Sign in

Types of Telemedicine in Healthcare

Kanishka Narola
Types of Telemedicine in Healthcare

Telemedicine offers the potential for individuals to receive medical advice, prescriptions, and consultations with physicians from the comfort of their own residences. An area of study that is undergoing a significant transformation in the way we obtain medical attention. No longer limited to particular demographics, it has become an integral component of the expanding domain of healthcare software development.

Telemedicine was historically regarded as a specialized service, catering predominantly to patients residing in rural areas or grappling with chronic ailments. The COVID-19 pandemic, on the other hand, has popularized telemedicine, as both providers and patients have recognized its numerous advantages.

In the past year, 37.0% of adults in the United States utilized telemedicine. This figure signifies a substantial surge compared to the levels observed prior to the pandemic, when the utilization of telemedicine was below 5%.

The aforementioned significant increase underscores the enormous capacity of telemedicine to augment patient care, streamline operations, and broaden the reach of healthcare.

Not enough? Hold on.

The statistics speak for themselves when they say that telemedicine has had an extraordinary impact and has a bright future.

Who Uses Telemedicine and Why?

  • 80% of consumers have used telemedicine at least once.
  • 76% of people over the age of 55 have used telemedicine.
  • 74% of millennials prefer telehealth visits to in-person doctor exams.
  • 73% of people who live in rural areas use telemedicine.
  • 98% of transgender patients say they have used telemedicine.
  • Patients prefer to use telemedicine for prescription management (61%) and to receive care for minor illnesses (51%)
  • Veterans Affairs has administered over 2.29 million telemedicine interactions to over 782,000 veterans.
  • 96% of telepsychiatry patients are satisfied with virtual mental healthcare.

Now that you know the basics behind the telemedicine industry and its potential benefits for patients as well as healthcare providers, let’s move on to a common question, “what are the different types of telemedicine?

Different Types of Telemedicine

1. Synchronous Telemedicine 

Real-life Example: Amwell, Teladoc Health

This particular form of telemedicine service facilitates video conferencing in real-time between patients and healthcare professionals. This facilitates in-person exchanges, which contribute to more precise diagnoses, treatment suggestions, and emotional assistance. 

Synchronous telemedicine is ideally adapted for mental health counseling, chronic disease management, and urgent care.

The Benefits of Synchronous Telemedicine

Broadened Patient Access

Telemedicine applications that operate in real-time overcome geographical limitations, enabling healthcare professionals to connect with individuals in distant or underserved areas. This enhanced accessibility has the potential to greatly enhance patient results and alleviate healthcare disparities.

Enhanced Communication Between Patients and Providers

Real-time telemedicine enables immediate face-to-face interactions between healthcare providers and patients, fostering trust, fortifying the patient-provider relationship, and elevating overall patient contentment.

Heightened Diagnostic Precision

With synchronous telemedicine, healthcare professionals can perform virtual physical examinations, analyze medical images, and evaluate patient symptoms in real-time. This instantaneous assessment may result in more precise diagnoses and prompt treatment.

Diminished Treatment Delays

Immediate consultations and treatment recommendations offered through telemedicine eliminate the necessity for patients to endure prolonged waits for in-person appointments. This reduction in waiting time can significantly enhance treatment outcomes and patient well-being.

Improved Coordination of Care

Synchronous telemedicine facilitates seamless collaboration among healthcare providers, enabling them to consult with specialists, share patient information, and synchronize care plans in real-time. This enhanced coordination of care holds the potential for better treatment outcomes, decreased healthcare expenses, and heightened patient satisfaction.

2. Asynchronous Telemedicine

Real Life Example: MyChart, Epic Systems

The asynchronous approach, alternatively referred to as store-and-forward telemedicine, facilitates the exchange of patient data, the evaluation of test results, and the provision of continuous guidance—all while eliminating the necessity for real-time interaction. Asynchronous telemedicine is among the most versatile types of telemedicine services due to their inherent adaptability.

Asynchronous telemedicine is optimal for prescription renewals, follow-up appointments, and general medical advice. Additionally, they have the capacity to deliver remote counseling services, mental health assistance, and health education encompassing a wide range of subjects.

The Benefits of Asynchronous Telemedicine 

Improved Patient Convenience

Imagine the convenience of healthcare services free from the hassles of appointment scheduling, travel coordination, and paperwork management. Asynchronous telemedicine makes this a reality, offering numerous advantages for entrepreneurs, private practitioners, healthcare systems, and medical organizations.

Patients can interact with their healthcare providers at their own convenience, receiving care from the comfort of their homes or any location with internet access. This flexibility not only boosts patient satisfaction but also encourages adherence to treatment plans, resulting in improved health outcomes.

Simplified Processes and Cost Savings

Effortlessly streamline administrative tasks and cut overhead costs. By eliminating the necessity for in-person appointments, healthcare providers can redirect more time and resources to delivering direct patient care. This efficiency leads to enhanced operational performance and financial savings.

