The Future of Healthcare How Telemedicine Challenges the Health Care Status Quo

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There has been an increasing amount of attention devoted towards the medical field with many questioning whether or not the quality of American health care can meet a standard of expectations. Just recently urgent care facilities have challenged emergency rooms, providing a high level of care at a decreased price. Likewise, these ripples have extended towards other areas of the medical field, urging professionals and patients alike to search even harder for alternative ways to receive quality health care in a way that places patients first.

The Rising Cost of Health Care

Although the Affordable Care Act helps millions of people across the country find affordable health care options, there are gaps in coverage that neglect to include dental and other health care sectors that are not deemed as necessary. Furthermore there is the issue of a privatized health care system: the internet has provided disgruntled patients with a platform to unveil the inflated costs of health care in the United States. A quick internet search will reveal medical bills where patients are charged for using tissues and blood pressure cuffs — there are some that show that a single aspirin came with a nearly $25 bill. Naturally, a growing number of Americans are mistrustful of the current system and may seek to find an alternative to traditional health care.

The Problem With Traditional Doctor’s Visits

Aside from the potential costs that many patients seek to avoid, there are a number of issues that patients find with traditional doctor’s visits. One of the most abundant is the lack of availability as many doctors offices are only open during the day when many patients have to work. Physically arranging transportation may be difficult for a number of patients — let’s face it, the internet has unintentionally produced a society of individuals used to faster, more convenient products and services. This social shift means that even medical providers are finding ways to make it easier and more convenient for patients across the country to receive personal consultations at their convenience through telemedicine.

Telemedicine: The Future of Medicine

Telemedicine was first introduced a few decades ago and has since developed into one of the most popular alternatives for professional medical consultations. Up to 67% of health care professionals are using some form of telemedicine, many of which are specialists who wish to offer their expertise to individuals across the globe. Telemedicine itself once referred to telephone consultations, but with webcams many doctors can set up a one-on-one consultation with a patient, allowing the doctor to perform a diagnosis and advise the patient on the proper course of treatment. Teledermatology is perhaps one of the most successful forms of telemedicine, as dermatologist specialists are able to give patients prescriptions, advice, and other forms of treatment without the need for the patient to even leave the house — this convenience is irreplaceable for those suffering from an embarrassing skin condition. By 2018 it is estimated that telemedicine services will increase from 2013’s numbers of 350,000 to roughly 7 million. In addition to the added convenience, telemedicine can be significantly cheaper with the average consultation costing around $45; half of what it a typical doctor’s visit costs. For those looking to join the health care revolution by finding an answer to lackluster health care, consider looking into telemedicine for a modern alternative that place’s the patient as the priority.

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