Telehealth can be a convenient way for older adults to get healthcare as it is done virtually. This reduces the need to travel to and from medical centers, especially when you have issues with mobility. In this article, we will discuss what telehealth is, how it can benefit, and how it can fit into your overall healthcare plan.
What Is Telehealth?
Telehealth is the delivery and administration of health services virtually through remote technology. This means that the patient does need to be in the same place as the healthcare provider. Most of the time, they can receive healthcare services from the comfort of their own home. However, telehealth only applies when the patient doesn’t need to visit a medical provider. For more serious conditions, it is still advisable to visit the medical provider. Routine check-ups and annual physical examinations are also best done in person. Telehealth is not meant to replace these in-person services but as a complement to a personalized healthcare plan or as part of a 24/7 care service for those who need extra care.
Types of technology used to facilitate telehealth include:
- Video conferences through applications such as Zoom and Google Meet
- Phone calls
- Use of an online portal or dedicated phone application
- Digital photography
- Remote patient monitoring (RPM) through devices such as wearables and other electronic monitoring devices
What Services Does Telehealth Offer?
There are many ways telehealth can facilitate senior healthcare. Some examples include:
- Consultation with a physician through video calls
- Regular check-ins with healthcare providers through online portals
- Text reminders for medical appointments
- Online health portal or app to check test results
- Watching educational health videos
- Access of health information and education through applications
- Use of applications and devices to track health indicators such as weight, blood pressure, and glucose levels
- Sharing of health data with healthcare providers so they can be alerted and take action if there is a problem
Why Should You Try Telehealth?
Apart from health benefits that can be derived from receiving services through telehealth, telehealth also offers many benefits that can improve the lives of your loved ones:
- It is convenient: This is especially beneficial for older adults who have a more challenging time moving and getting around. Instead of having to make multiple trips to the medical centers or pharmacies, they can opt to refill their prescription online or schedule a video call with their doctor to update their condition.
- It is quicker and easier to access: This is also a plus point for older adults as they may sometimes need easy and quick access to health information or medicine. Instead of having to wait days or even weeks to schedule a visit with the doctor to get their expert advice, they can make use of calls or online consultations to receive the information they need. Medicine can also be prescribed and delivered right to their doorstep with delivery services.
- Saves time and money: Not having to spend time traveling and money on transportation costs can be a huge boon as the time and money can be spent on more meaningful things.
- Increases self-awareness and empowerment: With constant monitoring of health through wearables and applications, older adults can now have real-time feedback on their symptoms and condition. This allows them to be better aware of their body and empowers them to make better-informed choices.
- Ease of data sharing: With the ease of data sharing through monitoring devices, healthcare providers can easily get patient data and take swift action when a problem occurs. This reduces the risk of conditions worsening as treatment can be administered quicker.
To sum up, telehealth can be a great part of a comprehensive healthcare plan for older adults.