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Telemedicine- Yay or Nay?
Telemedicine, or as it is commonly called, e-medicine, is the newest trend in the pandemic-era world. Not being able to go out and consult a doctor physically, has made people turn to consulting them online.
Earlier, with there being less awareness in the market, there were very less people who opted for telemedicine. In fact, there was a time when telemedicine was looked at as a negligible aspect of media in the field of medicine.
However, now with the circumstances changing, and people becoming increasingly aware about what is and what telemedicine will be like, there is an exponential rise in the amount of players entering the market.
How is telemedicine helpful, you ask?
For starters, it negates the need for a patient to physically travel to a hospital or a clinic to make an appointment or consult with his or her doctor. It is both less time-consuming, and cost-effective as compared to a normal doctor visit. Regular issues can now be solved with the help of a smartphone, and a data connection, at most.
In the era of COVID and lockdowns, where safety rules have been imposed on even the most minute of activities, telemedicine plays a very important role in maintaining safety, yet providing essential healthcare services to those who need it. Telemedicine can help people in the remotest corners of the world if accessed well, and can transcend borders when required. Over the past few years, it has helped countless doctors treat illnesses and provide healthcare to tribal communities in areas which have been so cut off from the real world, that most of the time they fail to exist on maps. Instances where children suffering from mysterious illnesses which turned out to be common in the metropolitan world being treated with the use of telemedicine have been doing the rounds since 2018. With the emergence of giants like DocOnline and Televital, access has not only become easy, but also extremely affordable, owing to their constant discounts, offers, and vouchers. These tricks not only increase the industry’s revenue, but also bring in recurring users for the same.
Unfortunately, an industry of that size and revenue does have its downside. For starters, all of telemedicine’s revenue is from illnesses and diseases that are not life-threatening. There is still a large chunk of R&D being out into how telemedicine can be used to consult and diagnose chronic diseases and illnesses.
Further, there is an issue with not having physical contact for doctor consultation, and that can often lead to a mis-diagnosis, which is almost always a hazard in the long run. There have been instances where a heart ailment was misdiagnosed as acidity and gastric trouble over a video consultation, which later led to a cardiac arrest with heavy repercussions. Doctors themselves stray away from telemedicine, especially when it is a specific illness which does not fall under the purview of the “general illness” category.
That being said, telemedicine is a giant industry to watch out for. Bordering on a revenue of 25 Billion USD currently, it is a booming industry, with bigger and bigger names popping up in the near future. From a purely marketing point of view, the field of telemedicine is the solution we have all been looking for, especially with the post-2020 world scenario. Contactless, touchless and 24x7 consultation, affordable services, emergency services and the best thing today- the absolute lack of need to sit and bat mosquitoes in a clinic’s waiting rooms.
Necessary? Evil? A necessary evil? Only time will tell.