Telemedicine is an advancement in the medical field with the involvement of technology. As it seems to be the future of the healthcare system, every country has started adopting it. The credit of slowly moving into telemedicine can be given to COVID-19. Every country across the world has adopted telemedicine in its own way. From accepting an e-certificate for sick leave to getting a virtual appointment, we are growing.
We have always talked about how effective telemedicine is. Along with being beneficial, how time-saving it can be. We know all the pros of adopting telemedicine, which is all true but never focused on the success rate of telemedicine. Its success totally depends on the availability of resources and knowledge of technology. Countries that started practicing telemedicine before COVID-19 are in a better position now. Because they know how to tackle the barriers.
Now, coming to the barriers, telemedicine is not something that can be set up overnight. It is important that both medical staff and patients are comfortable with it. Some of the common barriers that are encountered are lack of technology, infrastructure, digital literacy among patients and providers, interoperability, and connectivity issues. It is tough to overcome all these issues in a short span of time. But as it was the need of the situation, some countries made it possible and are still working on the enhancement of medical technologies. While there also exists some countries that are still not familiar with telemedicine or if familiar then do not have enough resources to implement it.
China, India, Bangladesh, Singapore, and many more Asian countries are at the entry-level now. They are encouraging inventions and trying hard to implement telemedicine. However, the gap between rural-urban should reduce to grasp telemedicine nationwide effectively.
Africa, New Zealand, Australia, and Canada are in the invention stage of telemedicine progress. USA, South Korea are a frontrunner in telemedicine invention. They started the practice before the arrival of coronavirus hence they are now doing better in this field.
Telemedicine has many advantages, one of them is that there is no distance barrier. A person sitting in London can connect with the medical professional of New York.
Aims of telemedicine
The use of AI in telemedicine technology has made the process more helpful. It handles appointment requests, accepts payment, data privacy, and manages other systems. The aim of telemedicine is to achieve following framework:
- Improved treatment
- Quality healthcare system
- Access to the professional
- Improved health system
- Health care resource allocation
- Quality standards
Countries implementing telemedicine should be able to achieve this framework. Hence, for developing countries, fast implementation with all these targets can be laborious. In this case, countries can take joint initiatives. MNC can involve the government to have these systems available.
Telemedicine can be exciting but there are some questions that yet require answers. Various countries adopted existing telemedicine frameworks during the outbreak of COVID-19. Research is still going on for examining the current state of telemedicine across the world and for its uptake and implementation. Despite all the barriers and difficulties, a positive role of telemedicine has been observed across the globe in improving the healthcare system.