Uses of Telemedicine to Care for COVID-19 Patients
Telemedicine has been a practical method of providing remote medical consultations using information and communication technologies to care for patients.
Currently, hospitals are overwhelmed with patients severely affected by SARS-CoV-2.
Therefore, the importance of applying telemedicine for consultation lies in the remote care offered to patients infected or not by coronavirus.
Avoiding that they are exposed and represent a focus of infection or be infected.
The main issue to be solved is:
What happens to those who manifest the characteristic symptoms of COVID-19 and should not be transported to a hospital?
However, it is necessary for these patients to receive the required care without the presence of a doctor or nurse.
For the same reason, the monitoring of patients through the telemedicine service has had a satisfactory impact.
Since it allows the physician to work efficiently through video calls or telephone calls, providing indications for correct isolation.
By resolving the patient’s doubts, providing information on the signs that the disease is worsening and the indications to follow in order to receive help from someone else without infecting the patient, all this without the physician being exposed.
On the patient’s part, the most important thing is to maintain home confinement until a successful recovery without infecting others.
Test to avoid unnecessary exposure when going to a health center.
The benefits after implementation
Telemedicine plays a crucial role in keeping the care service active.
It provides virtual and long-distance follow-up of all patients who were affected during the pandemic.
Of course, in addition to coronavirus cases, it is imperative to continue with an efficient workflow of patients outside the current situation, from pediatric to geriatric age.
The main function is general medical care, however, during the confinement a large part of the specialist physicians were forced to offer consultations virtually.
In addition to this, there are other functions such as the prescription of medical prescriptions, so that the doctor can issue a virtual prescription valid in all pharmacies or health centers.
There is also the coverage provided for any complication presented by the patient, such as:
Emergency room care
home visits performed by the physician
the performance and evaluation of complementary studies, both imaging and blood tests.
In addition to facilitating the physician’s work, it represents an important benefit for patients, since it drastically reduces the time it takes to be seen.
It avoids the cost of transportation to a hospital and allows the physician to be kept informed at all times.
A great example is the care offered to patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and pulmonary diseases.
These patients in particular should not interrupt their treatment because it would further aggravate their condition.
For this reason, applying telemedicine in their lives makes them maintain strict therapy and consult the doctor for frequent health check-ups.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of 2020, provides the appropriate advice for the purpose of implementing the use of telecommunications in the medical field.
The same that, after the global problem caused by the COVID-19, has been widely required due to the rules established to avoid a greater number of contagions.
There is no doubt that as the years go by, telemedicine will continue to prevail and will even be perfected and more in demand than it is now, forming part of most health centers in the world.
Telemedicine Before the Pandemic
To this end, we must understand that telemedicine is not a new modality of care.
It has been used unintentionally since the invention of telecommunications.
The term “telemedicine” was not coined as such until 1959, when the University of Nebraska was involved in the study of neurological examinations using telemedicine.
To date, it has represented an effective method of transmitting information from distant patients to a physician remotely.
Virtual medical care was widely recognized before 2020, but today it is part of the fundamental pillars of today’s medicine.
It manages to optimize the methods of consultations for those who need them, complementing it with the various tests requested.
And as mentioned throughout the article, providing medical services to patients affected by COVID-19.
Most people are unaware of the virtual services offered by a medical center or companies dedicated to telemedicine services.
This suggests the great impact they had once SARS-CoV-2 cases increased.
Radiology and telemedicine: a union of the present and the future
The first medical specialty associated with virtual healthcare was radiology.
This was due in large part to the need to transmit, compare and confirm medical evaluations based on radiological images taken of patients.
Primarily, in the face of findings of life-threatening abnormalities.
Since physicians have an accelerated work pace due to the large number of patients with COVID-19.
Teleradiology represents an invaluable method of providing radiological interpretations over long distances to any patient who needs to be evaluated.
Of course, teleradiology has its own advantages, the services offered represent a time-cost benefit in any healthcare facility where they are implemented.
Since the interpretation of images and the time of care are greatly shortened.
With the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) dedicated to evaluating radiological images, it is possible to identify and confirm pathologies in a matter of seconds.
As if that were not enough, the information can also be stored and easily shared between different medical areas.
In previous articles we have talked about the importance of Artificial Intelligences for the evaluation of cerebrovascular diseases and about the imaging diagnosis of breast cancer.
Both diseases require radiological studies and in turn a timely finding, which are offered through teleradiology and telemedicine.
PTM Group and case management support by COVID-19
Since its inception, Grupo PACS and Teleradiology of Mexico has worked together with the best physicians.
And the most prestigious health centers for the interpretation of imaging studies in both large hospitals and small cabinets throughout our country.
This has allowed us to put within reach of the population, even in remote places and small towns, the possibility of having accurate diagnoses.
Performed by specialists with great experience not only in the field of general radiology, but in multiple subspecialties such as:
- breast imaging
- cardio-vascular imaging
- among others.
During the current COVID-19 pandemic, Grupo PACS and Teleradiology of Mexico has been a fundamental part in patient care.
Both with suspicion of the disease and in those cases in which the disease has already manifested itself.
Since our system allows speeding up the flow of patients, decreases the time of stay in the radiological office.
It allows the fast delivery of results and serves as a support for radiologists in hospitals or radiology offices, given the heavy workload they are currently subjected to.
The PACS system, based on the cloud, allows to deliver results in times ranging from 1 to 3 hours maximum.
With the possibility of prioritizing those urgent cases that require immediate attention.
As well as storing the information in cards that the patient can keep in his pocket and the doctor can consult even using his cell phone, using any internet network.
However, our company is not only focused on imaging studies.
In our ongoing effort to provide comprehensive solutions, we have also ventured into electronic medical records.
And in the near future we will provide even more complete options for telemedicine, which we know will have a positive impact on health care for the entire population.
The constant innovation that characterizes us and our interest in improving health services for the entire population have allowed us to position ourselves as the leading telemedicine company in our country, as well as one of the most important in Latin America.
The results we provide are accurate and effective, which have established us as one of the largest telemedicine companies in Latin America.