If you’re a clinician or a care provider using the telehealth platform and understand it ONLY as a telemedicine app solution enabling remote consultation with patients through video calls for urgent care. Then take a pause. Telemedicine apps have something more in store for you.
As patients' adoption of telemedicine apps continue to rise and public health emergencies soar up the scope of virtual visits through telemedicine apps has become much more comprehensive.
Now more than ever, the platform is used for a broader range of care specialties that manage serious long term illnesses. Described below are the top 10 care specialties using telemedicine apps to frequently treat chronic illnesses.
Top Ten Physicians Specialists Using Telehealth
- Family medicine
- Infectious Diseases
- Occupational Medicine
1. Uses of Telemedicine for Endocrinology
Lack of endocrinology specialists in healthcare organizations increase the waiting time amid appointments. Whereas, from the patients’ side factors like inadequate transportation, busy schedules, and missed appointments extends the care gaps furthermore. Resulting in poor patient outcomes.
Telemedicine apps for endocrinology help endocrinologist in:
- Online consultation reduces the long wait times for patients and providers.
- Online appointment scheduling enables physicians to review the patient’s case history with lab reports before making a virtual visit with the patient. This makes the visit seamless and smooth.
- Continuity of care has become easy for patients living outside healthcare settings.
- Telemedicine is also used in medication management like asthma, allergies, and behavioral conditions.
2. Uses of Telemedicine for Rheumatology
Telemedicine is being successfully used in the evaluation and management of rheumatic diseases in a region with limited access to rheumatologic care. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has encouraged rheumatologists to adopt telemedicine to limit the in-clinic visits. Let’s see how it has and can help patients and providers :
- Symptoms like arthritis and others require day to day care. Telemedicine enables well-managed care by routine checkups.
- Routine visits by telemedicine helps in the assessment of critical situations like side effects of medicines, patients' concerns or queries, measuring disease activity, and progression.
3. Uses of Telemedicine for Family Medicine
Telemedicine helps in covering various primary care services required by families on a day-to-day basis. The various family medicine tenants include comprehensive care, contextual care, continuity of care, access to care, and care coordination. Let’s understand its applications closely.
- In non-urgent care visits to cure daily lifestyle diseases like hair loss, skincare, weight issues, and more.
- Minor urgent care visits to cure a cold and flu, fever, diarrhea, vomiting, etc.
- For chronic disease management using remote patient monitoring.
- Evaluation of patients’ totality of health needs.
- In maintaining close looped communication with patients which results in increased patient satisfaction.
4. Uses of Telemedicine for Gastroenterology
Telemedicine apps have increased the outreach of patients with gastrointestinal and liver diseases, inflammatory and bowel diseases, headaches and more and decreased the need for hospitalization. Proactive and close follow-ups during the initial stages help in managing chronic illnesses at their earlier stages and decrease the chances of hospital readmissions. Here are more use cases:
- Telehealth is used In monitoring and managing complex medication
- Online support for compliance or side effects
- Quick video consultations allow for frequent patient check-ups and online diet counseling
- Treatment of patients suffering from chronic pancreatitis by managing enzyme supplements
5. Uses of Telemedicine for Nephrology
Telemedicine had significant potential to extend nephrology consultation to rural and isolated areas. But now after the pandemic, it is extensively used for:
- Tele-nephrology clinic & pre-dialysis care
- Kidney transplant care delivery like timely follow up of renal transplant recipients
- Allows clinicians to seek consultations from pathologists globally
- In curing highly communicable diseases e.g. HIV, malaria, and other diarrheal diseases
6. Uses of Telemedicine App for Cardiology
Also known as telecardiology, the tools that support virtual care and diagnosis benefits patients with heart diseases seeking to achieve a real-time and remote diagnosis. Few common use cases of telemedicine apps in cardiology include:
- Quicker treatment in cardiac emergencies
- Providing care to improve cardiovascular health after a heart attack
- Removes the barriers of transportation to and from rehab appointments
- Cardiac rehab can be completed from any location
- Cardiologists can easily keep track of patients
7. Uses of Telemedicine App for Infectious Diseases
Telemedicine holds immense potential in addressing the needs of patients with acute infectious diseases such as COVID-19, HIV, HCV, and tuberculosis. Telehealth apps bridge the gap between patients and providers enabling them to deliver care safely without getting exposed to virus/infection. Here are some of the crucial applications and uses where telemedicine is acting as a great platform for curing infectious diseases:
- For primary care and chronic condition management.
- For urgent care needs including coughs and colds, allergies, yeast infections, migraines.
- Doctors can use telehealth appointments to prescreen patients for possible infectious disease.
- For follow-up care of uncomplicated diseases and benign conditions.
8. Uses of Telemedicine for Neurology
In neurology, telemedicine represents the best, efficient way to manage emergencies such as status epilepticus. As epilepsies are difficult to diagnose and they require communication between different hospitals and physicians, telemedicine platforms have a great potential in bridging this communication gap. Besides Epilepsy, other areas in neurology where telemedicine poses a big role are neuropathy, Parkinson's disease, and multiple sclerosis. The benefits of telemedicine for Neurologists are:
- Early diagnosis and timely treatment helps in controlling the attack and improving the prognosis
- For managing status epilepticus, stroke, and subspecialties such as movement disorders and neurophysiology
- Telehealth’s audiovisual communication helps In providing fulltime response to acute stroke patients
- For providing outpatient consultation to neurological patients
9. Uses of Telemedicine for Dermatology
Teledermatology has proved to be a reliable consultation tool in dermatology treatment. Applications of teledermatology range in different areas of health care management such as consultation, diagnoses, treatment, and education. The common areas where teledermatology can be applied are:
- Teledermoscopy : Easy reception of digital dermoscopic lesion images through electronic transmission for their examination.
- Teledermatopathology : Transmission of dermapathologic images through the store and forward telemedicine.
- Dermapathology : This process can help in secured transmission of critical medical data, clinical and dermoscopic images to a pathologist.
10. Uses of Telemedicine In Occupational Medicine
Telemedicine helps to provide quick access to prompt healthcare, timely return to employment, and better outcomes for injured workers and their employers. In certain situations where workers have limited medical care, telemedicine services can help in eliminating patient travel, related expenses, and missed time from work. The use cases of telemedicine in Occupational Medicine includes:
- Virtual face-to-face interactions
- Remote measurement of vital signs
- Prescription of drugs reviews
- Notifying injured patients about drugs and doses
Telemedicine in 2020
As per a report published by Doximity, “Clinicians that manage chronic illnesses, such as endocrinology and rheumatology are among the top users of telehealth in 2020”.
Furthermore, the effect of the pandemic has made the reliance on telemedicine app even stronger.
Doctors in different specialties who operated on conventional methods of delivering care like in clinical walls got literally compelled to rethink on how they should make appointments.
Results? Physicians reporting ‘Telemedicine as a skill nearly doubled in 2019-2020.’
And when Doximity explored the adoption rate of telemedicine among U.S physicians, the results were startling.
Older Physicians in the age range of the 40s and 50s are using telemedicine more than the younger ones.
In a Nutshell
The potential of telemedicine has a huge scope in different care specialties. Not only restricted to delivering urgent care but also in diagnosing and treating patients with different conditions as discussed above.
Recognize its significance today. Audit how it can aid to deliver care in your specialty services.