Rapid developments in the field of technology have found their way into all aspects of life as we know it. From electric cars to smart watches to pacemakers, advances in technology have been utilized to enhance life by improving the quality of certain conditions and ameliorating many prior difficulties. Of course, in the medical field, technology has grown to play an integral role in providing high quality healthcare. The field of biotechnology has experienced growth in recent years that reflects its success and importance in the medical field.
Perhaps one of the most overlooked roles of technology in the healthcare system -- that is, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic -- is telehealth. Telehealth, also known as telemedicine, is another manner in which individuals can receive healthcare without physically meeting with a physician. Whether the meeting takes place via video chat, phone call, messaging, or data collected from a device worn by the patient, doctors are able to provide diagnosis and methods of treatment in a timely manner. Of course there are some limitations to telehealth, as you may still need to go to a clinic to receive certain tests and imaging, but the various benefits make telehealth an increasingly attractive option! Not only does utilizing telemedicine eliminate the need to allocate time to travel to a doctor’s office but it also allows individuals to receive care perhaps much more quickly than they otherwise would if they had to schedule an in-person appointment. Additionally, those who are ill, potentially contagious, and struggling to move about can limit their movement and contact with others by utilizing telehealth calls. Telehealth also has the potential to provide access to underserved regions that may not have access to a clinic in the region, as there are no physical limits to where a patient may be located when using telehealth.
While telehealth has existed long before the COVID-19 pandemic, it is without question that the need to socially distance led to an exponential increase in the use of telemedicine nationwide. As health became an even more prominent topic in every household, healthcare providers were able to continue to safely provide care to patients through web chats. As COVID-19 vaccination rates increase and rates of infection decrease, telehealth remains a relatively large sector of the healthcare field and is expected to remain as the pandemic has highlighted the various benefits to the utilization of telemedicine.
LIG Global is grateful to be playing a role in expanding the use of telemedicine to help provide healthcare to underserved populations in which there is limited to no access to physicians in the region. Using the generous donations LIG Global received from February’s Mission to Move fundraiser event, a telehealth program is being established in Maneadero, Mexico. Being a rural area, Maneadero has very limited access to high quality healthcare, meaning that the families in this area will benefit immensely from the telemedicine program being established. These families will now have consistent access to healthcare providers that can help provide diagnoses and treatment plans in order to preserve and improve the overall health of the community for years to come.
As new developments are made in various fields, it is beneficial for the healthcare field to embrace these innovations and use them to improve the quality of care that can be provided to all individuals; telehealth is a prime example of this. As LIG Global works to mitigate the barriers to healthcare on a global scale, we look forward to implementing these advancements in the various regions we work in to help improve the care provided in these regions for years to come.
Temesgen ZM, DeSimone DC, Mahmood M, Libertin CR, Varatharaj Palraj BR, Berbari EF. Health Care After the COVID-19 Pandemic and the Influence of Telemedicine. Mayo Clin Proc. 2020 Sep;95(9S):S66-S68. doi: 10.1016/j.mayocp.2020.06.052. Epub 2020 Jul 27. PMID: 32948262; PMCID: PMC7383140.