Telemedicine

Key information

Telemedicine or tele-health is the use of telecommunications technology and devices to provide medical services by distance.

It is usually based on video-consultations, but it can combine different other activities such as mobile apps, personal devices to monitor blood pressure or sleep patterns or it can involve the use of phone-consultations or other ways of communications (emails, WhatsApp, phone calls, etc)

Everyone can benefit from having access to telemedicine services.

Telemedicine services can be an alternative to in-person services or complement them.

There is growing evidence of the equivalent safety and effectiveness of the telemedicine services in comparison to the in-person services providing the same type of care, as long as both are feasible and appropriate.

When is tele-health more suitable?

Telemedicine is particularly suitable and useful in the following circumstances:

  1. In remote and rural areas, where there is low density of population and patients have to travel long distances to access a specialist medical service.
  2. For patients who cannot leave their homes. If you have a condition that makes difficult for you to leave your home or in cases where the patient has others at their care (children, elderly) and needs to stay with them.
  3. Situations in which complete privacy is valued. Stigma about mental health problems is still sadly present in many countries, families and contexts, for instance.
  4. Migrants, expats and patients who travel often. If you change your location often and this makes difficult for you to access to in-person services, telemedicine might be for you.
  5. Patients who want to access a doctor that is fluent in their mother tongue, but they are living in a different country.
  6. if local in-person services are not available or there is a long waiting list.
  7. When the online service is a specialized service that you are particularly interested in accessing it.

Advantages of telemedicine.

Here is a list of potential benefits of telemedicine over and above the in-person services.

  • Complete privacy. Not only confidentiality is important, to have the privacy that nobody knows you are attending a doctor can be very relevant to certain people or situations.
  • Uninterrupted access to the same specialist doctor. Patients can be sure of keeping the same doctor no matter their location. You can travel for some time or move to another city or country and continue having the same doctor.
  • Convenient to the patient. Treated from home, wherever you are. You only need connection to internet and certain privacy.
  • Reduced waiting time for first sessions and follow-ups.
  • Flexible timing and easily adapted to your availability (which it is often changeable).
  • Suitable for unexpected events.  If you have any unexpected plan, you can still have your session with your doctor if you have access to internet and time free. Whether you need to travel or need to stay at home, you can still attend your clinic from where you are.
  • Increased accessibility of specialized medical care, making it reachable in areas where there are no specialized doctors.
  • Eco- friendly. No means of transportation are used, which also reduces costs to the patient.
When does Telemedicine have significant limitations or is less useful?

This needs to be personalized to each patient, but mainly when or if:

  • the physical examination is a crucial component of the assessment.
  • the patient is not able to cooperate or focus on the assessment online.
  • the patient does not feel comfortable with video-conferences or if they lack the knowledge to use a computer or its required software

Telemedicine for health care providers and institutions

Telemedicine can be used to expand the service portfolio of a hospital or health center without the need to have said specialist physically in the center.

In SAMON we provide remote medical services for hospitals, medical centers, clinics or residential institutions that, due to cost-effectiveness or accessibility problems, require them.

With experienced online providers we can resolve, cost-effectively, the lack of specialists.

Samon Mental Health offers you the contracting of specialist Psychiatry services with which to offer such specialized care to your patients in your center or health service.

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Key information
21 Feb
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