from chronic illnesses or are going through treatment for something like cancer are already at risk when in public, a risk which is compounded immeasurably by the COVID-19 pandemic. Telemedicine allows these individuals to speak with their healthcare providers regularly and obtain life-saving prescriptions without the risk of exposure to the novel Corona virus unnecessarily.
Telemedicine Can Be Used For A Huge Variety Of Needs
It is important to note that Telemedicine and Telehealth aren’t exclusively beneficial to those who fall into high-risk categories. Telemedicine can be used to treat a huge variety of medical issues, and while many hospitals are restricting access for elective medical appointments this is a huge relief to many who have felt as if their medical concerns were being put on the back burner.
Telemedicine can be useful in the treatment of common ailments such as diabetes, sleep apnea, and blood pressure issues without having to schedule in-person appointments, massively reducing the risk of spreading COVID-19 while still providing quality healthcare. Even issues like vein health can be effectively addressed through the use of remote healthcare technology, allowing for patients that have serious yet non-life threatening medical issues to get appropriate treatment without having to potentially expose themselves or others to the novel Corona virus in the process.
At the end of the day, Telehealth has been incredibly useful during the COVID-19 pandemic. Physicians and hospitals are better able to care for high-priority cases while patients are still capable of receiving treatment for a host of conditions. While the world will one day settle back into some semblance of normality when it comes to visiting the doctor, technology is here to fill in the healthcare gaps until things settle back down.