Humans are making constant advancements in the field of technology and medicine. And, it is now more important than ever that all types of doctors be aware of all such advancements. After all, doctors are the backbone of maintaining the health and wellbeing of the community as a whole. But can you also make use of technology when your patients are all the tiny tots out there?
As a pediatrician, if you too had these doubts, then here’s something that could help you out. A concept that has gained momentum in recent years, telemedicine can benefit all doctors to quite some extent. How telemedicine can benefit pediatricians in particular, is something you can figure out by reading further. Right from the basics of the concept to how you can use telemedicine, here’s some information to help you navigate your way through this modern field.
The Concept Of Telemedicine
As is suggested by the name, telemedicine is the use of technology for medical purposes. Though the concept isn’t relatively new, more and more health professionals are including telemedicine in their practice nowadays. Interestingly, teleradiology is the oldest form of telemedicine, and today there are various forms in which telemedicine is exercised.
To give you a better understanding of the concept, the World Health Organization (WHO) defines telemedicine as:
“The delivery of health-care services, where distance is a critical factor, by all health-care professionals using information and communications technologies for the exchange of valid information for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease and injuries, research and evaluation, and the continuing education of health-care workers, with the aim of advancing the health of individuals and communities.”
How Telemedicine Can Benefit Pediatricians
The most basic benefit of telemedicine for pediatricians is that it increases timely access to appropriate interventions and includes faster access to services that may not otherwise be available. But there are also a few other aspects of how telemedicine can benefit pediatricians and these include:
- There is a higher likelihood of maintaining records and documentation with telemedicine since most, if not all, are in a digitized format. As a pediatrician, you’ll not only be able to access your patients’ health records whenever needed but also have an exact record of the teleconsultation with your patient. You no longer have to stress about reaching out for your patient’s history at the last minute.
- The ease of access lets you see more patients or spend more time on each visit. You can reach out to more patients and can also schedule appointments as per your availability and convenience.
- Telemedicine also helps with infection prevention and control. It reduces the risk of the spread of infections for both, healthcare workers as well as their patients. Infants and young children are susceptible to diseases at a much higher rate. Since it’s them that mainly constitute your patients, telemedicine can help avoid the spread of infections that are higher with in-person contact.
- Telemedicine helps with better patient record management as well as appointment management. It helps you to efficiently utilize your day, leaving you with a wider reach and an enhanced practice.
How To Use Telemedicine: Modes And Applications
In general, telemedicine applications in India can be classified into four main types – according to the mode of communication, the timing of the information transmitted, the purpose of the consultation, and the interaction between the individuals involved. Video, audio, and text are the primary modes through which telemedicine is facilitated.
As a pediatrician, you can practice telemedicine through chat platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, etc., or through apps facilitating telemedicine chat-based applications such as the ImmunifyMe app. It has a telemedicine platform that boasts cutting-edge technology and provides end-to-end encryption of all doctor-patient calls. You can also access your patient’s digitized health records at any time to aid you in better diagnosis and treatment.
When To Use Telemedicine
Whether a telemedicine consultation is appropriate in a given situation or not is something for you to decide based on your professional judgment. In some cases, telemedicine might be the most suitable or the only available choice. But, you will also have to take into consideration the complexity of your patient’s health condition and if that’s the best call to take going forward.
The COVID-19 pandemic has tested doctors on all levels, but what it also gave is momentum to telehealth and telemedicine. Pediatricians can really benefit from telemedicine as it gives you adequate time to reach out to all your patients who sometimes may not be able to physically be there for consultation. Parents, too, have been able to benefit from telemedicine as they can reach out to their pediatricians whenever need be.
As a doctor, catering to all your patients’ needs is of the utmost importance to you. The telemedicine feature just facilitates that process further. However, do keep in mind that telemedicine cannot be a complete replacement for an in-person consultation, rather a combination of the two would work best to facilitate the growth and wellbeing of all.
FAQs On How Telemedicine Can Benefit Pediatricians
Who Can Practice Telemedicine In India?
A Registered Medical Practitioner (RMP) can practice telemedicine in India. All RMPs have to complete a mandatory online course prior to the practice of telemedicine. They need to uphold the same professional and ethical norms and standards as applicable to in-person care. keeping in mind the intrinsic limitations of telemedicine.
How Can I Start Telemedicine In My Practice In India?
You need to get yourself enrolled in the State Medical Register or the Indian Medical Register under the IMC Act 1956. Additionally, you must be a Registered Medical Practitioner to be able to start the practice of telemedicine in India. You will also need to pass an online course by the Board of Governors in supersession of the Medical Council of India.
How Is Telehealth Being Used In Pediatrics?
There are several pediatric telehealth programs that span a variety of cases. These include remote monitoring of patients at home and subspecialty consultations that support primary care. Telehealth in pediatrics needs to go hand in hand with in-person consultations as well. This keeps in mind the well-being of all.
What’s The Difference Between Telemedicine And Telehealth?
In simple terms, telemedicine is one aspect of telehealth that refers specifically to remote clinical services. Telehealth on the other hand refers to a much broader scope of remote health care services. Telehealth goes beyond clinical services and extends its scope to non-clinical remote services as well.