Telemedicine

Telemedicine: 5 great challenges of implementing it

Table of Contents

    Introduction

    In recent years, society as a whole has started to get used to the inevitability of a fully digital world embedding itself in all aspects of life, including healthcare.

    And although there are many benefits the applied practice of telemedicine brings, there are also challenges to overcome before we can start to reap the benefits of this novel way of understanding healthcare. 

    Telemedicine is a reality, not a prediction

    Digital disconnection is no longer a possibility for the average person. To this day and age, where every home has an internet connection and every pocket is laced with a smartphone, trying to deny the power the global net holds over our daily lives is as ridiculous as impractical

    Of course, the healthcare world is no different in that regard. Those who try to resist this wave of modernization are quickly being left behind or are being forced to adapt. It is common for concepts like telemedicine to be treated in future tense, but the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that the time of predictions is over

    It is time to face the challenges that this new form of healthcare brings to us.

    The past of remote care

    One of the first practical usages of telemedicine happened in the late 1950s, in the state of Nebraska, where a state hospital and a psychiatric institution implemented a closed-circuit television link in order to help to monitor the conditions of patients remotely.

    Although technology did rapidly advance in the following decades, its application to the remote care of patients never got through to be majorly used. Thus far, the most notorious advancement  consists in a telephonic consultation, despite being  widely considered an insufficient measure by both physicians and patients.  

    Today, the urge of using telemedicine is rather a reality than a remote possibility. The pandemic of 2020 rapidly changed the perception and necessities of many, forcing the healthcare community to prioritize efficiency and implement all the tools at their disposal

    What does the future look like?

    Even though it is foolish to try to predict what future technologies will be developed in the next decade, we can learn from  the most recent advancements to make an educated guess on the  scientifical progress that will shape the future of healthcare.

    An example can be the expansion of portable wirelessly accessible sensors, built into smartphones, smartwatches and other wearable devices, that allow doctors to collect data about their patients in real life and with minimal interference on their day-to-day life. 

    Another very promising prospect is Artificial Intelligence. Projects based on this technology have shown great results in the last couple of years in areas as diverse as oncology, radiotherapy, neurology, and dermatology.

    One shining example of the use of Artificial Intelligence is Legit.Health, the revolutionary Clinical Data and Communication tool for Next-generation dermatologists that applies clinically validated algorithms and computer vision technology to enhance their medical practice.

    The purpose of the deep learning algorithms is to relieve doctors from the tedious manual calculation of scoring systems and to allow the practice of a more objective evidence-based dermatology while speeding up the pathology reporting process and increasing patients’ autonomy and control.

    Do you want to see the Automatic SCORAD algorithms in action?

    The 5 challenges of modern telemedicine

    Financing

    As commonly happens when suggesting to introduce a new technology or infrastructure, detractors rise money as an issue. However, considering only the potential costs of overhauling the medical system to make it more telematic is rather reductive unless the potential savings and profits are taken into account.

    Balancing the economic costs and benefits of telemedicine will be without any doubt one of the biggest challenges to overcome, and the companies that offer services in this field need to keep that in mind. That’s why Legit.Health keeps its pricing flexible and its technological requirements simple, so that any medical centre or institution can afford the small investment required.

    Regulations

    Another big challenge to overcome before adopting a fully telemetric system has to do with laws and regulations. It varies from country to country, but anywhere you go in the world, the implementation of medical devices is  heavily regulated.

    Additionally, if those devices manage patient information, laws like GDPR come into place to guarantee the security and integrity of the data. That’s why any attempt of leaning into telemedicine requires addressing these issues. 

    Legit.Health not only has the European CE marking, but is a tool that is fully compliant with the GDPR as well as all other European standards, taking some of the burden and the hard work associated with keeping these matters in check. In other words, your work will be mostly done for you when the time for an audit comes.

    Do you want to see the Automatic SCORAD algorithms in action?

    Adoption

    All the fancy technology in the world is equally useful or wasteful if those who are meant to use it do not  know how to or do not want to adopt it. In this case, the challenge is twofold, as doctors and patients must come to terms with the idea of including these new technologies in the dynamics that have been ingrained in our collective mind for centuries. 

    Not only we need to convince patients that they can effectively communicate with their doctors via computers and smartphones, but we also need to help doctors adapt their usual routines to this novel systems. 

    This is why, Legit.Health has been developed with ease of use in mind. After being taken by the patient, the picture is analysed by the clinically validated algorithm and its results are sent to the doctor, who benefits from the consistency of the data generated by this process and greatly facilitates the work of monitoring rashes and disease development.

    Telemedicine with Legit.Health
    Patients and Doctors connected thanks to Legit.Health

    Technology

    Technology has been the focus of telemedicine for a long time. However, telemedicine is really about the services and not about the uniqueness of the latest  technology. An approach based on services and positive health outcomes means that no matter how much technology changes, the medical centre will have a system in place to implement it. 

    Legit.Health enables medical centres to merge technology and service into one easy-to-use package, offering both a plethora of tools for the medical practice and multiple options to provide their patients with the services they need to feel cared for. 

    Evidence

    In the medical world, good ideas amount to nothing if they aren’t backed by solid clinical evidence. This is true for procedures, drugs, medical devices and, of course, general concepts or services such as telemedicine.

    Gathering scientific evidence might be the most difficult challenge telemedicine has to overcome before it can succeed. Every system, application, medical device or technology put in place to make this change possible must be thoroughly tested before it’s implemented into a real-life setting.

    Legit.Health participates in a myriad of clinical trials that pit algorithmic technology and application design against real medical scenarios in several European medical centres. As a company, we highly value our presence on medical journals, and helping to advance the field of dermatology is one of our main purposes. 

    Do you want to see the Automatic SCORAD algorithms in action?

    In conclusion

    Although the road ahead is long and tortuous, the healthcare community as a whole has already begun to take the first steps towards a future where telemedicine is a reality.

    Thanks to technological advances by companies such as Legit.Health and initiatives by medical service providers such as DKV, to name a few, both patients and doctors are becoming more accustomed to the reality of remote medicine.

    Get access now

    This free 23-day trial of Legit.Health gives clinics and hospitals a hands-on look at how to drive increased adherence and improve patient outcomes, as well as improving efficiency and overall quality of life.

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    Telemedicine: 5 great challenges of implementing it
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