Diversified Revenue Opportunities

These applications open up new revenue streams for healthcare organizations. By broadening their patient base, healthcare providers can offer virtual consultations, follow-up care, and remote monitoring services, diversifying their sources of income and strengthening financial stability.

Enhanced Accessibility for Chronic Conditions

For individuals dealing with chronic conditions, asynchronous telemedicine proves invaluable. These applications assist patients in monitoring their health, sharing data with healthcare providers, and promptly receiving appropriate treatment, facilitating effective disease management and reducing healthcare costs.

Seamless Access to Specialized Care

In regions with limited access to specialized care, asynchronous telemedicine acts as a link to expert consultations. Patients can remotely connect with specialists, eliminating geographical barriers and ensuring access to quality care regardless of their location.

3. Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM)

Real-life Example: Livongo Health, Upright Health

RPM facilitates the remote monitoring of patients' health data and vital signs by medical professionals. This enables prompt identification of prospective health concerns, timely implementation of interventions, and enhanced patient results. When it comes to the management of chronic conditions like hypertension, diabetes, and heart failure, RPM applications are especially useful.

The Benefits of Remote Patient Monitoring

Timely Identification of Health Concerns

Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) allows healthcare professionals to remotely track vital signs and health data, enabling the early identification of potential health issues. This proactive approach facilitates prompt interventions, ultimately leading to enhanced patient outcomes.

Mitigation of Hospital Readmissions

The implementation of telemedicine through RPM plays a crucial role in identifying high-risk patients, allowing for timely interventions to prevent hospitalizations. This not only improves patient care but also results in significant cost savings for healthcare providers by reducing hospital readmissions.

Optimized Management of Chronic Diseases

RPM proves particularly advantageous in the management of chronic conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and heart failure. Real-time health data empowers healthcare providers to adapt treatment plans promptly, taking proactive steps to enhance disease management and overall patient well-being.

Empowered Patient Engagement and Self-Care

RPM fosters patient engagement and self-care by offering real-time feedback on health status. This empowerment enables patients to make informed decisions about their treatment, leading to increased adherence to treatment plans and ultimately contributing to improved overall health outcomes.

Diversified Revenue Streams

The integration of telemedicine, specifically RPM, creates new avenues for revenue generation. By providing remote monitoring services and follow-up care, healthcare organizations can broaden their service offerings, reach a larger patient base, and strengthen their financial position.

4. mHealth Telemedicine 

Real-life Example: MyFitnessPal, Headspace

Telemedicine for mental health offers individuals a secure and practical medium through which to obtain mental health services. A variety of features are provided by these applications, such as self-evaluation instruments, virtual support groups, and virtual therapy sessions. Applications for mental health telemedicine can enhance treatment outcomes and help close the gap in access to mental health care.

The Benefits of mHealth Telemedicine

Expanding Reach and Diversifying Services

Mobile health (mHealth) telemedicine enables healthcare providers to overcome geographical barriers, extending their services to underserved or remote areas. This technology offers access to specialized healthcare services that might be lacking in local communities.

Enhancing Patient Engagement and Treatment Adherence

mHealth telemedicine plays a crucial role in boosting patient engagement and promoting adherence to treatment plans. It provides a convenient and accessible platform for receiving care, including virtual follow-up visits, reminders, and remote monitoring services.

Reducing Overhead Costs and Increasing Revenue Streams

Streamlining operations and cutting overhead costs, mHealth telemedicine eliminates the need for physical office space and staff dedicated to in-person consultations. Moreover, it opens up new revenue streams through virtual consultations, follow-up care, and remote monitoring services.

Improving Care Coordination and Collaboration

Facilitating real-time communication, mHealth telemedicine fosters collaboration among healthcare providers. This allows for the seamless sharing of patient information, coordinated care plans, and well-informed treatment decisions.

Enhancing Patient Satisfaction and Convenience

Offering a comfortable and convenient alternative to traditional in-person care, mHealth telemedicine significantly improves patient satisfaction. By enabling patients to access care from their homes or on the go, it reduces the burden of travel time and waiting rooms, enhancing the overall healthcare experience.

Types of Telemedicine: Which One Fits Your Practice?

It is essential for practitioners and those interested in telemedicine application development to have a comprehensive comprehension of the different types of telemedicine. Before attempting to incorporate these technologies into your practice, be aware that each variety offers distinct advantages and uses.

By customizing the selection of telemedicine to align with the unique requirements of a medical practice, it is possible to optimize healthcare delivery, enhance patient care, and increase accessibility.

Source: Types of Telemedicine 

Kanishka Narola
Zupyak is the world’s largest content marketing community, with over 400 000 members and 3 million articles. Explore and get your content discovered.
Read more