During the peak of COVID-19, when most businesses and services switched to an online mode of providing services out of precaution, there was one high-risk profession where it didn’t seem possible to do things remotely: the healthcare sector. This put doctors treating COVID-19 patients at significant risk.
How else could doctors have protected themselves and minimized contact with the infected person? They used the available telecommunications technology to monitor their patients from a distance. This approach, known as telemedicine, has been in use for a while, but it didn’t gain mainstream traction until the pandemic.
The collaboration of engineering and medicine was frequent during the pandemic. From cheap ventilators for COVID patients to telemedicine, technology helped the healthcare sector provide quality treatment to the sick.
One particular development has gained traction in the past few years: the amalgamation of information systems engineering and medicine, resulting in the development of telemedicine. Below, we explain what telemedicine is and what tech enables it to work.
Telemedicine and the Internet of Things
The concept of telemedicine is closely related to the idea of an Internet of Things (IoT). The Internet of Things refers to a connection of material things over the internet that enables them to exchange data. An IoT-dominant world has most of our physical objects, from cars to kitchen appliances, connected to and share their data on the internet.
You need an IoT system to develop a telemedicine approach in the healthcare sector. This can include an internet-connected vital signs monitor that remotely shares the patient’s vital signs over the internet with their doctors. In this way, the doctors do not need to be physically present to monitor their patients.
The development of IoT-powered hospital machines requires safe and secure information systems. It requires the expertise of information systems engineers to develop cyber-secure software. You can also use the expertise of an IoT consultant for custom IoT solutions.
The Use of Information Systems in Diagnosis
Telemedicine can be used to give the patient a diagnosis. A physician can provide a diagnosis using two main strategies. Mobile Telemedicine System or MTS involves gathering data from different instruments and transferring it to the healthcare provider using 3G or 4G networks. The other strategy is to use machine learning to make a diagnosis. Approaches such as the deep neural network can diagnose several disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease.
Why Telemedicine Is The Future of Healthcare
Telemedicine offers various benefits and has a bright future in healthcare. Some of its advantages include:
Seeing your doctor online through a video-conferencing app is far more convenient. Advances in telemedicine ensure that virtual doctor’s appointments are just as effective as going to the clinic in person. With IoT-enabled gadgets, your doctor can get all the required information about your health without you having to leave your house. Telemedicine is also more comfortable for the elderly and the disabled, who cannot visit a doctor often.
Using telemedicine to provide care for patients during the pandemic reduced the chances of physicians getting infected by COVID-19. This benefit makes telemedicine an auspicious approach for the health management of individuals with contagious diseases. With fewer people having to leave their homes when they are sick with an infectious disease, the exposure of other people to germs lessens, and the overall public health improves.
3. Chronic Condition Management
Telemedicine is particularly convenient for managing chronic diseases such as diabetes or hypertension. Individuals with these ailments have to visit their physician very frequently. Physically going to the doctor is too much of a hassle when the doctor can easily do their check-up remotely.
Interdisciplinary research in the use of engineering techniques to facilitate healthcare makes medical services convenient, cost-effective, and safer for people. Consider phasing out the traditional practices and making way for engineering-supported healthcare approaches such as telemedicine in your hospital. Consult with an IoT expert and slowly bring in telemedicine services to have your clinic provide the healthcare of the future. With the support of IoT, telemedicine has bright prospects ahead indeed.