Healthcare sector is one of the most crucial stakeholders of research and development in software industry. Apart from IoT based machines connected with smart devices, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Blockchain, and Robotic Process Automation are also enabling significant improvements in this sector. One highly rated business model is that of a telemedicine platform. Many telemedicine startups have emerged in the ongoing decade. The regulators are also developing regulatory framework for mainstreaming of telemedicine service providers. This article shares some of the most noteworthy use cases of telemedicine, the challenges posed to it and their solutions.
Notable Use Cases of Telemedicine PlatformThe introduction of telemedicine software platforms was aimed at facilitating the patients and their guardians at the places of their choice. However, more use cases started to emerge with time. Some of the most notable applications of telemedicine platform are shared below.
Remote Patient ExaminationCarrying an ailing patient to hospital for routine check-ups is one of the most debatable topics. At one end, healthcare practitioners discourage frequent traveling whereas, on the other end, they push for regular examination. Traveling causes fatigue and may exacerbate health conditions especially amongst patients with chronic diseases and those aged above 70 years. Also read: Robotic Process Automation in Healthcare Industry Telemedicine platform enables patients to access medical services without moving out of their homes. A doctor can examine patient via video call or may travel to patient’s home. The latter model, called on-demand healthcare services, is gaining incredible momentum in the industry. One does not necessarily have to be a patient or a guardian to use telemedicine apps. These apps can serve as awareness and education platforms to familiarize users about prevention, cure, and symptoms of diseases.
Intelligent PrescriptionThe research and development in big data and AI allowed innovators to capacitate software systems in automatic medicine prescription. The systems are trained on case studies from hundreds of thousands of patients so that correctly predict the disease or illness depending on the symptoms and suggest the most suitable prescription. This smart prescription model demonstrates remarkable results as the AI outsmarts human experts in disease prediction efficiency. Despite this impressive outcome, intelligent prescription for the most part is still in its testing stages. Nevertheless, regulators allow using such telemedicine software systems for prescription in situations which are considerably less likely to become life threatening.
Translation for Non-Native ResidentsA considerably large number of Americans are unable to speak English and Spanish correctly. This limitation often leads to a communication gap between healthcare practitioner and patient/guardian. Moreover, most of the clinics do not have Spanish speakers adding to the woes of 41 million native Spanish speakers who are not bilingual. Many top service providers of telemedicine software platforms ensure that their system performs real-time translation to enable seamless communication between patients and physicians. This activity is relatively easier when communication happens remotely. Earlier, analysts believed that automated translation using AI was ineffective because it often changed the context of speakers’ point. However, the advancement in natural language processing (NLP) is resulting in maturity of virtual assistants up to a remarkable degree. The NLP for telemedicine app is capable of not only translating the words but also understanding the tone and expressions to differentiate literal meanings from wit, metaphor, and sarcasm.
Medicine Delivery from Chosen PharmacyTelemedicine software platforms are not only capable of prescribing medicine but delivering them on-demand as well. A consumer can place order for the prescribed drug from the store of their choice. Top mHealth systems also inform about the store where patients can find prescribed medicine. This is particularly important in case of rarely available drugs. Some service providers use drug store suggestions as a way to earn revenue. They suggest a store in return of monetary benefits from store owners. There are medicine delivery app startups which serve as gateways between customers and pharmacies. For instance, Eaze is a startup which delivers cannabis to customers from the store of their choice. It is notable that telemedicine app should remain a single stop shop to acquire each of the services including physician on-demand, intelligent prescription, translation for comfortable communication, and medicine delivery. This ability would prevent users from using multiple software systems for healthcare. You may also choose to offer a set of these features.
Telerehab with Telemedicine SoftwareIn the contemporary highly busy routines of Americans, it is intensely challenging to spare time for mental health. Anxiety disorders alone make the most prevalent illness in the US with 18.1% population suffering from it. Anxiety and Depression Association of America reveals that these mental conditions are curable regardless of their intensity. However, only a small proportion of people seek services of psychiatrist or rehab center. The primary reason is the lack of time and excessive costs. The introduction of telemedicine app platforms is enabling patients to get treatment in the comforts of their homes. As a result, the annual number of individuals seeking rehab services is gradually increasing. Also read: Recommendation of Successful App Development Outsourcing This incline is going to take pace as the patients get aware of such platforms. Thus, entrepreneurs have a huge business opportunity which can also serve as social responsibility fulfillment cause.
Addressing the ChallengesAlthough startups and established healthcare providers are rapidly adopting telemedicine software systems, yet it is not free of challenges. Fortunately, the advancements in technologies are enabling providers to address challenges in both traditional and telemedicine based services. Following are some of the notable developments.
- Healthcare providers were reluctant to incorporate such services up to few years back because of insufficient internet and video quality. Besides, the cost and time consumed for physician to travel to patient’s site were excessively high. Nevertheless, the successful expansion of on-demand ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft enabled providers to adopt this model.
- Telemedicine is not only a startup job anymore. Tech giants are making ways into mHealth and telemedicine because these models carry potential to become one of the biggest impressions in healthcare industry. Apple Inc. is collaborating with American Well, a notable telemedicine startup, to market this model up to the extent that it requires.
- One of the top challenges posed to traditional healthcare practices was the lack of specialist physicians in remote regions. Telehealth is undoubtedly a significant alternative.