During the COVID-19 pandemic, you may have seen or heard about people consulting doctors on their phones or laptops. This is known as telemedicine, where a doctor interacts with a patient remotely over the use of digital devices.
While telemedicine is not a new phenomenon, the COVID-19 pandemic has sped up advancements in virtual healthcare as we come up with new ways to offer high-quality, accessible, and affordable remote care. Based on existing technologies and virtual services, the future of telemedicine holds much promise.
However, many people are still unsure about the potential of telemedicine due to certain misconceptions about such services. Debunking these myths is essential so that you will not miss out on all the benefits that telemedicine has to offer.
Here are 3 myths about telemedicine – debunked!
- “Only youths are interested in Telemedicine”
Telehealth is characterised by the use of smart technologies and ICT to provide health and care services from a distance. Hence, many mistakenly assume that such digital services only appeal to tech-savvy youths. However, the market for telehealth services is far larger than it seems.
A 2020 survey by Accenture revealed that while the younger generations are more open to virtual care, across all ages, more are open to trying virtual services from traditional providers, tech companies, and retail brands. Seniors may be hesitant about using telemedicine as they believe that they are less tech-savvy, but to encourage the adoption of digital healthcare services, hospitals provide live demos or technical assistance so that seniors can feel more comfortable with using digital services.
More hospitals and clinics are recognising the need to increase digital healthcare uptake, thus digital apps and platforms will be designed with seniors in mind to make digital services more accessible to them. This can increase seniors’ interest in telemedicine since they can receive convenient and efficient care via telemedicine that is suited to their needs.
- “Telemedicine is unsafe”
Reservations over the privacy and security of data collected for digital healthcare services date back to before the pandemic. This issue remains a large concern despite the increased adoption of digital healthcare due to COVID-19 and explains why some are still hesitant about using digital services like healthcare chatbots. According to Accenture’s 2020 Health Consumer Survey, many were uncertain about whether their healthcare data was being used responsibly and in their utmost interest.
We recognise the importance of data security and privacy to telemedicine users. That is why Alliance Healthcare Group was awarded the Data Protection Trustmark (DPTM) by IMDA, which demonstrates that robust data protection practices and policies are in place to safeguard users’ data.
Our telehealth mobile application, HeyAlly, adopts similar stringent guidelines for data protection to ensure the safekeeping of personal health data. Our data protection policy details how the collected data collected is being used and who gets access to such information. This move recognises the importance of transparency and helps users feel more secure about their data. Hence, users can rest assured that their data will be protected and managed responsibly.
- “Telemedicine is not as effective as in-person care”
The interruption of in-person visits to the clinic has forced many to obtain care services online or through digital platforms. A popular avenue for this would be online teleconsultations, which work similarly to physical check-ups. While video consultations offer convenience and doctor-patient interactions, many are sceptical as to whether the same quality of care can be replicated online.
According to McKinsey & Company, telehealth can actually help to better patient experience and improve health outcomes, especially for those suffering from chronic illnesses or those who require post-acute care. The integration of remote monitoring and virtual visits into healthcare models means patients can receive on-demand care for immediate issues should they arise.
Furthermore, telehealth services can help to improve connectivity with the healthcare provider and ensure better oversight. For instance, HeyAlly app helps to tailor virtual services to suit your medical needs. It can effectively reduce waiting times to less than 10 minutes using the AllyTele feature, connecting you to registered healthcare professionals in their network.
Try Telemedicine Today
You can now enjoy the benefits of virtual healthcare with peace of mind, knowing that these myths are bust. The integration of telemedicine into the healthcare sector is greatly beneficial, improving your healthcare experience as you receive effective care in the comfort of your home. When you need a convenient solution, with speedy access to a qualified healthcare professional, Alliance Healthcare’s HeyAlly is available right at your fingertips.
Looking at the bigger picture, as more people begin to realise the advantages of telemedicine, increased adoption of virtual healthcare will help to incentivise the development of high-quality virtual services and shorten the runway to a future of superior telemedicine. Ultimately, this will build a healthcare system better for all so that, you are empowered to take better ownership of your health and take better care of your loved ones.