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Telemedicine for Common Ailments of People and Pets Using the Power of the Internet

Updated on May 6, 2020
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The author is postgraduate in Botany and experienced in IPR handling as well as agribusiness management with an MBA, lives in a farmhouse.

The Medical Field is Becoming Friendly

Digital technology has been of use in the present-day world to overcome clutters with a lot of population and associated difficulties. When we come to the aspect of consulting a physician for very simple ailments, such as a running nose, itch, joint pain, etc., the consultation is highly dependent on many aspects and time-consuming waits.

In the case of many common ailments related to the environment and seasons, the physicians have a clear idea in their mind. For some of the disorders, lifestyle diseases and self assessable health problems such as prevailing diabetes, by using some of the handy tools, it is possible now to consult doctors on virtual platforms. This is mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Accordingly, for the decision making based on a few simple questions to the patient is possible. Such remedies are effective and common seasonal ailments of the patients get cured easily.

Nowadays, due to a lot of rush on traffic as well as time to obtain the consultation of doctor by waiting on a queue, has a lot of inconveniences, particularly under lockdown. Earlier, waiting in the visitor's room for such consultations has become very common. It is neither comfortable for the patients, nor for the doctor. Moreover, the patients waiting rooms are not comfortable like living rooms making it disliked by the people.

Systematization of Existing Practices

It is not uncommon that we consult the family physicians over telephone ever since the availability of that technology during as early as the 1950’s. Now, technology is evolving and getting equipped for utilizing the power of the futuristic Internet of things. An analysis of the internet search engine results reveals that public searches are of considerable quantity, searching telemedicine services. Now, things are being streamlined with doctors, diagnostic laboratories, pharmaceutical sellers, software platforms are coming together to make the system workable, effective and futuristic.

Telemedicine

As the name itself indicates it is medical advice based on telephonic calls. It may be more appropriate if we say it is internet medicine.

Professional experience based on their learning as well as due to the experience gained over the years, doctors can assess the health problems easily. Physician know which is the disease commonly causes problems like the hay fever, a festival related stomach problem occurring in common, seasons causing a high amount of influenza patients, etc.

Process of Telemedicine

Telemedicine is the option for medical consultation using the telephonic conversation for the diagnostic process and based on which obtaining prescriptions of remedies from assessments by qualified physicians over the electronic media.

It involves the consultation of a physician over the telephone. Sometimes doctors will be able to assess problems quickly with just a few questions over the telephone. Sometimes for authentication, they need a photograph of the symptoms. The prescription may be sometimes sent as a simple textual message or a scanned image to a mobile phone.

Voice Messaging

Present-day technology enables you to consult the physician without waiting in a queue. Even if he is not available immediately to answer your telephone call you can always leave a voice message. The doctor may decide treatment based on voice message or he can call back to get more information. A video calling facility also can be used if required.

Legally Approved

Telemedicine is the option for medical consultation using the telephonic conversation for the diagnostic process and based on which obtaining prescriptions of remedies from assessments by qualified physicians over the electronic media.

However, a physical diagnosis has its own advantages and is needed for decision making. In such situations, telemedicine will not work. So, legalization is applicable for applicable situations, now warranted due to the pandemic situation.

A Physician Needs the Following Requirements

  • Adaptability to telephonic calls
  • A personal website with readable contents
  • Proper contact address
  • Different modes of communications
  • Database of customers
  • Knowledge beyond geographic barriers
  • Good interpersonal skills.

Convenience

It is challenging to transform from conventional clinical setup to telemedical platform. One has to understand and get empowered to change for the virtual environment. The success of the consultation is mostly based on the skills involved in the conversation. All other medical ethics are also to be followed by a physician, beyond doubt, which has to be practised here also.

"Carefulness and gentle behaviour of dealing with each other adds value to the health and life of people"

Website or Online Content

A written article of online content by a physician builds value. This can provide a superficial knowledge base on health issues over the internet. He can write articles on common health and hygiene as well as nutrition aspects. Community healthcare, as well as immunity vaccination procedures, can be explained easily by means of short and long-form articles as well as graphical web pages. This is not only important for imparting knowledge to the customers but also builds intellectual value and easy client handling. Efficient physicians may have already familiar customers for whom he is well known. But for the new customers, this type of new technology options will be highly effective.

