Since the pandemic struck the world, more and more have opted to avail of online medical services and telemedicine consultation. This is because many of us still have COVID scare, and we’re required to practice proper social measures to avoid the spread of the virus.
While this is not the first time for us to use telemedicine, this innovation has become one of the most go-to “new normal” options nowadays. With that, let’s know more about the status and progress of telemedicine in the Philippines.
Importance of Telemedicine
Before anything else, what is telemedicine? It is the practice of remote caring for patients when the provider and patient are not physically present with each other.
Now, one of the main goals of telemedicine is to provide primary care services to patients and give them quicker and more efficient access to medical consultation. During the lockdown and enhanced community quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic, telemedicine services were greatly helpful.
Since movements during these times were limited as clinics and outpatient departments were temporarily closed, the only safe way to communicate with patients was through telemedicine. However, many patients were still reluctant to personally go to hospitals or clinics due to the COVID scare even after the quarantine restrictions were eased. As much as possible, they would rather consult with healthcare professionals online most especially if their case doesn’t require in-person visits.
Although telemedicine offers promising advantages, it still has its limitations and potential risks. These include the following:
- Lack of interaction between the physician and patient, which can lead to incorrect or inaccurate judgment on the patients’ conditions
- Patients being unable to properly describe what they feel or even lie their way to get a medical certificate
Another importance of telemedicine in the Philippines is providing access to more competent medical service providers. Since not all cities have facilities catering to a wide range of cases, telemedicine makes it possible for patient referral systems. Hospitals or clinics can recommend other health care providers that are specializing in more serious cases that only they are capable of addressing.
Telemedicine is not limited to consultations over the phone. In the age of social media, mobile apps and websites are also the usual go-to’s for services. That said, healthcare providers have taken advantage of this and extended their services online to sustain their business and reach more patients easily.
Some of the common services include:
- Teleconsultation services
- Mental health counseling
- Dental consultation
- E-health patient monitoring
- Transmission of image medical reports
Lastly, it’s important for you to keep in mind that telemedicine in the Philippines will not replace traditional checkups. Instead, they will just enhance them. Again, most doctors still recommend and encourage patients to personally see them for proper monitoring and medical advice.
Kickstart Your Telemedicine Career!
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