What if healthcare providers wouldn’t have to go to hospital? What if the patients don’t have to visit the hospital to get their medicines? When food can be delivered, why can’t medicines be? Telemedicine is a fascinating newly developing concept in today’s Internet-driven world. It helps in reaching out to patients in remote locations. The concept of telemedicine started with “Telecommunication technology”. Telemedicine market size is anticipated to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.2 percent to hit over $130 billion by 2025, up from $26.5 billion in 2018. What is a better way to reach people’s homes than the Internet?
What is a telemedicine software platform?
Telemedicine software is any platform that enables medical providers to diagnose or treat patients remotely using secure telecommunications tools like video chats, phone, email, etc.
Telemedicine software platform is a subset of Health IT (Health Information Technology) that uses technology to connect healthcare providers and the patients and share video and audio with them. It can also be integrated with the provider’s electronic health record and scheduling systems.
How does telemedicine software work?
A telemedicine software platform works in the following steps:
- Patients can create an online account or use a toll-free number.
- Patients can request a visit and submit basic information on their condition.
- Physician is notified about the request.
- They can either accept, decline or schedule the visit for the future.
- They attend to the patient and can prescribe them medicines.
They can also schedule a follow-up as and when required.
What are the benefits of a telemedicine software platform?
Telemedicine software platforms are beneficial for the patients as well as the providers because:
- With less people in the waiting area, a huge burden is off the administrative staff. Providers can see more patients in a day with effective video visits.
- Video follow-ups are easier to make and eliminates the barrier of transportation, improving the chances of effective treatment.
- No restriction of office hours provides flexibility to healthcare providers can see patients any time and from anywhere.
Less last-minute call-offs with video visits and with telemedicine software platforms.
What are the features of a telemedicine software platform?
- Support video conferencing with audio via the Internet: Healthcare providers can diagnose patients easily if they are able to actually see them. EHR/PM integration is necessary to remove complexity.
- Mobile app for patients: Ease of accessibility of the software for the patients.
- Eligibility Verification: Assures healthcare providers of their payment for the video visits.
- Custom Branding: Top telemedicine software solutions can brand with the look and logo and ensure patients of the quality of service they are looking for. It also ensures the healthcare provider of their branding, not the telemedicine platform’s branding.
Key factors to consider while choosing a telemedicine software platform:
The best telemedicine software platforms have the additional capabilities:
- Support for low bandwidth and slow Internet connections: Medical offices and buildings often have a slow Internet connection. Moreover, video conferencing apps make apps sluggish. Thus, a telemedicine software platform must work well under the constraints of bandwidth.
- HIPAA Compliant telemedicine software platform: Security and maintaining patient confidentiality cannot be assured by every video conferencing application. Thus, a telemedicine software platform should be chosen that is compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA).
- Built-in patient and provider support: Best telemedicine software platforms are not only easy-to-use, but can also resolve queries and doubts in real-time.
- Patient and Provider scheduling: Telemedicine software platform should not only think of the patients’ time and schedule but also consider providers’ schedule while confirming an appointment.
How to choose the best telemedicine software platform?
Best telemedicine software platforms have the following characteristics:
- High-definition audio and video
- Connected hardware
- Customizable platform with custom add-ons available
- Redundant connectivity
- Highly mobile and device-agnostic
- Remote camera control
- Easy-to-learn and use
- Cloud-based and open-source platform
How to set up a telemedicine software platform for your business?
The 5 simple steps to set up a telemedicine software platform for your business are as follows:
- Ensuring availability of equipments in correct working condition like camera, speakers etc.
- Awareness of Telemedicine laws in the country.
- Getting physicians and staff comfortable with the technology by using video meet-ups regularly to get used to the platform. Then adding up your existing clients to get better feedback.
- Trying Virtual waiting rooms – Doctors are informed of patients when they enter and can have a video visit once the doctor or physician is free.
- Setting up online workflows.
With growing number of patients, telemedicine software platform is a way to serve more patients in less time, thereby saving patients’ and providers’ time. A telemedicine platform is not only beneficial for physicians, but patients as well.