"Contents add value online, building knowledge base."

Reception

Just like the conventional method of waiting rooms and a receptionist in this case also, an answering system is needed. For the first instance, the customer will be welcomed and the phone call is attended by a professional receptionist or a call centre executive. A call centre or a computerised call recording system is the most essential need in this platform.

Online Database

A secure customer entry/registration option online and database initiation with the customer inputs and future calls and options will be handy for dealing with the telephonic conversation. Nowadays software managed online facilities available. Otherwise, some sort of arrangements with the help of a receptionist can fulfil the needs.

Softwares are available now for building websites, client handling, database management, customer alerts follow-ups, diagnostics networking, medicine delivery, billing and promotions. Integration of these will enable physicians to overcome many dependencies and handle everything from the desktop making him digitally empowered doctor.

Globalised Outreach

Any Indian doctor can have his customers in Singapore or the Middle East. Affordability to consult a doctor is the main reason where India is one of the reliable and economic ones. But the brands of medicines may vary from country to country. In such a situation, generic medicines knowledge is essential for efficient dealing. It will enable the customers to obtain the prescribed medicines and drugs from the local pharmacy store.

Networking

A very good interpersonal skill between the physician and the customer is needed. Similarly, the location-based pharmacy, paramedical staff, laboratory operators and other agencies related to the medical field is most essential for a good physician. He has to have a virtual network of these different entities and must be able to guide the customers for obtaining a foolproof solution for the health problems. These will, however, need some time to develop.

Collection of Consultation Fees

The family physician and the client relationship are based on reliability and relationships. Now being able to transact digitally it is easy to pay the fees online. There is various money collection software available now for packaged fees collection.

Non-Prescription Medicines

Certain first aid materials, common disinfectants, as well as nutritional supplements, do not need any prescription in India.

Insurance Support

Health insurance schemes have to support customers on the one hand and the physician's equipment and enterprise insurance to protect startups on the other are very much essential. It is very important that the insurance rules and regulations have to be revised to include medical consultations.

Limitations

Telemedicine is not an alternative to conventional medicine. It has limitations for diagnosis of intricate and complicated cases, where real diagnosis, in person is the only right solution. However, for general health and wellness, it is a good option, so that the health level of the citizens will be addressed well in time.

Have you ever contacted the doctor over the telephone and had consultation

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Futuristic Attitudes Bring Success

Unlike e-health where the information and communication technology database-powered decision support system gives computer-generated health advice, here the physician uses his brain to provide medical advice. So, telemedicine is more personalised and based on the human experience of that of a practising doctor.

Very good grip over the latest technology in the field is always essential for a physician practising telemedicine. When he works from a virtual platform he has to be highly versatile. This is where reading, writing and presentation of content-based communication are essential. Besides this active participation in the online portals like Quora and LinkedIn as well as various social media platforms is of advantage. Ultimately telemedicine is the need of the COVID-19 lockdown situation and in the future for the increasing population in the world. It is a futuristic application of applied professional service. Qualified medical professionals, as well as technology-savvy customers, have to adopt the new technology to solve the complicated problems of the real world.

If we look into the darker side, there are all possibilities of discouraging oppositions which can come from peers, orthodox and technology illiterate customers and illegal as well as fake customers. Whenever new technologies are getting introduced, such things are common everywhere. Build your strong plans and strategies which will be a milestone in the development of telemedicine.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Halemane Muralikrishna

Comments

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    • profile image

      Abhijit Goswami 

      5 days ago from North East India

      Well written Mr. Murlikrishna. In country like India with huge population and low specilist doctor to patient ratio Telemidicine is the best platform to provide specilist services to remote areas where Only general physicians are available. Currently Telemidicine application in India as per my observation goes is mostly on tele consultancy. Wide range use of telemecine in transmission of patients vital signs using medical devices in real time for diagonesis is also equally important.

    • hmkrishna profile imageAUTHOR

      Halemane Muralikrishna 

      3 weeks ago from South India

      Thank you, Mr Nikhil, for utilising the benefits of new technology platforms and options available for the current situation.

