A study of the ongoing market trends states that the market size of telemedicine in India in the year 2021 will grow by 72% in comparison to 2019. In recent years, teleconsultation in healthcare or, in other words, medical consultation via digital mediums saw a higher acceptance rate. Digitalization and greater health awareness can be considered key contributors to the growth.
While teleconsultation services are transforming the healthcare sector, like everything else, it too has its limitations. Here are some barriers of teleconsultation.
- Dependence on infrastructure – Medicare teleconsultation requires a host of hardware and software to connect patients with doctors. Especially, patients residing in rural areas do not have the basic infrastructure for virtually connecting with medical practitioners.
- Restricted to primary care – The treatment and diagnosis by teleconsultation are limited. Through teleconsultation, life-saving care and quick diagnostic tests are not possible.
- Reliance on given information – A doctor has to rely only on the provided information. Missing to share an important symptom by the patient will result in making a wrong assessment.
Despite its limitations, more and more people are turning to medical teleconsultation. It is because the benefits of teleconsultation in healthcare outweigh the constraints. In the wake of the current pandemic, medical teleconsultation and e-pharmacy, once a luxury, have become a downright necessity. The importance of teleconsultation in the healthcare segment is already proven. Here are some reasons substantiating the claim that medcare teleconsultation in healthcare is here to stay.
How is Teleconsultation in Healthcare Sector a Long Term Investment?
No geographical barrier
Teleconsultation is bridging the physical distance between a doctor and the patient. Patients can reach a medical specialist from any part of the World. Time spent on travel to a hospital or a clinic has been cut short with the advent of medical teleconsultation.
Now, patients can receive different types of doctor teleconsultation from the comfort of their homes. They do not have to wait in line. All they have to do is log in from home at the scheduled time. Different types of doctor teleconsultation have made it even more convenient for patients. There are three types of teleconsultation:
Both parties simultaneously interact in live teleconsultation. This method is beneficial when immediate medical consultation is required.
Patients with chronic health issues require constant attention. Modern technology allows a medical practitioner to monitor the patient from afar. Owing to remote monitoring, the patient can stay at home and still be under observation for the earliest signs of trouble.
Medical teleconsultation platforms have enabled patients to upload their medical data such as test reports, vitals, digital imaging online for inspection by the doctor. The doctor and the patient need not be online at the same time. Also, a doctor’s appointment is not necessary.
Teleconsultation in healthcare has stepped into the spotlight during the COVID-19 pandemic. It has emerged as a sustainable alternative to in-person health care. Doctor teleconsultation is a safe way of treating home quarantined COVID patients without putting the doctor at risk.
The inclusion of technology in treating patients has further reduced the cost of treatment. Less human intervention and no additional expenses like rent, fuel brings down the cost of the overall treatment. Thus, patients can avail themselves of the same quality of service through teleconsultation at a comparatively lesser price.
Balancing patient to doctor ratio
In underdeveloped and developing nations, the patient to doctor ratio is disproportionate. Teleconsultation makes it possible for doctors to reach a sizable number of patients from rural communities. Teleconsultation can go a long way in disburdening poorly-equipped hospitals in rural areas of attending to critical patients.
Since the onset of the COVID pandemic, there has been a surge in the usage of medical teleconsultation as people sought safe access to healthcare. But, what is the future of teleconsultation? Will medical teleconsultation still be a thing post-pandemic?
Given the fact that medical teleconsultation has helped the healthcare segment evolve, it definitely will. The reason is the same as why people gradually shifted from pen drives to cloud storage. When a better service is available at less cost, topped with attractive perks, no one will return to old ways of doing things.
Realizing the potential of medical teleconsultation, the Government of India recently issued telemedicine guidelines. This step has given a much-needed impetus to the teleconsultation services in the country. Even in other countries, the growth in consumption of medical teleconsultation was significant. According to consumer research conducted by Mckinsey, investments in the segment have skyrocketed because consumers view teleconsultation as a modality for their future health needs. These findings confirm that teleconsultation is the way ahead in the healthcare sector.
Doctor Teleconsultation from Onsurity
Offering doctor teleconsultations as part of your employee healthcare plans is a great idea for companies. Not only will it help your company stand out to job seekers, but also act as a great retention tool for existing employees. Telemedicine services should be a key part of your employee healthcare benefits, especially with COVID-19 still around.
As a startup or SME, it can be easy to think “how can I afford to do so?” That’s why Onsurity is here. Our health benefits for startups and SMEs offer doctor teleconsultations, along with discounted health check-ups and medicine delivery, fitness tracking and more.