    • hmkrishna profile imageAUTHOR

      Halemane Muralikrishna 

      3 weeks ago from South India

      Thank you, Ms Swati, for reading my article and finding it relevant. It is futuristic one using the technology platform. As and when technology is getting evolved, new fields are finding use of it.

    • Kh swati profile image

      Swati Khandelwal 

      3 weeks ago from Nainital

      Hello murali sir, gone through your article, it was really an informative one. Basically, it makes possible for Doctors to treat patients wherever needed and wherever the patient is, by using a computer or smartphone.

      I also consult my doctor on phone for my daughter's treatment when I am not able to take her there.

    • sachnikh profile image

      Nikhil Sharma 

      3 weeks ago from India

      Although there days many people are using the internet for various purposes, I believe it will take some time for telemedicine to become a frequent practice.

      Yes, as you said, the medical services can be availed online for common cold, or other diseases. The doctors should also encourage patients to consult through phone or video call. The right usage of technology should take place when it comes to availing telemedicine. This was a very informative and valuable article Mr Murlikrishna. Thank you for sharing the information with us.

    • hmkrishna profile imageAUTHOR

      Halemane Muralikrishna 

      4 weeks ago from South India

      Thank you Mr Abraham, it is very nice of you that you could spare some time on my article. Is telemedicine legal in your country? Please share some of your experiences with medical professionals in your country.

    • Kolawole Abraham profile image

      Oguntunde Kolawole Abraham 

      4 weeks ago from Ogbomoso

      Well written Mr Helemane..... Have learnt alot... Keep up the good job

    • hmkrishna profile imageAUTHOR

      Halemane Muralikrishna 

      4 weeks ago from South India

      Thank you, Mr Jnanesh Sharma, for reading and liking my article. Futuristic technologies which are accepted by the public and supported by the governments will develop and revolutions.

    • jnanesh profile image

      Jnanesh Sharma H 

      4 weeks ago from South India

      Well written, Mr Muralikrishna, I have learnt many things about 'internet medicine' which is very useful during any emergency situation. It is very good to know that it has become active in many needy countries which is useful for those who can't step out of their homes due to any problem like strikes, lockdowns, etc.

    • hmkrishna profile imageAUTHOR

      Halemane Muralikrishna 

      4 weeks ago from South India

      Thank you, Mr Bharat Sharan, Ms Prantika, Ms Cijini, Ms Sowrabha and Ms Arnaba for going into the details of the article. For each and every facility, there are always pros and cons. Let us hope that the future will be healthy and safe, though we are now held up due to COVID-19.

    • Arnaba Saha profile image

      Arnaba Saha 

      4 weeks ago from New Delhi

      Hello Muralikrishna Ji,

      This informative and comprehensive hub is definitely going to help the general public in this testing time. Telemedicine is the future of medicine but unfortunately, it is the coronavirus that has brought our attention to the benefits of telemedicine.

      I hope many people will be able to seek and find treatment from their ailment through telemedicine.

      Coming back to your hub, it is well- written, detailed, and to the point.

      keep up your good work sir.

    • Prantika Samanta profile image

      Prantika Samanta 

      4 weeks ago from Kolkata, India

      Telemedicine must be a great help during the lockdown period with people staying at home and maintaining social distancing. Also, when we stay in different regions of the country or world, telemedicine can be proved to be highly beneficial. Good to know about telemedicine.

      An informative and interesting article.

    • Sowrabha Mahesh profile image

      sowspeaks 

      4 weeks ago from Bengaluru

      Muralikrishnaji your hubs are always very detailed and informative....as I read through your article realised that I have also resorted to telemedicine many times because my Ayurved Doctor hails from a different city....Telemedicine is proving to be a blessing during the current times of Covid and definitely telemedicine is here to stay.

    • profile image

      Cijini karan 

      4 weeks ago

      Telemedicine consultation benefitted a lot for cancer patients during covid season.regular follow ups where done through whatsapp...and covid symptomatic patients were also consulted through telemedicine.......

    • bsharan12 profile image

      Bharat Sharan 

      4 weeks ago from Dhanbad

      Very valuable and informative. It'll even help laymen who live in far-flung villages save money and time.

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